Franck Muller introduces the Grand Central Tourbillon, with the tourbillon right in the middle of the guilloché dial, housed in the signature Cintrée Curvex case. Three case options are offered – in 18k white gold, 18k rose gold and in titanium, each with their own dial colour.
Press Release info with commentary in italics.
The Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex is a signature of the maison ever since it came into existence in 1991. The first watch designed by Franck Muller on his own was a tourbillon in 1983/4, and with this latest introduction, the maison has come full circle by combining both into a new watch. Interesting that it has taken so long too.
The theme of the central tourbillon is interesting as well. This is because, in a standard one minute tourbillon, the carriage is directly driven by the third wheel, which in turn is driven by the second wheel. As the second wheel’s usual location is right in the middle of the movement, having to place the carriage’s pivot in the center presented a specific challenge.
The first wristwatch with a tourbillon arrangement was first explored by Omega as early as in 1947 for chronometric competions. Omega later patented and introduced the central tourbillon in the regular catalog in 1994. The current model is the De Ville Master Chronometer Tourbillon. Beat Haldimann’s H1 Flying Central Tourbillon was introduced in 2002. Beat claimed his was the first flying central tourbillon which hovered over the dial.
Central tourbillons are a rarity, and in addition, the new Franck Muller Grand Central Tourbillon claims to be the first with the specific combination of a central tourbillon in a tonneau shaped case, and we believe this is a true statement. The tourbillon is flying with a carriage with a single triangular shaped arm which acts as the seconds hand. The tourbillon is also raised from the curved dial. The combination to the simple hour and minute indications emerging from the opening in the Center of the dial, over the lacquered guilloché dial looks spectacular.
We have reserved a session to handle and photograph the watch, and will report back with our findings when we have done so.
Franck Muller Grand Central Tourbillon
The Grand Central Tourbillon is the world’s first centre tourbillon in a tonneau-shaped case. Contained within the sleek and modern lines of a suave case lies a masterstroke of modern watchmaking, the result of over a year of industrious research and development: with its tourbillon moved from the traditional 6 o’clock position into the spotlight on the centre of the dial, the Grand Central Tourbillon’s hour and minute hands are innovatively placed around the central tourbillon cage, drawing attention to the complexity of the movement within, in an ingenious “stacking” of complications.
The handsome 60 second tourbillon is suspended by a single bridge—which is also shaped to indicate the seconds—and is elevated above the rest of the dial, magnificently on display. The minimal hour and minute hands extend outward from the central carriage on openwork circles that are also suspended around the spectacular tourbillon, the centre of attention.
Extremely rare for a Franck Muller Tourbillon collection, the Grand Central Tourbillon holds a self-winding movement, thanks to a sunray-brushed eccentric micro rotor, offering a generous 4 days of power reserve. Created entirely from scratch in Watchland by in-house engineers, the brand new movement required countless hours to refine.
Inspired by the Clous de Paris pattern, the Grand Central Tourbillon’s dial features a new guilloché with a spiral effect that marvellously accentuates the rotational movement of the centre tourbillon. This guilloché of perfect proportions, with its combination of depth and detail, is the result of the design department’s precise calculations in balancing the spiral flawlessly as it moves seamlessly outward from the centre of the dial.
Standing out against the urbane galvanised brass guilloché dial, which has been painstakingly coated with 20 layers of translucent lacquer, are Franck Muller’s signature oversized art deco indices, carefully applied by hand.
The instantly recognisable Cintrée Curvex case has long been synonymous with Franck Muller for nearly three decades, capturing the hearts and minds of afficionados and admirers alike. To house the world’s first centre tourbillon in a tonneau case, however, the iconic Cintrée Curvex case that started it all has been remarkably redesigned.
Affording greater visibility of the guilloché dial and, of course, the centre tourbillon, the sapphire crystal extends all the way to the lugs—a feat achieved only after perfecting a new technique of fixing the glass at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock. Furthermore, the Grand Central Tourbillon’s bezel is separate from its case, allowing for beautiful two-tone treatments, totally changing the aspect of the original Cintrée Curvex case, and highlighting the sensuous curves of the watch.
Franck Muller Grand Central Tourbillon Specifications
Reference CX 40 T CTR
Movement: MVT FM CX 40T-CTR
Power reserve of 4 days
Width: 35.85 mm. Length: 43.95 mm. Thickness: 12.85 mm
Balance wheel frequency set at 18,000 alternations per hour
Water Resistance: Up to 30 metres
Movement decoration: Côtes de Geneve on the bridges
Circular graining on the plate
Chamfering on the bridges, the springs and the rotor
Diamond polishing on the sinks
Sunray brushing on the rotor, the rolling and the barrel’s cover
Snailling on the ratchets
Circular graining on the wheels
Case: 18K white gold/18K rose gold/titanium case and internal bezel
Width: 40.16 mm x Length: 58.70 mm x Thickness: 16.63 mm
Dial: Stamped guilloché
20 layers of translucent lacquer
Hand applied Arabic numerals
Instructions: Winding shaft with 2 positions: 1.Winding. 2.Time setting
Functions: Hours, Minutes and Seconds on the Central Tourbillon
Strap: Hand sewn alligator strap
18K white gold/18K rose gold/titanium buckle