Franck Muller Unveils A New Iteration Of Its Record-Setting Grand Central Tourbillon

Franck Muller’s record-setting Grand Central Tourbillon is now offered in an extremely wearable smaller case size.

Dubbed the Master of Tourbillons, Franck Muller has set new standards and records – from the fastest to the most compact and even the largest on a wristwatch – for the fascinating mechanical complication. Launched last October, the Grand Central Tourbillon places the focus on the tourbillon by setting it in the middle of a guilloche dial within a redesigned Cintrée Curvex case, making it the world’s first tourbillon placed in the centre of a tonneau-shaped case.

As the tourbillon is moved from the conventional position at 6 o’clock to the middle of the dial, the hour and minute hands of the 40.15mm by 58.7mm watch extend from the rotating central cage on openwork discs that are also suspended. Not only is this innovative display of time ingenious, but it also draws attention to the complexity of the movement composed of a cleverly stacked mechanism.

Assembling the Grand Central Tourbillon

The Grand Central Tourbillon is powered by a self-winding movement, which is rare for a timepiece from the Franck Muller Tourbillon collection. And thanks to a sunray-brushed eccentric micro rotor, the watch offers a generous power reserve of four days. Created from scratch by in-house engineers in the maison’s workshop endearingly named Watchland, the all-new movement with an entirely redesigned gear train required countless hours to refine.

With the design of the unique tourbillon movement perfected, the manufacture’s artisans then developed a new iteration of the Grand Central Tourbillon this year. Made for men and women who prefer a slightly smaller watch size, the Grand Central Tourbillon Curvex CX 36 measures 36.5mm by 52.65mm and has the same robust performance and bold aesthetics as its predecessor.

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The white gold Grand Central Tourbillon with a blue dial

The new version retains the instantly recognisable Cintrée Curvex case, which has been synonymous with Franck Muller for nearly 30 years. The updated case showcases an edge-to-edge curved sapphire crystal that extends across the display to the lugs for improved visibility. This is made possible courtesy of a newly perfected technique of fixing the glass at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock to create a bigger display through which the Grand Central Tourbillon can be admired. Additionally, the bezel is separate from its case, highlighting the watch’s sensuous curves, while allowing for gorgeous two-tone treatments.

Drawing from the Clous de Paris motif, the Grand Central Tourbillon dial is dressed in guilloche with a hypnotic spiral effect that accentuates the rotational movement of the centre tourbillon. Perfect proportions combining depth and detail are the result of the design department’s precise calculations in balancing the spiral as it moves seamlessly outwards from the centre of the dial. Franck Muller’s hand-applied signature oversized Art Deco indices contrast beautifully against the guilloche dial, which boasts 20 layers of translucent lacquer.

The rose gold Grand Central Tourbillon with diamond pavé dial and bezel

Available in eight references, the Grand Central Tourbillon Curvex CX 36 is offered in versions with carbon, as well as white and rose gold cases. For something dressier, go for the models that feature diamond-set outer and inner bezels.

This story first appeared in the August 2022 issue of Prestige Singapore.