This is the new Franck Muller Vintage (Curvex) 7-Days Power Reserve. Entirely designed and manufactured in Geneva, it is available in stainless steel or pink gold with either a white or inked enamel dial. Overall, a beautiful addition to Franck Muller’s famous Vintage collection, though I do find the power reserve display to be a bit quirky.
Click through for a closer look
Franck Muller Group (FMG) recently wrapped up its 4th annual Salon World Première of Haute Horlogerie & Jewellery (WPHH) in Monaco. Several watches from the different Franck Muller Group brands (Rodolphe, Pierre Kunz, Antoine Martin, et al) were unveiled, but the star of the show undoubtedly goes to the new Franck Muller Tourbillon Rapide Thunderbolt. This the fastest tourbillon ever, completing a rotation every five seconds! We’ve got pics and hands on video to show you, on the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »
New for 2012, Franck Muller unveils the new version of the “Giga Tourbillon”, a breathtaking timepiece that received widespread attention in 2011, most notably from yours truly (see the first Franck Muller Giga Tourbillon here). Unlike last year’s tonneau-shaped case with black PVD treatment, this piece is in a round, white gold case — a much better look. The watch is fitted with an enormous tourbillon — it measures 20 mm in diameter and the tourbillon cage is shaped into the letters “FM”. The symmetrical skeletonization and finishing of the dial and movement (note the hand-chamfering i.e. beveled edges) completes the look by allowing for full visibility of the dial-side movement (yes, the movement has been reversed). Speaking of which, the movement delivers a 10-day power reserve via four 16mm barrels (4 mm wider than traditional ones), and the hour-setting and winding section located on the case-back side and the hours hand positioned on top of the minutes hand. A truly amazing piece!
Franck Muller Giga Tourbillon Round
49mm white gold case, hand-wound manufacture calibre (10-day power reserve, 4 barrells), fitted on black alligator strap
Reference : 7049 T G SQT
by Kyle Stults on August 17, 2011
Here’s a look at Franck Muller’s contribution for the 2011 ONLY Watch charity auction — named “Totally Switzerland”, this is a unique take on one of Muller’s most famous watches, the Crazy Hours. I’ve also included a 19-second video demonstrating how Muller’s hallmark “Crazy Hours” watch works — basically the watch keeps normal time, but the hour markers are randomly placed — it’s crazy! Click here to see all of my ONLY Watch 2011 previews.
Franck Muller Totally Switzerland for ONLY WATCH 2011
35.2mm x 59.2mm white gold case (13.3mm thick), automatic mechanical movement, translucent lacquered red dial, hand-sewn red alligator strap
Demonstration of how a Franck Muller Crazy Hour watch works:
by Kyle Stults on July 11, 2011
The Top 10 Most Interesting Watches In the Scott Rothstein Watch Auction…
If I’ve ever been early to a story, this would be the one — I first wrote about the pathetic ponzi perp Scott Rothstein on December 29, 2009 (see: Another Possible Ponzi Perpetrator’s Watches Heading to the Auction Block). Naturally, it was an enormous Franck Muller wall clock (see it here) which first brought the story to my attention, but little did I know that this was just the tip of a wristwatch-iceberg, perhaps the largest ever to be seized by Federal authorities in connection with such a crime. Today’s update on the story is to highlight some of the more intriguing timepieces I found in Scott Rothstein’s 262 piece watch collection that is to be auctioned on July 13, 2011. I hope you enjoy the “Top 10 Most Interesting Watches in the Scott Rothstein Watch Auction”, straight ahead.
At the time of my initial article, Rothstein had plead “not guilty” to perpetrating a $1.2 billion Ponzi fraud, but now he is a convicted criminal facing 50 years of hard time. I haven’t the least bit of sympathy for someone like Rothstein — the man lived a King’s life with ill-gained money, owning more luxuries than many can even dream of. Yachts, cars, fancy houses, watches, perhaps even a politician or two (he was friends with former Florida Governor Charlie Crist) — Rothstein seemingly had it all. And then it came all crashing down — like all Ponzi schemes eventually do (just ask Bernie Madoff and his Monoblocco Rolex)!
Scott Rothstein Showing Off Some of His 250+ Luxury Watches
Many of Rothstein’s possessions were sold at auction on January 23, 2010 — including the aforementioned Franck Muller wall clock. However, Rothstein’s previously seized watch collection (250+ luxury watches, many worth tens of thousands of dollars apiece) has been held by the United States Treasury Department — until now. This Wednesday, July 13, 2011, Rothstein’s watches will be sold to the highest bidder at auction.
Scott Rothstein in a white suit, hat and matching grin
(pictured with his then wife to-be, Kim, and former Florida Governor Charlie Crist)
Would you trust your money to a man who dresses like this?
