The point of a tourbillon is largely to serve as a magnificent conversation starter, and in this regard Franck Muller has stayed true to the ideal by placing a large tourbillon in dead centre, in its signature Cintrée Curvex case. In doing so, Franck Muller has actually earned for itself the distinction of creating the world’s first centre-tourbillon in a tonneau-shaped case.
Moving the tourbillon to the centre from its traditional 6 o’clock roost has required the moving of the hour and minute hands to around the central tourbillon cage. Just large enough to point the time, they do not steal attention from the star feature that is the central tourbillon, which is suspended on a single bridge that is also shaped to indicate the seconds.
Framing the tourbillon is a stunning hobnail dial in a spiral pattern to mirror the spinning artistry of the tourbillon, and the centrifugal pull is extended in the stylised Art Deco numerals that are hand applied and coated with 20 layers of translucent lacquer to stand out the way they do.
Beating within is a new self-winding movement created in-house from scratch which offers a very usable 4 days of power reserve.
While a Cintrée Curvex case has come to represent Franck Muller, the company has also tweaked this familiar case shape to dramatic effect: in the Grand Central Tourbillon, one notices that the sapphire glass now extends all the way to the lugs – all the better to showcase the micro-mechanical universe of the tourbillon with the largest glasshouse that Franck Muller can erect. In addition, the Grand Central Tourbillon’s bezel is separate from its case, which allows for two-tone treatments, further highlighting the drama and sheer kinetic thrill of the tourbillon.
A Franck Muller watch is about living large, in bold strides and where possible, with expert showmanship in colour, sparkle or even the busting of stuffy convention with zany complications. Rock-star creativity that has come to epitomise the brand requires nothing less. As such, the Grand Central Tourbillon is simply that – grand. Central setting of a generous sized tourbillon is exactly where it ought to be for bystanders to gawk, a jewel in the crown that is more than a stone can ever be, while the reassuring corpulence of the Cintrée Curvex case serves up commanding charisma in spades. Not for the faint of heart, the Grand Central Tourbillon will suit nicely those with something to shout about.
Movement: MVT FM CX 40T-CTR self-winding movement, 18000 vph, power reserve of 4 days
Functions: Tourbillon, hours, minutes, seconds
Case: 18K white gold, 18K rose gold or titanium case, 40.16 x 58.70 x 16.63 mm, sapphire crystal, water resistant to 30 meters
Strap: Hand sewn alligator strap with buckle in matching metal
More information: gct.franckmuller-sea.com