Thursday, April 09, 2020

Crazy way to tell time

Jul 24. 2018
The Vanguard Bronze Thailand Limited Edition
The Vanguard Bronze Thailand Limited Edition
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The hour hand on Franck Muller's Crazy Hours wristwatch keeps leaping around the dial

SWISS watch brand, Franck Muller manages to combine the disruptive and the admired in its Crazy Hours wristwatch, reborn to commemorate the 15th anniversary of its creation.

With an automatic movement, it features a jumping-hours module that allows the dial to show the time in the most unconventional way – the hour numerals are not displayed in order. 

But the hour hand jumps to the next correct number on the hour, often snapping almost halfway across the dial to do so. The minute hand, however, follows the conventional 60-minute cycle, revolving around the dial. 

Although the hour numerals seem randomly placed, there is a sequence to the “crazy” hours. Each subsequent number is placed at an approximately 120-degree arc away from the preceding number. 

Vatanika Patamasingh Na Ayudhya, Nicholas Rudaz

This technical feat shows a sense of youthfulness and fun. The watch’s blue or grey dial with sunburst finish on Models 7880 and 8880 are injected with shots of colour. The five-minute markers on the inner flange sport green, red, blue and black, which are in turn complemented by matching leather straps.

“Fifteen years ago, when we first launched the Crazy Hours watch, nobody understood what was going on,” laughs Nicholas Rudaz, director of Franck Muller Geneve. “It’s an emotional and fun watch. So, when you look at the time, you actually have to read the time.

Franck Muller Crazy Hour 8888 CH II

“The creator, Muller, is extremely creative and talented. He was the first to put a tourbillon at the front of the watch, as well as a double-axis and triple-axis tourbillon – very inventive and unique. The creativity involved in making watches is fascinating and Frank Muller has always done things that nobody else can, year after year.”

Franck Muller, the firm founded in 1992, has more than 50 world firsts and patents to its credit. And it’s giving Thailand a limited edition of its own – a model from the Vanguard series introduced in late 2014. Only 29 of the watches are available. 

The intricate detailing immediately dazzles the eye. The dial has been treated with an unusual tone of blue chosen to contrast the bronze case and the bronze-finish outline of the numerals, which, with the eye-catching hands, harmoniously complete the strong metallic appearance of the dial and imposing case. 

The case acquires a patina over time, giving each piece its own unique personality as it ages. Although robust, the watch is comfortable to wear thanks to the tonneau shape of the case, which fits any wrist perfectly. 

The Vanguard Bronze Limited Edition for Thailand is complete with a strap of matching blue calf leather on rubber, and a bronze buckle with a titanium emblem stamp.

For ladies, the Double Mystery collection boasts the “mystery” function that’s been a trademark at Franck Muller for two years now. The “mystery” is in the way the sparkling of diamonds in succession counts down the hours according to the rhythm of time. There are neither numerals nor hands, just a diamond-studded rotating plate surrounded by hour-markers of precious stones. 

The firm has a patent on this exclusive mechanism and departs from the custom of having the minute-hand drive inside the hour-hand drive. It’s a constraint that makes it impossible to place the minute disc outside that of the hours. The Double Mystery contains gear train that overcomes this restriction and enables the inversion of the process.  

Double Mystery

The watch has an automatic winding mechanism with a 950-platinum rotor and a Calibre FM 2800 V movement. There are two rotating discs on the dial, revolving at different speeds, demonstrating total purity in the design. 

The way the diamonds sparkle on the dial and the case is magical. There is nothing to break the harmony and elegant round case, made from a single block of solid gold or platinum.

And, in celebration of Mothers’ Day, Franck Muller has unveiled the Vanguard Lady Moon Phase, featuring a sun-stamped dial set with a moon phase at 6 o’clock and an elegantly curved case to complement it. 

Vanguard Lady Moon Phase

It’s a beautiful feminine design and is available in several pastel hues, the perfect gift for mums who love to have a stylish timepiece on their wrist.


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