Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex Remember presented last year during WPHH – World Presentation of Haute Horlogerie new additions in the Remember line up. These watches look normal at a first look. Only until you notice the hands going counter-clockwise. But the numbers seem to be wrong too – in reverse order. And there are ghost numbers too… In a game of “now you see me, now you not”, the time goes forward even if the hands go backwards. Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex Remember timepieces present a romantic complication, unique in the watch world. This review is dedicated to someone special.
The independent brand defies the norms by displaying the time in a counter-clockwise manner. It is not the first time when Franck Muller disrupts centuries of classic time display. The Crazy Hours watches have the numbers thrown on the dial in a (not) random order. Being completely independent and having all the disciplines available in the house (referring to the dials’ topic), Franck Muller can easily play with ideas. Virtual unlimited variations can be created without the need for an external company.
This review is dedicated to Maria. She was one of the persons that, with small interventions, in key moments shaped my future. Her help (that seemed to be almost nothing in those moments) had a heavy impact on my life. Part of who I am today and what I have realised is a result of her kindness. This is my way of saying Thank You!
The tonneau shape is not new in the industry. It has been there for ages. But Franck Muller’ Cintrée Curvex case is a distinct manifestation of this design. The rich sensuous lines and this certain proportion are associated with the Geneva brand.
The paved Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex Remember 2850 has a length of 43mm. The voluptuous 18k rose gold case is diamond-paved. Ref. 7880 is rather large – 50mm, also in 18k rose gold. The watches are identical in design and construction, only the dimensions differ.
The highly polished case has no delimited bezel, the integrative design is a benefit of the case’s shape. But the tooling’s and machining’s difficulty is increased. The case is covered with a curved sapphire that follows the lines os the elegant case.
The crown is similar on both models: a raised pedestal bears the embossed Franck Muller logo. The grip is unexpected good and the time setting and winding are a bliss. Of course, you have to accustom yourself first with the strange, reversed time display.
After you get acclimatised with the time flowing in the “other” direction, the eye catches, in certain light and angles, some ghosts numbers. But these are not meant as ghosts of the past but memories. The name “Remember” is very suggestive. Regardless of the direction of hands, the time flows further. Regardless of the memories, the present is strong. The bold numbers of the present are always there while the memories come on go with a twist – a twist of the hand.
Franck Muller Group manufactures its dials at Arnold Linder SA. To get an understanding of how the dials are manufactured, you can have a look at the manufacture tour report here: Part 1 and Part 2 (two large articles I have written for Deployant).The ghosting effect is realised by a succession of the press pass. 200 tones force is used to create this magic appearance. The final pattern is achieved also by stamping.The large beautiful Arabic numerals are hand-applied. The numerals are cut, coated and inked. The painstaking method requires a steady hand but the result is this three-dimensional look. Please visit the links above for more information.The simple three hands time display uses gold plated leaf hands. The luminescent treatment will make the time legible in low light condition, but only the owner will now the “exact time”. The hands are hand bent to fit under the curved crystal.
Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex Remember is a watch of metaphors. Just like the future is hidden from our eyes, the Calibre FM 2800 INV is kept under a closed caseback. How the future movement is shaped, is not for our eyes to see. We just see the result – time flows further. Even if the hands go counterclockwise, the time goes forward.Calibre FM 2800 INV is placed under solid gold caseback. The curved metal bears the brand’s typical inscriptions, plus the message “Time to remember”.
The in-house self-winding calibre beats with 28’800 vibrations/hour (4Hz) and offers 42 hours of power reserve. The movement is well decorated: Côtes de Genève and sunray brushing on the bridges and oscillating weight, circular graining of both side of the bottom plate, diamond polishing on the chamfers, 24k gold bath and rhodium treatment, 24k gold finish on the engravings, circular brushing on the rotor rolling, sunray brushing on drum barrel, 45 ° polishing and sunray brushing on the ratchet, polished and blued screws.
Since I have visited the Franck Muller ateliers two times already, I can confirm that the finishes are well executed. It is a pity that the final owner is not able to see the beauty of the movement. But Franck Muller always offers the possibility to visit its manufacture and experience first hand how everything is made.Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex Remember are gorgeous pieces with a deep message. Starting with the unusual time display and its memory dial and ending with the message engraved on the caseback, these timepieces are full of metaphors. Each person can have its own understanding and interpretation of the watch’s message.
Both versions, Ref 2850 and Ref. 7880 have comfortable wrist wear due to the curved design. Franck Muller advertises Remember as unisex pieces and besides the diamonds (that can be considered more girlie), nothing expresses an appurtenance to a gender.
For me, Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex Remember has a special semnification: even if I look back, the time flows always in the same direction – to the future. We can turn back the hands of time but not the time itself. The memories of the past are always there. We can choose to see them or make abstraction of them. But the past will always be there. I see them not as scars of the past but as a foundation for the future.