The July 13 auction will feature Rothestein’s absurdly huge collection of some of the world’s finest watches. Yes, he owned many of the well known status symbols: Patek Philippe, Rolex, Breguet, Piaget, Hublot, Roger Dubuis, and Panerai (but curiously, no Omega). But like a spoiled kid in a candy store, Rothstein also scooped up many rarely seen watches made by smaller, independent watchmakers such as Richard Mille (2), Harry Winston (2), Urwerk (2), Pierre Kunz (several), Daniel Roth (several), Gerald Genta (several), and others.
I combed through each of the 262 lots to be auctioned and came up with a list of the Top 10 Most Interesting Watches in the auction:
“The Top 10 Most Interesting Watches In the Scott Rothstein Watch Auction“
(in no particular order)
Lot 21, Harry Winston Ocean Dual Time (White Gold)
Lot 25, Pierre Kunz “Insanity” (Titanium)
Lot 72, Urwerk UR-103 (White Gold)
Lot 110, Richard Mille RM011 “Felipe Massa” (Titanium and Gold)
Lot 77, Azimuth MR. ROBOTO
Lot 102, Piaget Tourbillon Relatif (White gold)
Lot 104, Daniel Roth,Limited Edition 2/15
Lot 111, Audemars Piguet, Case Engraved “Especially Made for Arnold Schwarzenegger” (Titanium)
Lot 165, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore “Survivor”
Lot 208, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore “SHAQ”
See them all at http://www.treasury.gov/auctions/treasury/gp/ftl_watches.html.
Any comments? Feel free to weigh in!
“Only Watch” is a biennial charity auction of one-of-a-kind watches created by many of the most renowned watch brands in Switzerland. This exceptional event is held every two years in Monaco during the Monaco Yacht Show and is under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II. All the proceeds from Only Watch go to support Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research which is why many of these watches go extraordinarily high prices.
Starting today Perpetuelle will begin its coverage of Only Watch 2011. Stay tuned in because over the next few months, you will get to see awesome “piece unique” watches from each of the participating brands for the 2011 event:
Click through to see our in-depth preview of each watch:
- Harry Winston Midnight GMT Tourbillon
- Patek Philippe Ref 3939A Minute Repeater
- Urwerk UR-103 “Phoenix”
- Romain Jerome “Rock the Rock”
- Hublot Oceanographic 4000m dive watch
- MB&F HM-4 “Flying Panda”
- TAG Heuer “Monaco Mikrograph”
- Bell & Ross Pink Gold “Casino”
- Louis Vuitton Tambour Diver Chronograph
- Blancpain Villeret Grand Decoration
- Piaget Altiplano Skeleton
- Breguet Reveil Musical Watch
- Audemars Piguet Gstaad Classic
- Jaquet Droz Petit Heure Minute
- Van Cleef & Arpel “From the Earth to the Moon” Watch
- Girard-Perregaux ww.TC
- Corum Golden Bridge Automatic Titanium
- Vulcain Anniversary Heart Watch
- Chanel J12 Marine Watch
- Franck Muller “Totally Switzerland”
- Ulysse Nardin Freak Diavolo
- Vacheron Constantin “Dove” Watch (M.C. Escher-inspired)
- Zenith El Primero “Destro” watches
- Montblanc Villeret 1858 Pulsograph
- Ikepod Red Hourglass by Marc Newson
- Bovet Fleurier, Celsius, Chaumet, Chopard, De Bethune, Delacour, De Witt, Frédérique Constant, Hermès, Laurent Ferrier, Maurice Lacroix, Richard Mille
Only Watch 2011 will be held September 24, 2011 and managed by watch auction house Antiquorum. But you don’t have to wait this long — because part of the excitement leading up to the September 24, 2011 event is the release of each participating brand’s special edition watch.
ONLY WATCH 2009
If you are interested in looking back, I covered the Only Watch 2009 auction extensively including blogging about several of my favorites inlcluding: Piaget Emperador Coussin, MB&F Sage Vaughn HM-2, Bovet 3-in-1 Mona Lisa Watch, Tourneau Jump Hour, Louis Vuitton Tambour, Chanel J12 Joallerie with pink sapphire, and Blancpain 500 Fathoms. The Only Watch 2009 auction was hosted by Patrizzi & Co.
This is the new Franck Muller Giga Tourbillon, and what a looker it is. The aptly named watch features a whopping 20mm diameter tourbillon which dominates the entire lower half of the watch. Franck Muller claims this it the largest tourbillon ever incorporated into a wristwatch. The highly skeletonized watch is awe inspiring with its sweeping curves and arcs, the focal piece being the elegant “M” (and the somewhat hard to see “F”) that sits directly on top of the tourbillon cage — lest you forget this piece is anything other than a Franck Muller!
