Franck Muller Introduces the Cintrée Curvex Master Banker Asia Exclusive

A pioneer in independent watchmaking, Franck Muller Introduces the Cintrée Curvex Master Banker was most famous for its graceful tonneau-shaped case but the brand was also particularly productive with complications in the 1990s and early 2000s. Amongst its most notable inventions were the double-face chronograph and whimsical Crazy Hours.

But the brand’s technical creativity was present at the other end of utility spectrum as well – something exemplified by the Master Banker, a wristwatch unveiled in 1993 that boasted three separate time zones, each with independent hours and minutes.

Now the watch has been given a new lease of life as the Cintrée Curvex Master Banker Asia Exclusive, that’s available in two case sizes, seven distinct colours, and various case materials, including steel, rose gold, and diamond-set rose gold.
Although powered by a humble ETA base movement, the Master Banker is a surprisingly accomplished complication, yet smartly constructed to be simple and robust.

The time zone complication is practical for tracking times in multiple countries, but it is rarely instantly legible, especially when multiple time zones are displayed. With two largish sub-dials – each with their own hour and minute hands – the Master Banker solves the problem instantly.

Not only is it legible, each of its sub-dials can be set to time zones with unconventional offsets – like 45 minutes for Kathmandu – allowing the watch to track any time zone in the world. The only downside of the display is a lack of day and night indicator for the time zones.
Utility aside, the watch is beautifully designed. The visual appeal of Franck Muller’s styling is often forgotten because its newer designs are over the top, but the brand’s older models are usually classical with flair. Here it’s a made a little more modern with the use of bright colours for the sub-dials, which have an appealing contrast against the black dial.

And something specific to these two watches – in the 8880 or 7880 sizes – is that the cases might be a little too large. They still wear well because of the shape, but lose some of the elegance of the smaller sizes.

Though it is a smart and appealing watch, the Franck Muller Introduces the Cintrée Curvex Master Banker is expensive. With the steel version priced at about about 24,000 Singapore dollars, or about US$17,000, it is too pricey for a relatively simple – albeit clever – complication on a economical base movement.
Now the iconic case of the brand, the Cintree Curvex case was actually a successful reinterpretation of 1930s tonneau-shaped watches – the Cartier tonneau in particular since Mr Muller restored early in his career. The case is curved on three axes, creating an inimitable shape that is both fluid and ergonomic – and yet to be duplicated successfully by rivals.

Within is the ETA-based movement – which relies on a notably simple yet clever construction – with the gears for second and third time zone meshed with the gear train for the local, or primary, time. As such, the crown adjusts all of the time zones simultaneously, or each sub-dial individually, without the need for buttons or pushpins.

Franck Muller 15TH ANNIVERSARY CRAZY HOURS II

Franck Muller introduced a new collection of its iconic Crazy Hours model family that is exclusively designed to celebrate its 15th anniversary.

The Franck Muller 15TH ANNIVERSARY CRAZY HOURS II collection was first introduced in 2003 with a unique dial layout where the conventional location of 12 hour markers was shuffled like the number 8 is now at 12 o’clock, 5 is at 9 o’clock, 3 at 11 o’clock etc. In practice, the hour hand must jump to the next hour which is placed nearly directly opposite rather than moving clockwise in numerical order. The “craziness” was provided with the hep of an additional jumping hour module that was integrated on top of a self-winding movement.
Franck Muller aka “Master of Complications” is celebrating his cult collection’s 15th anniversary this year with a completely new series that are available throughout the brand’s 23 boutiques and selected multi-brand retailers across Asia.
The iconic Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex Crazy Hours case, with its unisex appearance, is offered in three different sizes (39.60mm x 55.40mm, 36.00mm x 50.40mm, and 32.10mm x 45.10mm). The cases can be had in stainless steel and 18K rose gold, and with or without diamonds. The dial colors are blue, gray and white (Guilloché pattern). There are 40 different combinations and they are all offered on matching alligator leather straps.
Franck Muller Crazy Hours 15th Anniversary Party. Over 500 guests blew out the candles during an extravagantly dizzy party to celebrate the journey of the iconic Crazy Hours collection. The Infinite Studio in Singapore was transformed into a multifaceted wonderland, where guests were invited to explore five stunningly rooms throughout the evening.

Nomos Glashütte Club 36 Ace Jewelers Blue

A family-owned watch retailer with a prominent online presence, Ace Jewelers has made its an annual affair to work with Nomos on a limited edition. Past editions include last year’s #NomiesforLife and the Zurich world time from the preceding year.

The latest is the Ace x Nomos Glashütte Club 36 Ace Jewelers Blue Limited Edition, conceived to mark the five-year relationship between the German brand and Amsterdam-based retailer.
The appeal of Nomos; watches lie in their cheerfully simple aesthetics and affordability. Even though the Club 36 Blue is a limited edition for a retailer, it is quintessentially Nomos in style with its blue and orange dial.

Being the entry-level Nomos watch, the standard Club 36 is offered in a narrow number of dial colours, which is one of the main attractions of the new edition. And because it is based on the brand’s entry-level model, the Club 36 Blue is unusually affordable. The version with a solid back costs just US$1,000 or so.
According to Ace, its latest limited edition is only the third limited edition based on the Club 36 over the past decade. The upside of using this specific model as the base is affordability, since the Club 36 is the entry-level Nomos.

