Franck Muller
Chronograph | early production | steel


Regular price

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Franck Muller
Chronograph | early production | steel


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. 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. 

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 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.

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 Set

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.

Brand: Franck Muller
Model: "
Master of Complications" Chronograph, 1X/40
Movement: mechanical manual-winding
Functions: chronograph, hours, minutes, sub-seconds
Features: glossy black dial, printed Breguet numeral
Case: 37 mm stainless steel
Crystal: sapphire front
Strap: anthracite grained calfskin strap, Franck Muller black alligator strap, stainless steel pin buckle
Year: c. 1996 
Box & papers: outer box, box, leather pouch 
This early Franck Muller " Master of Complications" Chronograph is in very good condition, with superficial marks throughout consistent with regular wear over time (especially visible on the bezel and caseback). I t is guaranteed for authenticity and comes with a two-year 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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