Franck Muller puts the tourbillon on the pedestal with bold, futuristic swag.
How do you reinvent a mechanism from the early 19th century and make it cool for a new generation of watch lovers? As Franck Muller demonstrates with the new Grand Central Tourbillon Flash CX36: with a spirit of rebellion and plenty of exuberance.
The tourbillon, which was invented in 1801, remains one of the most challenging complications to make – and for watch collectors, among the most desirable to own. Recognised by a rotating cage that houses the timepiece’s key regulating components, the tourbillon was invented to improve the precision of pocket watches by countering the effects of gravity on their mechanical parts.
Franck Muller was among the earliest and most fervent proponents of the modern tourbillon wristwatch. In the 1980s, the brand set the benchmark for how contemporary tourbillons ought to look and perform. First, it miniaturised the mechanism and moved it from the back of the movement to the front of the dial. Then, Franck Muller elevated the tourbillon’s technical appeal by pairing it with other complications such as a jumping hour display and minute repeater. Over the years, the brand continued to evolve the complication, presenting tourbillons that rotate in multiple cages and on multiple axes, as well as models bearing the world’s largest and fastest rotating tourbillons, among others.
Boasting such incredible lineage, the latest Grand Central Tourbillon Flash CX36 doesn’t disappoint. Unabashedly flamboyant, Franck Muller’s newest tourbillon wristwatch oozes youthful dynamism. At the same time, it upholds the complication’s technical prowess and traditional watchmaking allure.
As the name implies, the Grand Central Tourbillon Flash CX36 is endowed with two key features. One, a centrally placed tourbillon. In 2021, Franck Muller premiered the Grand Central Tourbillon, the world’s first tonneau-shaped tourbillon watch that positions the complication at the middle of the dial, instead of its regular position at six o’clock. The reconfigured automatic movement again takes the spotlight on the new Grand Central Tourbillon Flash CX36.
Like before, the tourbillon mechanism here is framed by hour and minute hands, and driven by an automatic calibre with four days of power reserve. The complication is also lavished with unblocked views, thanks to a redesigned case that is fitted with a curved sapphire crystal that extends all the way to the lugs.
The watch’s second signature characteristic is informed by its name’s ‘Flash’ suffix. A bold and colourful collection, the Grand Central Tourbillon Flash CX36 appears to be made for the nightlife.
Set against a sexy, all-black backdrop – black 36.5mm carbon case, blackened titanium bezel, and black matte brass microblasted dial – the watch is lavished with striking neon flourishes on the hour markers and seconds indicator, complemented by similarly hued fabric straps with calfskin lining.
Available in blazing orange, neon green and electric blue, the hour indices are made from blocks of luminescent PMMA (Polymethyl Methacrylate), which glow with stunning luminescence in the dark. Elsewhere, the hour and minute hands are coated in SuperLumiNova to ensure legibility – and a touch of showiness – when the partying gets intense.
As always, Franck Muller makes no apologies for its penchant for breaking the rules and ostentation – and all the better for it. And for watch aficionados who desire a watch that is rich in horological traditions, while cutting-edge at the same time, the Grand Central Tourbillon Flash CX36 ticks the right boxes.