The tweaks that set the Ace edition apart lie in the dial, which has a blue and orange livery that’s based on Ace Jeweler’s corporate colours.

Dial aside, the watch is identical to the standard model. The case is polished steel, 36 mm in diameter, and offered with either a solid or open back.
Despite being the most affordable model Nomos makes, the Nomos Glashütte Club 36 Ace Jewelers Blue is still powered by a proprietary movement, as all Nomos watches are.

Both versions of the Nomos Glashütte Club 36 Ace Jewelers Blue are equipped with the Alpha, a calibre made in house but based on the architecture of the Peseux 7001. It’s finished in typical Nomos style, which is surprisingly attractive despite the affordable price.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Mega Yacht

Monaco, September 22, 2021 – A leading manufacturer of navigational instruments since 1846 the Swiss watch manufacturer’s favourite playground has always been the Ocean. For the past 175 years, Ulysse Nardin has been living, breathing, growing and creating new timepieces to reflect the rhythm of the waves and the sea. This year, to celebrate its 175th anniversary, the company is offering two new limited editions of its DIVER and MARINE Megayacht watches, both inspired by the Ocean and enhanced with new colours touches of red and a special “Monaco Yacht Show” signature for the DIVER, and rose gold instead of platinum for the MARINE Megayacht.
The Ulysse Nardin Marine Mega Yacht Show and Ulysse Nardin, the Show’s official sponsor for over 10 years, share a passion for the sea, for Excellence, for precision and for innovation. After a “year off”, the Monaco Yacht Show is back in action and will once again welcome lovers of sumptuous yachts, incredible destinations and luxury getaways in Port Hercules at the end of September. In this idyllic Mediterranean setting, Ulysse Nardin presents two new models, the Diver Monaco Yacht Show watches and the rose gold version of its fabulous and elegant Haute Horlogerie watch, the Marine Mega Yacht. Diver and Marine are the two signature collections of Ulysse Nardin’s nautical line.
Needless to say, the Swiss Manufacture produces some of the most reliable and contemporary diving watches on the market. The new Monaco Yacht Show Limited Edition is the jewel in the crown of the DIVER collection, an ultra-resistant model that does not falter in the face of any attack, even from the most ferocious sharks. The limited-edition, available in only 100 pieces, has a sapphire caseback and is driven by the Manufacture UN 150 automatic movement with silicium and a 48-hour power reserve. The model is also adorned with touches of red from the bezel joint and the seconds hand, to the hands-on the small counters and the date. Also, the “ Ulysse Nardin Marine Mega Yacht ” signature is featured under the Ulysse Nardin logo. The case, the bezel and the UN element are made of titanium and the bezel is coated with rubber. Naturally, this model has all the features of a diver’s watch ultra-resistant sapphire crystal, screw-down crown, Superluminova on the O, rotating inverted bezel for optimal readability, even in the deepest waters, and water-resistant down to 300 meters. There are several strap options rubber, metal or fabric with a Velcro fastener.
Launched in 2017, the Marine Torpilleur model encompasses the origins and history of Ulysse Nardin. It is the latest addition to the long line of prestigious timepieces in the Marine collection, which dates back to the 19th century when explorers travelled the oceans with the help of their onboard chronometers. Today, the Marine Torpilleur is the watch that best symbolizes this innovative and cutting edge style. This year, to celebrate its 175th anniversary, Ulysse Nardin has supplemented its Marine Torpilleur collection with two new movements, details, chronographs and enamel dials. But also a new Marine Megayacht in rose gold, to complement the 2019 platinum version.

Built in the same spirit as a luxury Ulysse Nardin Marine Mega Yacht , the new Marine Mega Yacht watch, crafted in pink gold in a special edition of only 30 pieces, is regulated by a flying tourbillon equipped with a cage modelled on a latest-generation ship’s propeller. Intimately linked to the concept of the mega yacht, this timepiece displays on its 3 D “grand feu” enamel dial, reminiscent of a ship’s bow plowing its way through the ocean waves, not only the time but also a precise representation of the Moon with an ultra-detailed surface, a sophisticated tide indicator across its width, together with an anchor raised by a chain attached to a windlass positioned at 12 o’clock indicating the power reserve.
With its diameter of 44 mm, this instrument displays on its dial the streamlined bows of a luxury vessel. Magnificently reproduced in 3D, it seems to surface from a pool of white gold as though it were emerging from the mist, and cuts through a sea of “Grand Feu” Enamel on a wave of foam portrayed with astonishing realism. To guarantee perfect timing, this construction is regulated by a flying tourbillon. To ensure the watch is firmly anchored in the nautical world, the cage of the flying tourbillon is decorated with a propeller with its blades specially honed to guarantee the highest level of performance for the latest generation yachts. And since every detail counts, the hands, with their design inspired by the venerable marine timepieces that the Manufacture has always supplied, move majestically above this scene, like the lamps of lighthouses or buoys floating on the horizon out at sea. This powerful beating heart of the watch has a diameter of 37 mm, features 504 components and is wound by hand. It guarantees a power reserve of 80 hours at a cruising speed of 21,600 vibrations per hour, with the tourbillon rotating at 60 rotations per hour (or one rotation every 60 seconds). Its first role is to provide an analogue time display, giving a three-dimensional presentation of the phases of the Moon and containing a mechanism that displays the height of the tides in real-time in relation to a specific location, in addition to indicating the seasonal coefficients, once the mechanism has been adjusted by the action of the winding crown, the position of which is measured in a window opened up in the side of the watch band in the same way as the screen of an exercise telegraph. Since watchmaking is above all an art form, the anchor, with its contemporary design fashioned in the form of a plowshare, linked to the chain by the anchor ring (and which itself passes through a mooring chock which might have been thought to be entirely decorative), moves in response to the movements of the winding crown so as to indicate the power reserve. Keen to be as realistic as possible, Ulysse Nardin has perfected an authentic miniature windlass, visible at 12 o’clock.

