Franck Muller
Chronograph | early production | steel

N.5 of 50

Regular price

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Franck Muller
Chronograph | early production | steel

N.5 of 50

Regular price

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 130With 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. 

The brand

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. 

The design

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.

The movement

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.

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.

The Set

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.

Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.
Brand: Franck Muller
Model: "Special Limited Edition" Chronograph
Movement: mechanical manual-winding
Functions: chronograph, hours, minutes, sub-seconds
Features: two-tone silver dial, applied Breguet numerals
Case: 36 mm stainless steel
Crystal: sapphire front
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
This early Franck Muller "Special Limited Edition" Chronograph is in excellent condition, with a few superficial marks consistent with light wear. The reverse of the upper right lug has some light scratches from previous strap changes. It has recently been serviced and comes with a two-year mechanical warranty from A Collected Man.

All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough mechanical inspections, including being ultrasonically cleaned, serviced and resealed if appropriate and tested for at least four days, to ensure they meet our highest timekeeping standards. Our pre-owned and vintage watches, unless stated otherwise, are covered by a full or a limited twenty-four month warranty. For example, due to their age, some vintage watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when they were new. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information. 

All of our new watches are covered by the warranty from the original manufacturer. Please contact us for further information.

We offer complimentary worldwide delivery on our watches. If ordering from overseas, delivery will depend on the value of the timepiece and the destination. All import taxes and duties are the responsibility of the buyer.

If ordering from the UK before 1 PM, your watch will be sent the same working day. The courier will depend on the value of the watch, with all watches delivered the next working day.

Please note that pre-owned goods (in the United Kingdom) are subject to a marginal rate of VAT, which can not be reclaimed. For further information, please see here

You can cancel your order without giving any reason, within 14 days from the day the watch has been delivered to you.

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