Franck Muller Celebrates Their 30th Anniversary With “A Horological Journey” Exhibition In Singapore
2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the brand Franck Muller. And to celebrate this momentous occasion, they have transformed their boutique in Wisma Atria, Singapore into an exhibition space, dedicated to bringing the three-decade history of the brand to their fans in the region. The pop-up museum, entitled “A Horological Journey”, will be around till 20 March 2022.
Through this exhibition, visitors will be able to discover the brand through a range of creative installations. They will also be invited to peer into the mind of the eponymous founder Franck Muller to understand the vision behind the founding of the brand and how his innovative spirit continues to fuel their creations today.
Franck Muller is one of those extremely understated brands that may not always be in the spotlight but undoubtedly have their own share of provenance when it comes to watchmaking know how. Once you start digging into its relatively short but storied history, you’ll see why the brand has garnered a niche but staunch band of fans around the world.
So, before heading to the exhibition to experience all they have to offer, here’s a short primer to get you started on the right track.
Franck Muller, the watchmaker was working on watches long before Franck Muller the brand was established in 1992. After spending four years with the Geneva School of Watch Making, he cut his teeth working on restoring timekeeping treasures for auction houses and collectors from all over the world.
It was during the quartz crisis, when the world was moving towards the direction of cheap, mass-produced timekeepers, that Franck Muller decided to take a stand and turn his focus towards creating unique mechanical wristwatches, offering the same level of complication found in the larger pocket watches.
In 1983, after months of research and dedication, Franck Muller presented his first wristwatches. These unique pieces all had complicated movements that he created himself. Through his first collection, he realised that there was a demand for unique timepieces among serious collectors which spurred him on to continuously push the boundaries of complications. By 1986, Franck Muller started creating world premieres, complications that were one of a kind.
It started with a Tourbillon with jumping hours in 1986, a Tourbillon Minute Repeater in 1987 and a Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar with Minute Repeater in 1989. With every new creation, Franck Muller dreamed up more and more incredible concepts and brought them to life. Franck Muller the brand and manufacture were founded in 1992 and since then, they have continued this tradition of creating and presenting the world’s firsts in terms of complications.
One of the most iconic signatures of the brand was established in 2003 with the unveiling of Crazy Hours. Here was a watch that showed the traditional 12-hour indicators in complete disarray, where the numbers were jumbled and didn’t follow their natural sequence. And yet, thanks to a clever jumping hours complication, the watch was still able to keep perfect time and perhaps even start a conversation or two when it was seen on the wrist.
2004, was the year Franck Muller took the tourbillon and gave it two additional axes, making The Revolution 3 the very first watch with a tri-axial tourbillon. Not only was this piece a stunning work of micromechanics, but it was also a visually brilliant spectacle to behold as the tourbillon tumbled within.
In 2007, after five years of development, the brand revealed The Aeternitas Mega 4. This became, at the time, the most complicated watch in the world with 36 complications and 1,483 components. The watch was named Aeternitas, meaning “eternity” in Latin, a fitting name for a complication that offers an eternal calendar that follows a 1000-year cycle renewable to infinity. Apart from that, it also offers a number of additional functions like a secular perpetual calendar, a split seconds chronograph, multiple time zones, a grand sonnerie and more.
After learning about all the incredible feats of Franck Muller, it would be disappointing if one could not then bring home a piece of their ingenuity. The historic pieces may not be for sale, but as the brand continues to innovate, their contemporary complications will undoubtedly become historic pieces in due time. Take for example the latest Grand Central Tourbillon, the first-ever central tourbillon in a tonneau-shaped case. And while you are at it, you may also want to take a look at the gorgeous Vanguard Rose Skeleton.
Now that you are armed with all the knowledge needed to fully appreciate all that Franck Muller has to offer, seeing these pieces in the metal will be all the more special.
As Garrik Low, the General Manager of Franck Muller Southeast Asia, South Korea and Australia put it “In the last two years, Franck Muller’s renowned World Presentation of Haute Horlogerie (WPHH) events have taken place digitally. While this has been an effective way of sharing news with our fans on our new launches, we wanted to bring back the opportunity to experience watchmaking in a more tangible manner. With this exhibition, we’re able to share the story of our brand in the context of modern mechanical watchmaking. Franck Muller has always defined watchmaking trends and will continue to do so in the future.”
Hourly guided tours of the exhibit will be available Wednesdays through Sundays, until 20 March 2022, at the following timings:
Wed – Thu: 2 pm – 6 pm
Fri – Sun: 11 am – 7 pm
Bookings for tours may be made at journeywith.franckmuller-sea.com