Through the action of a set of conical wheels in contact with the winding mechanism of the barrel, the latter turns to simulate the raising of the anchor, even when the winding process has been fully completed, for the pleasure of any curious observers.

The display of the phases of the Moon is made with the aid of a precise 3D reduced size representation of Earth’s satellite, and which, in order to make a special impact, presents a surface reminiscent of the Moon’s actual surface by reproducing it through the use of an ultra-precise engraving. It is made up of two half-spheres, one treated in blue PVD (for the period of the new Moon) and the other rhodiumized (to simulate the illuminating effect of the Sun). Its adjustment in relation to the annual calendar is undertaken through the winding crown, once its indicator is in place on the telegraph window opened up in the side of the watchband is placed on the corresponding indication (S Set position for setting the hands/TM Tide and Moon position/W position for winding the movement). In the intermediate position, the Moon phase and tide volume indication is regulated by turning the crown counterclockwise (one turn of the crown represents four days), while in the clockwise direction the operator regulates the level of the tide depending on his location (one turn of the crown represents a 0 25 turn of the disk, equivalent to 9 5 hours).

This watch is certainly the only one of its kind, and should offer its 30 future owners a way to follow the manoeuvres made by the crew of their yacht, the name or motto of which may be engraved in the plaque positioned on the side of the watch band so as to make it truly unique.

Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex Crazy Hours Pastels

It’s almost impossible to mention Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex Crazy Hours Pastels without thinking about its iconic Crazy Hours complication. Introduced in 2003, Crazy Hours has come to be a calling card of sorts for the Genthod Manufacture, which also produces bestsellers like the Vanguard and Skafander collections.
Devised in what was probably a ‘Eureka’ moment for founder Franck Muller while he was holidaying in Mauritius, the Crazy Hours complication features a jumping hour module that snaps the hour hand to seemingly random positions at each hour. Its base automatic movement drives the minute hand in a traditional clockwise manner, so the minutes are read in the usual way.
On one of our visits to the Manufacture, we asked the watchmaker if the numbers on the dial could be arranged in any fashion. The answer, unfortunately, was negative. You see, what looks like a haphazard order of numerals on the dial is actually a deliberate arrangement. Each number is positioned at approximately 150 degrees away from the one preceding it, so the jumping hour mechanism moves the hour hand at roughly the same angle each hour.
This playful spirit was recently invoked in the new Remember watch, which launched this year. Like the Crazy Hours watch, the Remember watch tells time in an unconventional manner with all three hands (hours, minutes, seconds) moving in an anti-clockwise fashion. Again, it reiterates the imaginative spirit of the Manufacture, and continues to tease collectors in its approach to time-telling.
But back to the Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex Crazy Hours Pastels . In an exclusive collection for Asia Pacific, the timepiece comes in an array of pastel hues: purple, beige, blue and orange. Housed in the signature Cintrée Curvex case, each model is available in either 18K rose gold or stainless steel with 66 brilliant-cut diamonds. Hand-painted numbers embellish a sunburst guilloché dial, which is generously coated with 20 layers of lacquer.

Whether or not you’re a fan of pastels, there’s no denying these candy-coloured options sure pop on the wrist, offering a fun touch of colour to liven up your OOTD.
Franck Muller—driving time crazy since 2003—has raided the candy store for a new feminine extension to its Cintrée Curvex Crazy Hours line, and the result couldn’t be more charming.
Available only in Asia, this interpretation offers four different dials with four pastel tones in blue, orange, purple and beige, together with matching straps in alligator leather too. An 18K rose gold or stainless steel bezel set with 66 brilliant-cut diamonds frames each sunburst guilloché dial decorated with a playful mishmash of the iconic Franck Muller indexes.
The signature Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex Crazy Hours Pastels case with its arched back is the watchmaker’s modern interpretation of an iconic shape, the tonneau, and the ideal pairing for women’s wrists, thanks to its svelte, ergonomic proportions.
But as every aficionado knows, the real magic lies in the Crazy Hours complication and its apparently bonkers way of telling the time. The hour numerals are jumbled up on the dial, yet the hour hand still moves in the correct sequential order. In essence, if an unsuspecting passer-by were to ask for the time and attempt to read it as you would on a regular clock face, chances are utter confusion will ensue.
There is, of course, method in the madness. The complication comprises a jumping hour module and an automatic movement. While the hour hand jumps to point to the correct hour numeral, the minute hand revolves round the dial in a traditional 60-minute cycle. Although the hour numerals seem randomly placed, there is a sequence to the ‘crazy’ hours: each number is placed at an approximately 150-degree arc away from its preceding number.

