Truth to be told, it has been quite some time since we were intrigued by a Franck Muller watch. In the recent history, Franck Muller seemed to have diverted from their ethos and created humdrum pieces like the Conquistador GPG and the Infinity Ronde. The 7 Days Power Reserve Skeleton, however, is a little outstanding though.
Franck Muller watches in the past were really special and unique. The Crazy Hours and the Secret Hours were just two of the few excellent pieces that were produced by the Geneve-based watchmaker. What we have back then were unique and novel creations that we have not seen before. Due to the fresh creations, it sky-rocketed Franck Muller’s image and popularity. So much so that we felt it was them that popularized the Tonneau-shaped case design. Well, wasn’t there a point in time which we thought that almost every barrel-shaped watch that we saw reminds us of a Franck Muller?
Years passed and it seems as though the magic had sort of died out. Many diamond encrusted pieces came along the way, with a few sporty ones in between as well. Nothing really excites us. Until we saw the 7 Days Power Reserve Skeleton.
When we first set our eyes on this piece, we thought that it was one of the nicer Franck Muller pieces that we have seen in their recent history. Gone were the ostentatious diamond encrusted and curious-looking watches. What we have here is a proper and portable art sculpture on the wrist. It is quite staggering actually.
The 7 Days Power Reserve Skeleton comes in two variants of cases: either in the Round or the iconic Cintrée Curvex casing. We had the chance to play around with the latter, and we thought that it looks better than the former. Well, perhaps it is because we felt that it is the Tonneau-shape case that gives the watch the “Franck Muller” identity.
Despite the elongated case, the watch feels quite comfortable on the wrist. This is due to the design of the case, in which it is curved ergonomically and fits gently onto the wrist. One problem with such elongated cases is that watches will usually be overhanging on the wrist, which makes it really uncomfortable to wear. However, Franck Muller did rather well on this aspect. Kudos on that.
This bit is a little special. The 7 Days Power Reserve Skeleton is powered by Franck Muller’s own Caliber 1740. This is derived from their in-house Caliber 1700, in which they modified it into the skeletonized form which we see right now.
The manually-wound movement features a 7 day power reserve, as suggested by the name of the watch. This is achieved by having two barrels, instead of one, within the movement. It also features a in-house manufactured Breguet spiral, and a high-yielding Franck Muller escapement.
The highlight of the movement is perhaps the skeletonized bridges. They are meticulously hand-chamfered and brushed to achieve the wondrous finishing. The watch also features the Côtes de Genève decoration as well. The final result shows that this is not just a watch per se, but rather it is an art sculpture that is able to tell time. It is done very beautifully indeed.
Admittedly, this watch is not perfect. Legibility is a major issue here. The folks at Deployant had difficulties telling the time, as the contrast between the black hands and the skeletonized movement is rather bad. Initially, we didn’t even notice that there was a second hand at the 6 o’clock position of the watch!
However, if we put that problem aside, the watch is actually a really nice piece of horology. It sort of reminds us of Franck Muller from the good old days, when they made unbelievably novel pieces that make our hearts flutter.
The 55.4mm X 39.5mm watch comes in either Stainless Steel or 18K Gold, in which we featured the latter in this article. We thought it looks better in gold as well, especially since it exudes a rather warm feeling (perhaps due to the shade of the red gold of the watch case).
At SGD $77,340, the price is a little dreamy. But hey, what we have here is something that is eye-catching, conversational, and definitely something slightly different from the usual crowd. That, my friends, is why collectors want to own a Franck Muller timepiece.
Specifications from Press Release
Franck Muller 7 Days Power Reserve Skeleton
Movement: Manually-wound mechanical movement, round, 2 barrels, screw balance wheel, In-house manufactured Breguet Spiral, High yield FM escapement
Power Reserve: 7 days
Frequency: 18’000 vibrations / hour
Dimensions of the movement:41.35 mm (Length) x 34.90 mm (Width) x 5.30 mm (Height)
Number of components: 152
Number of jewels: 21
Décoration du mouvement: Côtes de Genève, circular graining, hand bevelling
Display: Hours, minutes and seconds at 6 o’clock
Case: Cintrée Curvex : 18 carat gold or stainless steel
Case dimensions: 55.40mm (Length) x 39.5mm (Width) x 13.10mm (Height)
Functions: Winding-shaft with two positions
Strap: Hand-sewn black alligator strap