Frank Muller Giga Tourbillon
43.7mm x 59.2mm white gold case with black PVD treatment (14mm thick), frequency: 18,000/hr, 10 day power reserve
close up of the tourbillon with its arcing “M” (update: an astute commenter pointed out that there is also a “F” above them “M” — thanks!)
by Kyle Stults on January 11, 2010
How Complicated? Complicated.
What to say about Franck Muller’s new Aeternitas Mega 4. How about ‘Wow’. I recall hearing some buzz about this watch on Twitter and Facebook late last year from several watch journalists who attended a live event in which this watch was unveiled (official FM release here). Not to mention it is about 5 years in the making :-) But there is a bit more to the story that I need some help understanding. Can you help?
For starters – back in June 2009 I wrote about Jaeger-LeCoultre’s new Hybris Mechannica Grande Duometre Grande Sonnerie watch (26 complications) as the “New King of Complications.” In my article I listed IWC’s Il Destriero Scafusia (cir. 1993, 21 complications) and the Vacheron Constantin’s Tour de l’Ile (cir. 2005, 16 complications) as two watches that the JLC Hybris Mechannica Grande Sonnerie out-did. Easy enough. However I also listed the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega as watches that the JLC bested, and here is where it gets a bit confusing – complicated, one might say – because the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega article that I cited from the respectedHaute Horlogerie Journal was ostensibly referring to the Aeternitas Mega 4, but it was only noted as having 25 complications (and 1,500 parts). Now it seems the Aeternitas Mega 4 has 36 complications (still about 1,500 components). So how did it suddenly go from 25 to 36 with still the same number of parts? Am I missing something or perhaps just making this too complicated?
If only I had the knowledge and desire to find out. :-) Instead I think I will just invite you to take a look at this watch and tell me it isn’t the most absurdly complicated, $2.7 million watch you have ever seen (note the 7 – yes 7 – pushers on the case!) – and leave it at that:
I, for one, am quite impressed at this mechanical masterpiece.
Franck Muller did provide a list of all the 36 complications and also a graphic to point out most of these functions. I think they wanted to clearly lay the groundwork for claiming their “King of Complications.” If you click here you can see the full list and read the press release from Franck Muller in which it lays claim to the “world’s most complicated wristwatch.
Oh, and if you care to share some insight into the development of the Aeternitas 4 and how it came to be 36 complications not 25, please do tell!
by Kyle Stults on December 29, 2009
Looking back on my December 2008 predictions as to what would be the highlights of the watch world during 2009, I must say that a treasure trove of watches on the auction block from perpetrators of Ponzi schemes (Bernie on the (Auction) Block: Madoff’s Monoblocco Rolex, Other Watches Up for Grabs, November 9, 2009) or drug lords (Narco Bling: The Watches of Mexican Drug Kingpins, July 28, 2009) was not on my list! But makes for interesting subject matter…so here’s another!
With the global recession experienced during 2009 we saw some big-time con artists exposed – most notably of course the aforementioned mega-Ponzi scheme criminal Bernie Madoff. But did you hear about South Florida lawyer Scott Rothstein? This ostensibly upstanding citizen recently plead ‘not guilty’ to U.S. charges alleging he ran a $1.2 billion fraud. Yes, that is $1.2 BILLION, not million. Yikes! And like Madoff, if not moreso, this guy’s desire to flaunt his wealth (actually may be more likely “other people’s wealth” ) was strong. Yachts, cars, fancy house, politicians (yes they and their votes are also apparently for sale these days) and more – some would say this guy “had it all” and from the looks of the court documents he didn’t come across an expensive item he did not like. Oh, and his watches:
What an ostentatious lineup! Pretty absurd, huh? And this is just the tip of the iceberg as the court docs indicate over 300 watch and jewelry items in his possession. If you care to wager a guess or shed some light on any of the brands/models show above, hit the comment button and let me know!
Anyway – the coverage of Scott Rothstein’s demise has been extensive, but since I covered the Bernie Madoff Auction, I thought it only fitting to give a quick post on the subject as a new auction is now on the horizon. Turns out that the items seized at this fella’s law offices (Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler) are going up for auction on January 23, 2010. While I do not see any wristwatches in the mix for now, there are a couple watch-related items along with a bunch of sports memorabilia. Below you will see 2 of the items – looks like a Franck Muller Crazy Hours Dual Time wall clock and some sort of Cartier desktop clock (pocketwatch maybe but don’t think so?) will be up for grabs to the highest bidder:
This particular auction aside, I would venture a guess that the watches you see in the first photo above – and many more – will be auctioned sometime in 2010 as Scott Rothstein’s case moves forward. I’ll keep you posted
Last word – hopefully this is the last Ponzi scheme I cover for a very long time – you may not know it, but the loss and devastation caused by these types of scams runs far and wide – quite sad, really.
