Franck Muller Vanguard Rose Skeleton
The Franck Muller Vanguard Rose Skeleton puts a fresh – and colourful – spin on the traditional art of skeletonisation.
Bringing the notion of mechanical art to a completely new level.
When we think about a skeletonised timepiece, what often comes to mind are elaborately hollowed out movement plates and bridges that allow us to see right through the watch. In conventional skeletonisation, watchmakers walk a tightrope between removing as much material as possible, and not too much such that movement strength and stability is compromised. It is no walk in the park, but demonstrating skill and savoir-faire in spades, the Franck Muller Vanguard Rose Skeleton has turned a beautifully open-worked movement into a bed of blossoming roses.
In place of traditional curlicued bridges, this dazzling feminine model features clean and expertly chamfered bridges undulating throughout the movement, like a network of branches. On them you’ll find magnificent roses in full bloom just bursting with colour and sparkle. But striking as they are, these fabulous florals aren’t there for ornamental reasons. Indeed, they serve a functional purpose and are as much a part of the movement as the gear train, mainspring, balance wheel, and escapement. This is where the creative ingenuity of Franck Muller’s head of design, Jean-Loup Glénat, truly shines forth.
“In a skeleton watch, what is very important is that we start with a sound mechanical idea, and then build an aesthetic around that. We can also incorporate a theme, like with a floral theme of roses, for example. We’ll then draw a link between the theme and the mechanical, and create as balanced a product as possible.”
Working on the in-house manually-wound Calibre 1540 VS15, all 156 components have been reduced to a minimum, offering a picturesque view of the movement as if we were admiring it through rose-covered lenses. Or in Millennial-speak, it’s as if the movement were seen through a rose-animated Instagram filter. Jokes aside, the movement components might have been trimmed down but the energy capacity gets powered up to a very generous four days (96 hours).
But mechanical prowess is just one aspect of the Franck Muller Vanguard Rose Skeleton. This modern feminine timepiece had spent more than the usual amount time in various artisanal workshops of Franck Muller Watchland in Geneva.
Says Glénat, “For the Rose collection, we were lucky to be able to collaborate with many different artisans. What sets Franck Muller apart is that we have so many specialists within their own crafts.”
Indeed, the Vanguard Rose Skeleton isn’t the work of a single person but a full team of artistic experts. All of its bridges have been decorated with satin finishing, circular graining, and hand-chamfered to perfection, adding shine and contours to the dial. Meanwhile, the roses crafted in various shapes and profiles have their petals either set with micro-pavé diamonds or hand-painted by a master craftsman using a glossy coloured varnish – front as well as back, demonstrating Franck Muller’s exquisite attention to detail. It is definitely a watch that’s begging to be examined up close and under bright, natural light.
As roses in nature grow in a multitude of vibrant hues, so does the Franck Muller Vanguard Rose Skeleton arrive in all colours of the rainbow (and more). Symbolising the most passionate romances, there is red, purple, and pink, while orange and yellow celebrate love among friends. Then there is blue and white for those who are absolutely in love with the purity and beauty of the rose. And finally, Franck Muller’s trademark Colour Dreams combine red, purple and yellow with hints of green in a truly spectacular bouquet.
Wear it in rose gold for a warm summery glow, or white gold for an icy, wintry vibe. The Franck Muller Vanguard Rose Skeleton is a sure way to brighten up your wrist – and your mood – wherever you go.