The Stuff Dreams Are Made OfBy Andre Frois
Franck Muller is known for its technically advanced approach to crafting timepieces, and the Franck Muller Vanguard Skeleton Color Dreams is no exception. You’ve probably heard of the brand’s Vanguard case, which is ergonomically shaped and houses the FM 1740-VS10 movement. This movement’s finely tuned large balance wheel turns at 18,000vph, powered by stacked twin barrels that contain seven days of power.
The multicolored plates and bridges of this attention-grabbing timepiece are skeletonized via a highly accurate process called electro erosion, which uses electric sparks to remove material. Next, these components are magnetic polished and diamond polished, all by hand.
After each plate and bridge is cut from its attachments, they are meticulously chamfered, satin-brushed and bead-blasted. Only when these special finishes are satisfactory, are they individually anodized to realize their brilliant colors. Electrolytic anodization requires special manufacture of aluminum components, and metals conventionally used for bridges and plates such as brass and nickel silver cannot be used.
It’s vital to mention that anodization adds thickness to these high precision components — between 0.015mm and 0.018mm — so watchmakers need to make their calculations according to the final bridge and plate measurements post-anodization, then develop and anodize these components with high consistency and little margin for variation. Only if the quality of the components are up to scratch, will they fit together perfectly when hand assembled.
The dark 43mm CarboTech case that accentuates these rainbow bridges too is a painstaking labor of love. CarboTech comprises sheets of carbon fiber that are compressed in a square block mold with a high-end polymer for nine hours at 120 degrees Celsius. During this compression process, striations form at random along this case, so no two cases are identical, after which each unique case is buffed entirely by hand.
Not many multi-colored timepieces are technically superior. The Franck Muller Vanguard Skeleton Color Dreams, however, is the embodiment of a technical dream realized through multiple intricate steps. Its vivacious visage and complex craftsmanship proclaim Franck Muller’s unwaning passion for watchmaking.
Franck Muller Vanguard Skeleton Color Dreams, Ref: V 43 S6 SQT COL DR NR CARBON
Movement: Manual winding caliber MVT FM 1740-VS10; seven-day power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes and small seconds
Case: 42.5mm; hand brushed CarboTech; water resistant to 30m
Dial: Skeleton movement display; movement electroplated with multiple colors
Strap: Handsewn black alligator; brushed black PVD-coated folding clasp
Price: Upon request
Availability: A Southeast Asia exclusive edition with 3 different inserts in red, orange and yellow