Franck Muller Vanguard Glacier watch

Admittedly, it’s been a while since I got along with Franck Muller’s staff seriously. The Swiss watchmaker is a modern-day legend, while the Franck Muller Group is a collection of luxury brands that includes Backes & Strauss among others. In the past, the group was larger and included brands such as Rodolphe, Pierre Kunz and Martin Braun. Today, Franck Muller himself and co-founder Vartan Sirmakes continue to manufacture watches at the Swiss “Watchland” headquarters outside Geneva. Today, I’ll take a look at Franck Muller’s difference that represents the modern side of the brand. This watch is the Franck Muller Vanguard Glacier from the newer Vanguard collection.

Founded in 1991, Franck Muller as a brand is known for a few things, including their popular Cintrée Curvex cases, as well as some extremely complicated watches. The brand often likes to call itself a “complication guru.” This timepiece is relatively simple, providing only the time and date, but the design is complex and sophisticated, which I find very appealing.

I’m quick to admit that the Franck Muller Vanguard collection didn’t appeal to me until I saw it in person and wore it on my wrist. In the computer-rendered image, the Pioneer looks both bland and hard at work. In a sense, some might say that about the Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex watch. Wear any of these models on your wrist and you’ll have a completely different experience — at least, I did.

The Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex collection starts with a tonneau case, which is probably one of the few tonneau cases on the market that I like. Others will include those made by Richard Mille. It’s an old design dating back to the 1920s, but Franck Muller has made it hot again. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that Franck Muller was the first “fashionable” watch brand of the modern watch era. Just (in some cases) fall victim to their own success and face the same issues most other luxury brands face today in marketing and distribution. Compared to the others, I think Franck Muller has been quieter, choosing to keep a low profile and remain silent until they have a solid strategy. At least, they have a lot of interesting timepieces.

I don’t recommend understanding what it’s about by reading the Vanguard series on Franck Muller’s website, because that won’t tell you much. In fact, it’s a great example of how this type of writing doesn’t have much to explain but can take up space on a luxury brand’s website. My take on Vanguard is that it’s just a modern take on the design that made Franck Muller such a popular brand in the first place. Say what you think about some people who have worn the brand, or the ostentatiousness that the brand is known for not everyone likes…but essentially, the core of the “Frank Muller look” has been done well , until now, has really been better captured by others when it comes to their classic Cintrée Curvex look.

That being said, consider the Franck Muller Vanguard collection to take a classic Art Deco look and make it feel more modern. This includes the case and dial – which apply Arabic numerals, as well as the painted markers you see on more traditional Franck Muller timepieces. Then you have this case, which is also a Vanguard trunk, flatter and more ergonomic than the Curvex case. It sits nicely on the wrist, and the right choice of colors and materials results in a bold and elegant look without sacrificing style legibility. Note the compass markings on the inner flange ring – I think it’s for style. Better than another tachymeter scale – that’s for sure.

This special edition of the Franck Muller Vanguard is a reference to the V 45 SC DT AC.GL Vanguard Glacier – famous for the special PVD coating treatment on the steel case and the use of a white rubber strap with matching dial trim. Note that this is a rare steel Vanguard watch (due to the special PVD treatment), but most non-gold watches are titanium. The case is steel and measures 44mm wide, 53.70mm high and only 12.8mm thick. The curved Vanguard case is paired with an integrated rubber strap for a comfortable fit. Visually, the look of the strap continues into the case with a clever look that makes the case appear to be sandwiched between the straps. For a higher end look compared to straight rubber,

Design wise, the overall look has a modern “bold” that will appeal to some and repel others. That’s okay, because hardly a watch made by Franck Muller is designed to have universal appeal. For someone who likes to show off, these watches do a great job…if you don’t like showing off that way, their timepieces probably won’t appeal to you. Again, don’t fully judge any of these watches until you put them on your wrist. I was personally pleasantly surprised.

Inside these three-hand Franck Muller Vanguard watches is its FM 0800 automatic movement, which operates at 4Hz (28,800 bph) and has a power reserve of 42 hours. I don’t believe these are in-house movements (Franck Muller confirms these are modified base Swiss ETA movements), but in other Franck Muller watches they certainly have their own movements. Movement provides time and date (displayed at 6 o’clock). There is no exhibition caseback, I think there should be a watch. This makes more sense than writing “Master of Complications” on a watch with a less complicated mechanism. The Franck Muller Vanguard Glacier itself is not a limited edition, but it is an individually numbered watch with a serial number on the case back.

Franck Muller cheap makes no shortage of variations for each of their popular timepieces. In addition to offering a range of Vanguard models (from this three-hand automatic to chronographs, and even some tourbillons), each model appears to be available in a range of versions (most of which aren’t even on the Franck Muller website, by the way) . This culture of “prudent information” is part of the brand’s unique identity, and one of the reasons why Frank Muller underperformed in the information-hungry internet age.

An interesting “shiny bronze” applied PVD treated steel case mixed with a white hue gives the Franck Muller Vanguard Glacier a fun and interesting look, but there are many other versions available. It’s not cheap, but its look is perfect for the Franck Muller brand and the next generation interested in the brand. Then again, this isn’t a brand for conservative types at all, but the range of talent the brand has, along with their many technical accomplishments means that Frank Muller could be a brand to watch again (or a first). https://www.chrono4usale.co

Hublot Big Bang Unico Sang Bleu II

The partnership between Hublot and Sang Bleu, a creative and design studio owned and operated by Swiss tattoo artist Maxime Plescia-Büchi, is now in its seventh year. To commemorate the occasion, the partners have created three highly scratch-resistant Hublot Unico Big Bang Sang Bleu II watches in a Plescia-Büchi design. The geometric pattern of the tattoo is transferred to the watch design.

