Franck Muller timepieces are among the best and most intricate in the world. Franck Muller and Vartan Sirmakes created the company in Geneva, Switzerland with the goal of manufacturing exceptional clocks with sophisticated movements and unique designs. Their story started when Franck chose to dedicate his profession to the creation of exceedingly complicated timepieces and began working on clocks that would become outstanding world debuts in his shop. Later, in 1991, he encountered Vartan Sirmakes, who pushed him to convert low-volume manufacture into the respected brand and business that Franck Muller has become today.
This new company quickly became one of the greatest Swiss Horlogerie names due to its excellent in-house competencies in several disciplines of Haute Horlogerie. Today, they think they have achieved the goal of blending audacity and originality with great Haute Horlogerie expertise.
Craftsmanship: Commitment to Haute Horlogerie
Franck Muller is pleased to launch the craftsmanship campaign, which highlights the skills necessary to produce a timepiece. Because of its remarkable in-house skills, the brand can push the boundaries of watchmaking even further with unique complications and excellent technique while remaining true to Swiss watchmaking history.
- Inventing a Movement
The Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar, an empiric complexity, is totally handcrafted. The components are made, painstakingly embellished, and refined before being combined into this unique movement, starting with hundreds of technical documents for all of the parts.
- Building a Dial
Franck Muller dials are totally handcrafted in our workshop in Les Bois, Switzerland’s Jura. The beauty and expertise that go into creating a Franck Muller dial are extraordinary. Each dial takes 20 layers of lacquer, with each layer drying and curing for an hour. Lastly, the piece of art is completed by the meticulous hand-painted Luminova numerals.
- Creating a Case
Franck Muller cases are totally handcrafted in-house. They are engraved at the plant in La Chaux-de-Fonds before being shipped to Watchland in Geneva for finishing. All cases are hand-polished by artisans. Furthermore, diamond cases necessitate a tremendous lot of effort and competence, notably with the Cintrée Curvex, where hand-setting the diamonds along its curves is quite tough.
Franck Muller watches feature timeless elegance and superb craftsmanship on every aspect of their watch movements, whether evident or not. Franck Muller timepieces are absolutely special due to the level of devotion put upon them in their facilities. They are the pinnacle and epitome of watchmaking expertise.
- Engraving & Côtes de Genève
Engraving is used by Franck Muller to customize and decorate their open-back timepieces. Delicate designs carved on the various sections of the movements are lovely embellishments that give a watch a distinct character. This finish, termed as Geneva stripes in English, appears to be little parallel waves created on a metal surface. They can be found on the bridges as well as the rotor plate. This type of embellishment, which is now well-known, was a defining element of Geneva timepieces for many decades.
- Spotting, Sunray Brushing & Snailing
This pattern also referred to as perlage in French, is comprised of slightly overlapping circles or dots. It is frequently located on the bearing surfaces of watch movement parts. It is done manually by trained artisans. Sunray brushing is a design that represents the sun’s rays by using straight lines that travel from the center to the edge of the artwork. Snailing is a structure that consists of small spirals rather than straight lines. These finishes are mostly visible on the rotor section and the barrel.
This hand-crafted finishing is created by slicing the edge between the sides of a piece and the surface, resulting in a 45° chamfer that is then delicately refined. Aside from the cosmetic benefit, this removes sharp edges, which can cause crenellation and interfere with the movement’s smooth running.
- Mirror Polishing
Mirror polishing, often associated with black polishing or block polishing, is the highest level of polish available. It produces no apparent traces and creates spectacular optical aberrations. Light is reflected in only one orientation, and the item shifts from deep black to blinding white depending on its disposition.
Shot-blasting, like sanding, is a surface treatment method. It involves exposing a surface to a spray of glass microbeads, which peels it without causing damage. The resulting finish is gleaming, similar to satin. It reduces sharp edges, which are a source of crenellation, in addition to being aesthetically pleasing.
A metal surface is decorated with a succession of exceedingly delicate, parallel stripes. The effect is consistent, elegant, and captures light from a variety of angles. It must be consistent, and the placement of the micro-stripes must be perfectly parallel.
- Circular Graining & Diamond Polishing
Circular Graining is a circular satin finish, a type of smoothing that provides delicate circular lines while also adding shine. This design is created by pushing a “baff,” or buffing stick, against the surface of a revolving component. Diamond polishing, on the other hand, is done by rotating or grinding nonferrous metals with diamond-set tools. Diamond polishing is a technique used to create high-gloss edges, along with bridge bevels.
- Drawing & Rhodium Plating
After removing machining marks and burrs from the flanks, the artisan starts the étirage or drawing process, employing various files to obtain a smooth, spotless appearance and vibe. These procedures generate striations and markings. Smoothing and polishing with care will produce a honed, even surface, which is required for good bevelling. Rhodium plating is the process of electrolytically installing a layer of 24k gold, followed by rhodium, on an element to prevent corrosion and prolong its life.
All of Franck Muller’s mechanical manufacturing complexities are designed and created in their own facilities. From the simple drawing of a world-first mechanism through the implementation of the strategy, via the building of a prototype, all the way through to operational monitoring, every stage of making a watch is tracked until its project accomplishment.
The Franck Muller patents have figured prominently in the company’s global image for more than a decade, leading an unusual and distinctive career in the core of the distinguished watchmaking experience. Franck Muller was awarded first prize in the men’s category of the Genève Watchmaking Grand Prix in October 2002. This special award recognized the watchmaker’s amazing skill as well as the manufacturer’s vast competence.