Chronograph | early production | steel
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. With a steel case, glossy black dial, silver applied indexes 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 40 pieces, this Master of Complications Limited Edition Chronograph is classical in its execution. The design is that of a three-register chronograph, with a glossy black dial and silver applied indexes and Breguet numeral at 12 o'clock. The brushed subsidiary dials and surrounding silver rings form an appealing contrast against the even, central portion of the dial. Depending on the angle and intensity of the light, they almost appear to emerge from the rest of the dial.
The applied Breguet numeral at 12 o’clock, a desirable characteristic found on some vintage chronographs, offers further detail to the design. With most of these early pieces featuring printed indexes and numerals, the applied details of this example add a welcome, distinguishing touch. The dial also features an “Antimagnetic” signature, indicating the antimagnetic properties of the movement. The thickness of the printing used, be it on the hour markers, seconds track or tachymeter, add an appealing amount of depth and texture to the dial. The feuille hands are silver in tone, matching the rest of the monochromatic design.
The case is very distinct with its polished, stepped concave bezel and contrasting brushed outer portion. The three-piece construction gives the watch a bold presence on the wrist, measuring 37mm 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 Lemania 1874 ébauche. The cam switching chronograph runs at 21,600 A/h, integrates 17 jewels, and has a 40 hour power reserve. The movement is subtly finished, with chamfering on some of the angles, as well as polishing and decoration, in the form of Geneva striping.
This Franck Muller Chronograph “Master of Complications” is limited to 40 pieces. It comes with its outer box, box and leather pouch. It comes on our soon-to-be-released anthracite calfskin strap, Franck Muller black alligator strap and plain stainless steel pin buckle.
Another early Franck Muller chronograph we had for sale, similar to this one, was recently covered by Revolution Magazine.
Master of Complications" Chronograph, 1X/40
|Functions:||chronograph, hours, minutes, sub-seconds|
|Features:||glossy black dial, printed Breguet numeral|
|Case:||37 mm stainless steel|
|Strap:||anthracite grained calfskin strap, Franck Muller black alligator strap, stainless steel pin buckle|
|Box & papers:||outer box, box, leather pouch|
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