The first watch is presented in Magic Gold. Gold is a well-known malleable and scratch-prone precious metal, but Hublot has mixed it with ceramic to create Magic Gold, a proprietary 18k gold alloy. The second is green pottery (painted pottery is another feature of Hublot), and the third is black pottery. Each is a Hublot Unico chronograph movement and is available in limited editions: Magic Gold , Black Magic Ceramic and Green Ceramic.

The Hublot collaboration is fascinating. The 42-year-old company approaches the artists it collaborates with differently. It is hard to imagine that a top watchmaker with 18th century ancestry could easily replicate this experience.

Maxime Plescia-Buchi is involved in the production of watches and is also an artist and designer. A graduate of the prestigious Cantonal School of Art in Lausanne, he brought an instantly recognizable style to his tattoos and is probably best known for Kanye West tattoos. The tattoo artist’s drawings are transferred to the watch – to the 3D shape of the dial and the case itself.

The indelibility of a tattoo is one of its main qualities, so there is some connection between the tattoo design and the material of the watch, as invariable as ceramics or magic gold. These watches are designed to look the way they are for years to come.

Specifications Hublot Big Bang Unico Sang Bleu II

Reference Magic Gold: 418.MX.1103.RX.MXM22 ; Black Magic : 418.MX.1103.RX.MXM22; Green Goblin: 418.GX.5207.RX. MXM22
Frame 45 x 16.5 mm, gold, ceramic. Water resistant to 100 meters.
Clock face Gold, black, green.
Strap Rubber Sang Bleu Foldover Clasp
Mechanism Automatic, Caliber HUB 1240 Unico Chronograph. Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph. 72 hours of power reserve. Frequency: 28,800 times/hour

Flying higher: Chanel presents the J12 diamond tourbillon at Watches & Wonders 2022

At Watches & Wonders 2022, Chanel unveiled a striking diamond-set Haute Horlogerie J12, equipped with the brand’s first in-house flying tourbillon, the Calibre 5. The brand also announced a new COSC-certified J12 33mm self-winding movement.

Traditionally seen as a luxury fashion house, Chanel has been taking its watchmaking seriously for some time, especially since the launch of the impressive Monsieur Chanel in 2016. The brand further enhanced its haute horlogerie credentials at Watches & Wonders in 2022 with the launch of the new J12 Diamond Tourbillon this week.

The striking new version of Chanel’s iconic timepiece features the brand’s first in-house produced flying tourbillon movement, the Calibre 5, while also showcasing the brand’s renowned expertise in gem setting and ceramic production.

The Calibre 5 was designed in Paris by Arnaud Chastaingt, director of the Chanel Watchmaking Creation Studio, and then developed and assembled by Châtelain, the company’s Swiss movement manufacturing division in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

sparkling spectacle
The tourbillon steals the show on the face of the 38mm watch, emerging through a circular cutout on the black dial. While the outside of the tourbillon cage is set with 26 brilliant-cut diamonds, a large solitaire diamond is set in the center. Together with the surrounding gems, the complication’s design creates a mesmerizing, sparkling spectacle as the tourbillon turns. The upper hour and minute hands are also set with 22 brilliant-cut diamonds.

The Calibre 5 is equipped with a 48-hour power reserve, which is partially displayed on the dial side, but more details can be appreciated through the display caseback. There, we see that the movement has the same circular bridge construction and clever finishes found in Chanel Haute Horlogerie creations.

To start using the Calibre 5 in its J12 collection, Chanel has launched two limited editions of the J12 Diamond Tourbillon of 55 pieces: priced at €160,000, the first has a black glossy ceramic case with an 18K white gold bezel set with 34 diamonds Baguette-cut diamonds and white gold crown, also set with a brilliant-cut diamond. Its one-piece black ceramic bracelet features a white gold three-fold clasp.

This time in matte black ceramic, the black steel bezel is paired with a matte black baguette-cut ceramic ring and a black steel crown, again set with a brilliant-cut diamond. Its ceramic bracelet features a stainless steel three-fold clasp in matte black.

J12 33mm – now with COSC certified 12.2 automatic movement
Chanel has been busy working on not just the Calibre 5, but the new Calibre 12.2. This newly developed automatic movement now offers a mechanical option for those attracted by the J12 33mm’s sporty appeal, previously only available with quartz movements.

Turning the watch over, we can see the brand new mechanism – certified by the COSC Observatory and equipped with a 50-hour power reserve – showing its full glory through the back of the display.

Again, the circles come into play here, the main plate has circular steps and the rotor has a ring cutout. Polished and matte finishes as well as vertical and circular textures ensure that the mechanism has a strong visual impact.

The Calibre 12.2 was designed and developed exclusively for luxury Chanel by Le Locle-based Kenissi, which acquired a 20% stake in the company in 2019. Breitling and Tudor have also invested in the Swiss manufacturer, which has a reputation for making top-of-the-line movements.