by Kyle Stults on November 09, 2009
A huge treasure trove of items formerly owned by now disgraced $50 billion-or-so Ponzi scheme ringleader and provacateur Bernie Madoff will be up for auction this weekend in New York. Sure there will be all the furs, diamonds, and sports memorabilia you can handle (and even a few vintage duck decoys) – but my interest in this one-of-kind auction is, of course, the watches. Now, being a man of means – that is, a man of means with OPM (other people’s money) – ole’ Bernie managed to assemble himself quite the watch collection. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reports today that: ”A collection of more than 40 watches, including some women’s watches, 17 Rolexes and several Audemars Piguets, Franck Mullers and Jaeger-LeCoultres, will be auctioned off. ” The Journal actually singles out one of the more notable big ticket watches, “an 18-karat yellow gold, black-faced vintage men’s Rolex, the Monoblocco, valued between $75,000 and $87,500…” and went on to quote Antiquorum Auctioneers SA Watch Director and Expert Julien Schaerer as saying “It’s a pretty rare watch and it’s pretty desirable” suggesting that an all original timepiece could fetch as much as $75,000 to $100,000. Not bad for a Ponzi-scheme’s work, eh?
After just a few minutes reviewing the lineup one will see that Madoff had an incredible collection of vintage Rolex watches (I wonder what my vintage Rolex-wearing friends at Hodinkee think?), but he also had quite a few other nice modern and vintage watches as well – Patek Philippe, Blancpain, Hublot, Frank Muller, IWC, JLC….the list goes on and on. As for all these, I can make not attestations to their authenticity (do you really want to take Madoff at his word?), nor what kinds of prices they may fetch (but don’t expect to steal any of them at bargain prices)…and so while online bids will be allowed, I would highly recommend you preview these watches in person before making a purchase.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the lots that look interesting, shall we?
LOT 237- ROLEX:
Gents 18ky vintage Rolex O.P. “Monoblocco” chronograph wristwatch; aka “Prisoner Watch”; domed plastic crystal; black dial w/ rose tri-sticks &; Arabic numerals; gold hands; polished bezel; 35mm round case; dk brown alligator strap (tang); Model 3525; 17 jewel Rolex mechanical winding mvmt; Serial 380223 (1945).
The meaning of the moniker “Prisoner Watch” – Rolex offered similar timepieces to prisoners of war in Germany during World War II, including those involved in “The Great Escape.”
LOT 235- ROLEX:
Gents 18ky vintage Rolex Oyster chronograph wristwatch; Monochrome motif; gold dial w/ luminous sticks &; Arabics, 3 gold sub-dials; 35.1mm round case; Brown stitched Alligator strap (tang); 17 jewel Rolex Geneve mechanical winding mvmt; Case 4048; Serial 58105 (1935). Note: Professionally restored.
LOT 255 Audemars Piguet
Gents st.steel Audemars Piguet chronograph wristwatch; silver dial w/ 2 sub-dials (at 3 &; 9 positions); 38.81mm round case; brown alligator strap w/ AP deployant buckle; Automatic mvmt; Serial D99198.
LOT 253- Patek Philippe
Gents 18kw Patek Philippe Annual Calendar wristwatch; black dial w/ silver Roman numerals; date at 6 position; 3 black sub-dials; syn saph crystal front &; back; 36.95mm round case; black alligator band w/ 18kw deployant buckle; Model 5035G; 35 jewel Patek Philippe automatic mvmt, Cal. 315/198, Serial 3059777.
LOT 254- Audemars Piguet
Gents 18ky Audemars Piguet Huitieme chronograph wristwatch; crème colored dial &; sub-dials (3); date at 3 position; gold hands; 40.4mm round case; dkBrown alligator strap w/ 18ky AP double deployant clasp; Automatic mvmt; Serial C54966.
LOT 265- Jaeger-LeCoultre
Gents st.steel Jaeger-LeCoultre wristwatch; Master Control Collection, Master Geographic model (discontinued); 38mm round case; silver dial, day at 3/24 hour GMT at 6/power reserve at 10; polished bezel; brown crocodile band w/ deployant buckle; automatic mvmt; Case 142.8.92; Serial No 1401
All pictures and lot information from Gaston and Sheehan. I would also note that the auction is being conducted by Gaston & Sheehan Auctioneers on behalf of the U.S. Marshal’s service (not Antiquorum), and I could not yet confirm if all the watches listed are Madoff’s or if other lots are also included (will let you know if not the case).
If you happen to go to the auction, would love to hear your thoughts.
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