As the master of tourbillons, Franck Muller has continuously innovated and perfected its tourbillon offerings. Be it for being the most compact, the fastest or even the largest, the watchmaker sets records and new standards for the mechanism with every new interpretation.
With the Grand Central Tourbillon, it makes history as the first centre tourbillon in the world to be housed in a tonneau-shaped case. To be precise, it is encased within the Curvex CX – an updated and redesigned version of the iconic Cintrée Curvex case that has been synonymous with the brand for close to 30 years now. The tourbillon is shifted from its traditional 6 o’clock position to the middle of the dial, where the innovative placement of the hour and minute hands around the central tourbillon cage draws attention to the complexity of the movement within.
Suspended by a single bridge (which has been shaped to indicate the seconds), the 60-second tourbillon is elevated above the rest of the dial, while the aforementioned hour and minute hands extend outward from the central carriage on openwork circles that are also suspended and stacked around the rotating carriage of the tourbillon. A complete redesign of the gear train was required to present this “invisible” display of time.
To allow better visibility, a curved sapphire crystal extends fully across the display to the lugs, a feat made possible by a newly perfected technique of fixing the glass at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock to create a bigger display. As for the bezel, it is now separate from its case, which effectively highlights the watch’s sensuous curves and also allows for beautiful two-tone treatments.
Beating within the Grand Central Tourbillon is a self-winding movement – a rarity in a Franck Muller Tourbillon collection – created entirely from scratch by in-house engineers in Watchland. MVT FM CX 40T-CTR can be found in the 40 mm models, while MVT FM CX 36T-CTR is found in the smaller 36 mm. Its sunray-brushed eccentric micro rotor offers a generous 4 days of power reserve.
Aesthetic-wise, the timepiece presents an elegant façade with its stamped guilloché dial, coated with 20 layers of translucent lacquer, that bears a unique spiralled Clous de Paris pattern in various colours. The case is crafted from 18-karat rose gold, 18-karat white gold, or carbon. Three of the 36 mm models are further enhanced with diamonds on the outer and inner bezels, as well as on the dial for the full pavé version. Each watch is completed with a handsewn alligator strap with hand-polished white gold or rose gold buckle, set with eight brilliant cut diamonds for the diamond-set models.
Discover the Grand Central Tourbillon collection here.
This story first appeared on PrestigeOnline Malaysia