The Cintrée Curvex Crazy Hours is something of an enigma in the horology world—not unlike those who know how to appreciate its sense of irreverence. But veneer of frivolity aside, it serves as a timely reminder of how you could end up missing the fun in life if all you do is obey the rules.

Franck Muller Vanguard Rose Skeleton

Traditionally, when you think of the Franck Muller Vanguard Rose Skeleton collection, it is the tonneau case and the oversized numbers that come to mind. And throughout the years, the Vanguard has always been the brand’s go-to collection when they want to create something sportier and more dynamic. With their latest watch, however, they have decided to imbue this collection with more feminine elements. With the Franck Muller Vanguard Rose Skeleton collection, we finally have a Vanguard that appeals to the female watch enthusiast.

It has been far too long that women’s timepieces, even from serious watchmakers, have been following the same formula. It is almost always a quartz movement assembled into a thin and slender case and then plastered with diamonds. With the new Vanguard Rose Skeleton, Franck Muller is offering a bold timepiece created with more feminine aesthetics, paired with a complex and serious mechanical movement. A perfect statement of female empowerment.

The Vanguard case comes in its iconic tonneau shape and has the signature Cintrée Curvex curve. It is this curve in the case profile that makes the collection so comfortable on the wrist. This curve also subtly extends to the dial making any work on it that much more complicated. Special considerations must be taken when creating the dial, or in this case the skeleton-work and decoration on the bridges.
The case comes in either a choice of 18k rose gold or white gold and is fully encrusted with diamonds. The gorgeous flower motif on the dial is a skeletonised bridge giving these beautiful flowers the illusion of floating above the technical movement that lays just beneath. As it is a skeletonised watch, extra special care was given to the finishing of the movement. This includes satin finishing, circular graining and hand-chamfering to the tiniest of components. For example, Chamfering and mirror polishing is even done on the regulator, and even a 24k gold finish on the written engravings. Click here to discover how the watch is conceptualized and assembled by the artisans.⁠
It is often an overlooked fact that Franck Muller is one of the very few manufactures that can produce such a complicated timepiece completely in-house. Taking a mansion built in 1905 as the headquarters of Franck Muller Genève, it was expanded in 2019 and Watchland, as it is called today, houses all the necessary expertise to create a watch from start to finish. This means everything from conception, manufacturing, engraving, servicing, and since 2013 manufacturing in-house movements, can all be done on this incredible property.

The movement is a complex Calibre MVT FM 1540-VS15 with a special high-efficiency escapement developed in-house. The movement is also equipped with twin barrels, giving this manual-winding watch a generous power reserve of four days.

The Vanguard Rose Skeleton is offered in two precious metal options and will even come in several floral arrangements with different colours and a matching hand-sewn alligator strap.
With a variety of colour options, you’re sure to find one that fits your taste. Both the Ref: V 32 S6 SQT ROSE D CD 2RO 5N (BL) and Ref: V 32 S6 SQT ROSE COL DR D CD 2RO 5N (RG) are now available at Cortina Watch boutiques.

Jacob Co Twin Turbo Furious Sapphire Crystal

Jacob Co Twin Turbo Furious Sapphire Crystal adhering to the brand’s reputation for luxurious performances, launched the world’s first decimal minute repeater watch with a transparent sapphire crystal case. This is not the first minute repeater watch with a transparent sapphire crystal case; this distinction is attributed to Speake-Marin’s Légèrete, a disposable product produced in 2019. However, Jacob Co Twin Turbo Furious Sapphire Crystal is the first minute repeater with a series-produced sapphire crystal case. Please note that it is not just any sapphire crystal case, but a complex case from Twin Turbo. The Furious series is equipped with dual tri-axes. Tourbillon and single button chronograph. Similarly, it is not just any minute repeater, but a decimal minute repeater, which is rarely seen in the complications of ringing. The three timepieces in the Twin Turbo Furious series are limited to six, including a “Bugatti Blue” model, which convincingly demonstrates the complex machinery that promotes complex functions.

As a master of extreme limit watches, Jacob Arabo is not afraid of “impossibility.” The more the better, seems to be the basic idea of ​​Jacob & Co., where the craziest complication and the craziest combination of cases come to life. Twin Turbo Furious has amazing complex functions and is not a new product. It was released during Baselworld 2018. It uses a black DLC titanium and carbon fiber case. Features: noon dial with small seconds at 9 o’clock; single-button chronograph with minute counter at 3 o’clock And the central seconds hand; the reference time is inspired by the racing pit plate; the decimal minute repeater tells the time every 10 minutes and minutes; the dual three-axis high-speed tourbillon; and the power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock.

The next step is to take the complex hodgepodge and store them in a transparent sapphire crystal case. Inspired by super sports cars and high-performance cars, the streamlined case of Twin Turbo Furious is widened and raised at the bottom to accommodate the 3D spectacle of the double tourbillon. There is a slider on its left side that activates the decimal repeater, and the crank on the crown can adjust complication.

