Size and Financial Means vs. “The Struggling Artist”
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the rise of Franck Muller. As a young craftsman, Muller was an independent watchmaker who wasn’t the most “traditional” of artisans. He wasn’t afraid to take risks and to bring his own style and flair to the craft, allowing his creations to grow in the spotlight. While Muller’s path was certainly focused on innovation and the extremes of complication making, Franck Muller the brand has changed drastically since the early days of its inception. Now producing close to 40,000 watches per year, and with Muller no longer part of the creative decision making, collectors might be hard-pressed to call the modern incarnation of his eponymous creation, a truly independent brand.
Other watchmakers have managed to find a balance between the two poles, such as F.P. Journe or Daniel Roth. Both have used traditional methods of watchmaking, but with their own distinct styles and designs. However, while both started out as small independents, they have since grown and have had dealings with bigger brands in very different ways.