Chronograph | early production | steel
N.5 of 50
This rare Franck Muller chronograph is one of the earlier pieces created by the skilful watchmaker after establishing his own brand in 1991, following his time working as one of the world’s leading watch restorers. Undoubtedly inspired by his time restoring pieces from the Patek Philippe private collection, the design of the chronograph is refined and elegant, reminiscent of classics such as Patek Philippe's reference 130. With a steel case, two-tone dial, applied Breguet numerals and Lemania ébauche, it combines some of the most desirable features one would hope to find in a chronograph from any period.
Raised in La Chaux de Fonds in Switzerland, Franck Muller enrolled himself in the Watchmaking School of Geneva at the age of fifteen. Following graduation, he began his watchmaking career restoring watches for collectors and auction houses, gradually building a reputation for his skill in restoring complicated timepieces. Becoming one of the most sought-after restorers, he worked on the maintenance and restoration of watches in the Patek Philippe collection, many of which sit in the Patek Philippe Museum today.
In 1984, Muller designed his first tourbillon wristwatch, at a time when the complication was scarce. The tourbillon in wristwatch form only really came into being in the following years, with Muller claiming the first-ever exposed, dial-side tourbillon with this piece. A few years later, in 1991, he would form his eponymous brand, with the title "Master of Complications", looking to offer distinctive pieces to collectors.
Limited to 50 pieces, this Special Limited Edition Chronograph is classical in its execution. The design is that of a two-register chronograph, with a two-tone silver dial and applied Breguet numerals. The brushed, silver subsidiary dials and tachymeter track form an appealing contrast against the darker, central portion of the dial. Based on the angle and intensity of the light, it displays a range of different shades, due to the variance in finishing, colour and texture.
The applied Breguet numerals at 12 and 6 o’clock, a desirable characteristic found on some vintage chronographs, offer further three-dimensionality to the design. The dial also features an “Individual Chronometer Officially Certified” signature, indicating the chronometer certification of the watch, and is signed “N. 5”, referring to its position in the run of 50 pieces. The feuille hands are blued steel, matching the hands used for the subsidiary dials.
The case is very distinct with its polished, stepped concave bezel and contrasting brushed lugs. The three-piece construction gives the watch a bold presence on the wrist, measuring 36mm in diameter. Cased in stainless steel, it is reminiscent of the sought after Patek Philippe chronographs of times past.
This Franck Muller chronograph is powered by a manual-winding movement, based on a re-worked Lemania 1874 ébauche – from the same producer as the Lemania 2310, which is integrated into the Patek Philippe reference 5070.
The movement is beautifully finished, with chamfering on all angles, polishing and decoration, in the form of Geneva striping. The movement uses a straight-line lever escapement, a monometallic balance adjusted to 5 positions, self-compensating Breguet spring and swan-neck micrometer regulator.
The 17-jewel movement is chronometer-certified, as confirmed by the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronométres) certificate which accompanies the watch, with the movement having passed COSC certification in February 1994.
This Franck Muller Chronograph “Special Limited Edition” comes with its original box, outer box, Certificate of Origin (which confirms it as N.5 of 50), COSC Certificate and leather pouch.
It comes on one of our lightly grained grey Antwerp calfskin straps, and is also accompanied by its original Franck Muller navy alligator strap and stainless steel buckle.
This watch was recently covered by Revolution Magazine.
|Model:||"Special Limited Edition" Chronograph|
|Functions:||chronograph, hours, minutes, sub-seconds|
|Features:||two-tone silver dial, applied Breguet numerals|
|Case:||36 mm stainless steel|
|Strap:||grey Antwerp calfskin strap, original Franck Muller navy alligator strap, stainless steel buckle.|
|Year:||March 1996 (sold)|
|Box & papers:||original box, outer box, Certificate of Origin, COSC Certificate and leather pouch|
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