Sapphire crystal case
The intricate sapphire crystal case of Twin Turbo Furious poses a huge challenge. The “regular” Twin Turbo Furious unique pentagonal 57mm x 52mm housing has 88 components; this sapphire version has 89. The development of the sapphire crystal case took 15 months to design, produce and perfect, including growing the sapphire crystal from alumina, and then shaping the case through a combination of high-tech digital machinery and traditional manual polishing. Machining the different geometric planes and angles of the case, including the iconic double bezel, is a complex task, but hand-polishing the crystal to achieve its transparency is also a complex task. The only part of the case that is not made of sapphire crystal is the 18k white (or rose) gold crank at 3 o’clock for winding and setting complications. The difference between these three watches is the colored chapter ring made of Neoalithe, which is a material made of resin and developed in Switzerland. The material can be selected from red, green or blue, and can resist ultraviolet, heat and physical shocks. The Bugatti watch has a “Bugatti Blue” Neoalithe ring with the company logo on the front.

Minute Repeater
Installing an exotic decimal minute repeater inside the sapphire crystal case-the world’s first-is another complicated task, making compromises in the design of the watch to allow for gongs and hammers while ensuring high-quality sound. The decimal minute repeater is more intuitive than the traditional minute repeater. Instead of telling the time in hours, quarters, and minutes, it tells the time by the hour, at ten-minute intervals after the last hour, and then the minutes. The crystal lever on the left side of the case activates the crystal clear sound of the cathedral gong of the decimal repeater. At 12 o’clock, you can see the hammer of the minute repeater in decimal.

Dual three-axis tourbillon and single button chronograph
The double tourbillon and chronograph that adjust the time display spin in space in a lightning-fast but controlled continuous motion. Relying on two adjustment mechanisms, the ultra-light cage rotates along three rotation axes at a speed of 24, 48 and 180 seconds. Each three-axis tourbillon consists of 104 parts and weighs only 1.15 grams. copy watches for men

Likewise, simple solutions are not the hallmark of Jacob & Co. watches. As you might expect, the chronograph is a one-button type, equipped with a traditional column wheel and horizontal clutch. However, the stopwatch mechanism incorporates an original reference time indicator in minutes and seconds that can be set on the crown. The pit board function is inspired by the timing panel used in racing events and is a simple way to compare two elapsed times. The elapsed seconds that are greater than the reference time are located in the red part (+) of the pit plate, and the seconds that are lower than the reference time are located in the yellow and green parts (-). The dial opening directly above the double tourbillon indicates the minutes and seconds reference time that can be set via the crown (up to 5 minutes and 59 seconds).

In order not to miss any movement inside this stunning timepiece, the dial is made of dark gray sapphire crystal, partially revealing the 832 components of the manual winding motor. Hours and minutes are indicated by two-tone skeletonized hands driven by gears connected to a dual three-axis tourbillon. The hour markers corresponding to the central seconds hand are applied to the outer track of the dial, made of green, blue or red Neoralithe, and are treated with Super-Luminova, just like the hour and minute hands.

Jacobs Corporation JCFM05
The hand-wound movement-the JCFM05 movement-is exposed from all sides of the case and deserves admiration. The movement operates at a speed of 21,600vph and can generate a power reserve of up to 50 hours. With 832 components, 75 jewels and advanced watchmaking craftsmanship-manually tilted and polished plates and bridges, round grains and polished screws-the integrated chronograph movement is equipped with a patented dual mechanical safety function, which starts at the time. .

Technical Specifications-JACOB & CO. TWIN TURBO FURIOUS Sapphire Crystal

Case: 59.23 x 53.27-height 19.23 mm-anti-reflective sapphire crystal Twin Turbo Furious case-18k rose gold or white gold crown/crank-repeater slider on the left, chronograph button on the right-30m water resistance

Dial: Skeleton-Available in blue, green or red Neoalithe chapter ring-Smoked sapphire crystal plate with reference time +/- pit plate-Small seconds at 9 o’clock, chronograph minutes at 3 o’clock-Skeleton rhodium-plated Hour and minute hands Super-LumiNova-Minute repeater gong at 12 o’clock-Double three-axis tourbillon at 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock-Power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock

Movement: JCFM05 movement-manual winding mechanical movement 34 mm x 46 mm x 13.7 mm-75 jewels-21,600 vibrations per hour-50 hours power reserve-hours, minutes, small seconds, with “reference time indicator “Integrated single-button chronograph, decimal minute repeater, dual three-axis tourbillon (24, 8 and 30 seconds rotation) and power reserve indicator-832 parts

MB & F LM Perpetual Palladium

At the second Geneva Watch Days MB&F filled its ‘Beau Rivage suite’ exhibition space with very exciting clocks like the ‘KB2’ clock (created by Philippe Lebru and Alain Silberstein) and the ORB MB&F x L’Epée 1839; and some no less exciting novelties for the autumn. First off here is the latest Legacy Machine Perpetual, this time in palladium.

