The Franck Muller Master Banker is the brand’s take on a travel watch. Opting for a multi subdial display, three timezones are shown and can all be adjusted via 1 crown. This timepiece is part of the Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex collection and available in various size and colors.
Franck Muller Master Banker 7880
The Case and Dial
Launched in 1996, the Master Banker broke new ground. While most other multi-time zone watches of that time indicated the additional time zones only with the help of extra hour hands, the Master Banker took things a step further with three separate time indicators on the dial, each with its own hour and minute hands.
As an update to the original model, Franck Muller updates the collection with several new colored dials. In this article, we feature the most wearable of the lot, an 18k rose gold, blue dial with denim strap model. The watch is also offered in seven vibrant colour combinations, with a choice of two sizes—36.00mm x 50.40mm (Ref. 7880) and 39.60mm x 55.40mm (Ref. 8880). The watch is of significant size and we found the smaller sized reference to be much more wearable compared to the larger reference. But as with many curved crystal watches, the dome sapphire can be tricky to photograph or read without ambient light reflection.
The Franck Muller Master Banker uses the MVD 2800-MBSC automatic movement. The local time is told by the central hour, minute and seconds hands, while the aperture at eight o’clock reveals the date synchronised to the local time. Elsewhere, two sub dials at twelve and six o’clock represent the actual times in the second and third time zones. Just as easy to use, the three-time zone displays—which include their own hour and minute hands — can each be individually adjusted via a single crown, without the need for additional pushers. The crown can be actuated in three positions: the first position for winding, the middle position to set the two time zones, and the third to set the local time.
The Master Banker’s patented multi-time zone mechanism is based on a system that includes an additional pinion to drive the second and third time zones, while local time display is driven by the movement’s standard gear train. However, since independent hour hand advancement is not available on this watch, changing the time on different displays may require some dexterity to align the minute hands. This is a bonus feature however, if one requires 30 minute variances for instance in India’s timezone.
As much as the watch has useful travel features, it is not really an ideal travel watch. For one, a full gold large sized luxury watch will turn heads and draw unnecessary attention from crooks or customs alike. A stealthy travel watch that’s low key, lightweight, with high power reserve and water resistance will make a more ideal timepiece. But if the watch is used from the comfort of the office, to time global stock markets as its name ‘Master Banker’ suggests, then it might actually be pretty useful. Then again, the lack of an AM/PM indicator on the subdials translates to a need to do some mental arithmetic to calculate the time anyways.
The watch is priced at S$36,894 (approximately US$27,000).