Since its establishment in 2005 MB&F has started many interesting projects – the Horological Machines, co-creations with the clock maker L’Epée and the music automaton manufacture Reuge, limited edition ‘art meets fine watchmaking’ pieces, the M.A.D.Galleries (a special gallery dedicated to kinetic art with carefully-curated pieces from around the world in Geneva, Dubai, Hong Kong and Taipei) and the Legacy Machine collection which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

In 2011 the brand launched its round-cased Legacy Machine line. These more ‘classical pieces’ – classical only in MB&F’s terms – pay tribute to 19th century watchmaking excellence by reinterpreting complications from the great watchmakers of that time. As Max Büsser said – ‘what would have MB&F wanted to create 150 years ago?’

The milestone line now includes 8 calibres and features iconic haute horlogerie complications á la MB&F – like the perpetual calendar, the triple-axis Tourbillon or the double regulators.
MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual – in palladium
One of the important pillars of MB&F’s philosophy is to work with artists and watchmakers who they admire. On the Legacy Machine Perpetual, MB&F teamed up with Stephen McDonnell (the independent Irish watchmaker and former head instructor at the WOSTEP watchmaking school). They have reinvented one of the most complex traditional horology complications: the perpetual calendar.

The first LM Perpetual was presented in 2015 and since then it exists in different versions, like in yellow gold or titanium – mostly in limited editions. The watch won the Best Calendar Watch Prize at the 2016 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG).

The LM Perpetual EVO – launched in 2020 – is crafted from the very light and durable zirconium. On this new design there is a screw-down crown – a first for MB&F – safeguarding the 80m water-resistance of the case.

The LM Perpetual timepieces have 581-component in-house movements, created from the ground up. The integrated perpetual calendar developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell, featuring a dial-side complication (for example the 14mm flying balance wheel is on the centre) and a mechanical processor system architecture with inbuilt safety mechanism. Later allows the wearer to adjust the time and date easily, without the risk of damaging the movement.

On the dial you can see the hours, minutes, date, day of the week, month, leap year cycle (with a blue hand indicator around 7 o’clock) and power reserve (at 4 o’clock).

MB&F opted for a slightly less known precious metal this time: palladium. It is a shiny, silvery-white metal which belongs to the platinum group (which includes six metals: ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium and platinum). Palladium is mostly used in automobile catalytic converters, but alsoin jewellery, dentistry, blood sugar test strips, aircraft spark plugs and surgical instruments – it is very malleable and is a tarnish- and corrosion-resistant metal. Currently it is more valuable than gold, since it is very rare and the demand for palladium exceeds the supply.

The novelty inherits two new features: the more ergonomic corrector pushers first seen on the above mentioned LM Perpetual EVO, and a darker movement finish on the back, offering more contrast. This latest metal version of MB&F LM Perpetual is limited to 25 timepieces, see more here.

Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4

The Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 I have long considered not a grail, but rather a myth, really. Not that I have ever looked for it specifically, but I have never stumbled upon it anywhere online, other than when featured with the company’s official photos. Meanwhile, as years passed, I have in fact worn and/or seen in the wild most all of the craziest watches the horological world has managed to bring to this world. The Aeternitas Mega 4 was, however, nowhere to be seen – at least in those parts of the world that I frequented. The Miraculous Encounter happened unexpectedly on the last day of our SIHH 2018 trip this January, when this watch just… appeared. I was baffled, but not baffled enough to miss calling first dibs before proceeding to take hands-on pictures of this beast myself. Here’s how the Aeternitas Mega 4 looked and felt like in the real world.
First, the basics of the complexities. 36 complications, 23 indications via 18 hands and 5 discs, 1,483 components, 99 jewels, 91 wheels (!), 7 pushers and 4 correctors, five years of planning and, reportedly, a full year to assemble… Oh, and a price tag of around $2.7 million. These are the figures the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 shocked the world with at the end of 2009 – even if watches with well over 1,000 components had existed before it.
I wish to clarify that the level of complexity in a watch can be measured in more than a handful different ways – from component count through number of complications, indications, complexities and novelty-factor of indications, durability, level and complexity of decorations and so on. Therefore, I will not call this the most complicated ever – although it was widely regarded as such at the time of its launch – because it is a claim easy to undermine by mentioning other watches that are, in their own right, just as worthy of the most superb of superlatives. Another important thing to consider is how the Aeternitas Mega 4 has 36 complications but “””only“”” 23 indications. This is because, as you’ll see from the list below, the list of complications includes mechanical complexities that render a feature more complex/different than it basically would be, hence adding to the total figure of complications – but not always to the number of indications (e.g. flying tourbillon counts as two because it is a tourbillon that is of the “flying” arrangement without an upper bridge holding it down).
Let us now entertain ourselves with a full list of functions and complications inside the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 – keeping in mind that this is coming from a hard-to-find, official Franck Muller document from the time of launch, not fished from the interweb.
The FM3480 QPSE is the all you can eat buffet of fine watchmaking complications. The movement is 34.40mm wide, 41.40mm tall and a whopping 13.65mm thick. In other words, the movement is about the same size as a small, tonneau dress watch all cased up – except for the fact that it is much, much heavier. I must say, I’m slightly disappointed that Franck Muller didn’t add the entire list of complications in letters to the name of the caliber – Patek style – as I would have loved to see an FM3480 QPSETCWCHRPEGMTARMFBPRDRGSPSSC! Talk about missed opportunities!
The fun begins when you are handed the watch and first feel its weight. The 18ct white gold Cintrée Curvex 8880 case is 42mm wide, 61mm long, and 19.15mm thick. The weight is absolutely immense and yet, it feels great in a strange, inexplicably awkward way. I’m sure you’ve been there when you’ve been wearing a watch for long and, for a moment, you sort of forgot you had it on and ended up shaking your hand in panic to determine whether or not there was a watch still wrapped around your wrist. Well, I don’t think a sane mind – or even a severely intoxicated one, for that matter – could ever disregard the feeling this watch provides on the wrist. It’s so heavy and intimidating that you are constantly aware of its thickness (not to bump it into things) and its weight… It’s the watch-equivalent of The Mountain’s unnecessarily large broadsword – that’s a Game of Thrones reference you are invited to disregard, just think of a big ass sword.
You realize fun has just elevated to a whole other level once you rotate your wrist away from you. Hand on heart, I can say I was shocked (and wildly amused) at this sight for two reasons: 1) I have never seen a watch with the proportions of a sausage dog on my wrist and 2) the watch felt so secure and weirdly comfortable on the wrist that I just simply wasn’t expecting to see this sort of height associated with it. It literally is a trick on the mind when you rotate your wrist away from you and discover the thickness – I did it countless times and every time as the flat, OK-looking dial started rotating away from me, I could sense my mind panicking as it struggled to understand what it was looking at. It’s absolutely insane.
The Cintrex case is a stellar piece of design, and I must commend Franck Muller on their choice of this particular hand-sewn alligator strap and a tang buckle. On a scale of 1 to 10 for wearability, I was – let’s admit, not without reason – expecting the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 to score about 1, maybe a generous 2… But the integration of the strap (it meets the case up high and deep into the lugs, basically shackling this beast of a watch onto the wrist) as well as its choice of a supple, but strong alligator material meant I never once had a feeling that the watch wants to somersault off my wrist any time I lifted a fork or drank from a glass – we saw the watch during lunch. It felt as secure around the wrist as the top 10% of watches out there, which is probably the biggest secret/surprise of this watch.
On the picture above, you can see this ~1 pound (that’s a guesstimate) watch sitting flush against my wrist, even in a vertical position. The watch wasn’t dragging down itself around my wrist – nah, rather, it was pulling my entire arm. All this is to say that with intelligently picked drill-points for the strap’s spring bars a watch with ab-friggin-solutely gargantuan proportions can be held comfortably and securely around the wrist. This is just a heads-up to luxury desk diver’s watches, as well as all the others: if this monster can sit fine on the wrist, you have no excuse not to be fantastically comfortable every time, all the time.

I encourage everyone to try and decide on their own which side of the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 is more insane. The dial, with its 18 hands and 5 discs, or the case-back with its level 9000 maze of cams, wheels, gears, plates, bridges, and so on. Strangely, the only real legibility issue of the dial comes from the poorly AR-coated curved crystal – I understand curved crystals will always reflect a wider field of view on what’s behind/above the wearer of the watch… But I don’t think I could ever get a totally (or close to it) clear look at the entire dial at the same time. The indications are laid out very intelligently with a smart use of blue and red making the different indications super easy to distinguish. I will not even try to describe where everything is on the dial – please just refer to the chart shared on the previous page to identify the individual functions.
The caseback view from afar is remarkably clean. Although I am sure you can have the white gold frame of the sapphire caseback engraved with personal texts or show-off engravings of some of the watch’s specs, I think the vertically brushed piece frames the super busy movement in a rather classy way. This particular example, though it definitely impressed me with its visual complexity, showed to have lived a somewhat harder life: this particular piece was presented by someone from the brand and so, from the signs of wear on the movement, I’ll go out on a limb and say that this piece must have been disassembled and re-assembled many times already. Given that this is not a customer’s piece, the manufacture can do whatever they want with it and not spend hours (or days) cleaning every last little scratch or grime from the hundreds of pieces that are on show on the caseback’s side – so this, in my book, and since this wasn’t an official event or showing of the watch, is fine.
With that note made, the sheer idea behind the movement is mind-boggling to say the least… And to see this many tiny, 3-dimensional, CNC-cut (and not stamped) pieces come together on a caseback is a watch lover’s dream, for sure. I can barely imagine the time and effort that is required to CAD design, machine, check, machine again, refine, decorate, assemble and perhaps further clean up this many individual pieces. The end result is like a Lange Double Split on a lot of and particularly strong steroids: everywhere you look, you see parts, cams, wheels, each with their own dedicated function that in turn are linked to something else.
I think Franck Muller should make a sapphire cased version of this as soon as possible – if they are serious about showing this watch off and selling more of it. On a final note regarding all these complications that I think everyone should keep in mind: I didn’t try 95% of the complications in this watch and so I can’t comment on how they work… Honestly, I have no idea, nor statistical data on this, but I would be shocked if all the complications on a watch with this level of complexity consistently functioned well at the same time… and I’d be equally as shocked if the watch’s owner actually realized… But you know what? As much as a sacrilege this may seem to say, I don’t think asking this watch to work well for an extended period is an unreasonable request. As far as I’m concerned, and you may disagree, if any brand could show me a watch that had all its functions working at one single moment, I’d consider that a superb achievement – but that wouldn’t lead me to expect it to work all the time. If you think that’s a low bar of expectations, I guess you are yet to get a good idea on the incomprehensible complexities that the interaction between hundreds and hundreds of parts impose.
So, in essence, what was it like to see the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 at its surprise appearance? Refreshing. After a full week of mostly lukewarm, retro-nonsense SIHH 2018, this Franck Muller-style middle finger right in the face of watch conservatism was amusing, fascinating, and in truth, a big one off the Horological Bucket List.

I am certainly happy to see that the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 actually exists and I was positively surprised by the sensible and thoughtful design of its strap and strap integration, wearability, dial layout, and the stark contrast between these and the weight, thickness, and that shiny-ghastly curved crystal. It’s a tour de force that, at the same, is also sort of a parody of the genre that it was designed to, ehm, consummate.

Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT

For its first dual time zone model in its 05 range, Bell & Ross offers a more urban interpretation of travel and time. Non-mobility has made the travel experience highly desirable, as has the environment of airports, and aircrafts. The dynamism of lounges and the joyful noise of the schedule board are the background of globe-trotters on the move – Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT.
They will be landing in different capitals, connecting to different time zones, keeping multiple temporalities in mind: the road is that of the sky leading to new directions and life experiences.

The Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT widens the field of possibilities, awakens a glimmer of hope, brings us back to our dynamic reality.
Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT was created with respect to its soft solidity. Its proportions are large but measured. It is virile without showing its strength. It alternates between curves and strong lines. It is robust without being abrupt. It is a fluid and supple object.

While the functional approach is assured by the omnipresence of the brand’s DNA, this instrumental tool also features the trend of the new icon: the jewel of strength. It embodies the idea of the contemporary man. A watch with a strong personality dedicated to men in motion, who make the city their playground and adventure.
As a matter of fact, this new watch creation in the BR 05 collection becomes the talisman of this assumed vigor. A distinctive design inspired by the professional world of tools designed for a specific mission. An elegant and ergonomic steel timepiece-armor. The engine set to two time zones. These are the codes of the new instrument of the urban explorer.

The Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT is designed to travel and accompany the transition between different urban realities. It is the ultimate globe-trotter’s tool.
BR05 belongs to the family of watches with an integrated bracelet. In the aesthetic line, a square steel case and a dial reflecting the brand’s architectural DNA. The bracelet fuses with the case to create a unified piece.

Its articulated links are exemplary in their flexibility, almost as much as the ribbed black rubber strap, also available. Wearing comfort is optimal thanks to the attention paid to every aspect, in particular the radius of curvature of its bracelet and the perfect alignment of all components.
Carved in steel, it captures the energy of the city and all its possibilities. With this new functionality, the urban meets the desire to escape. The steel then echoes with the mineral atmosphere of airport hangars with concrete, metal, contrasting surfaces, white lights and graphic signs.

Thanks to its integrated design, robust comfort, and precious finishes, the BR05 is a loyal ally for any active, urban lifestyle.
The Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT is a combination of stainless and robust materials encasing the finest Swiss watchmaking mechanics. Equipped with an automatic calibre with GMT function, wound by a 360° oscillating weight, the new model reveals the beating heart of its movement through a sapphire glass case back.

The dial of the BR05, radiating with a subtle sunray finish, offers optimum legibility. Its black colour contrasts with the large numerals, indices and hands coated in white Super-LumiNova

. This colour scheme is ingrained in Bell & Ross’ DNA. It echoes the colours used for on-board flight instruments. Cockpits are dominated by black, which prevents reflections, and white, which guarantees optimal reading. Intended to inform the traveller with the utmost clarity and precision, its graphics are very elaborated and the display is as rigorous as those of airport clocks. Echoing the principles of airport signalling, the skeletonized hour and minute hands are made of metal appliques.
The GMT hand can blend in perfectly with the BR 05 aesthetic and stands out here with its red arrow. White, black and red – symbolic colours of Bell & Ross – ensure perfect legibility both day and night.

More than a simple GMT hand, this arrow is mostly a symbol of orientation in time and space.
While the white hands on the main dial indicate the time at the wearer’s current location, the red arrow-hand on the 24-hour graduated inner bezel shows the time in his country of origin.

To read time at a glance, the black semi-circle on the flange corresponds to the night-time hours, the grey semicircle to the daytime hours. To feature this 24h-scale and add the flange, the Bell & Ross creative studio worked on increasing the diameter of the dial and therefore the dimensions of the case. With this new function, and its – 41 mm – mid-size dimensions, the Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT makes it the ideal complement to the collection.
The brand introduces its flagship features within this collection launched in 2019. 2020 was marked by the launch of the chronograph version. This year, Bell & Ross enriches its range with a new function and new proportions. A GMT on a 41 mm case. A GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) function displays the time at two different points on the globe simultaneously…A function that is intimately linked with its source of inspiration to create an invitation to travel.