Franck Muller may not be the brand that you immediately associate with tourbillons; but just doing the research for this story, I was surprised by the number of innovations that they have made with this century’s old complication. They currently hold the record for the world’s fastest and the world’s largest tourbillon respectively, not to mention they also have multi-dimensional tourbillons like the triple-axis version and even one in a unique elliptical tourbillon cage. Thus, for their latest offering, they have decided to put their tourbillon in its rightful place – right smack in the centre of the dial.
To create the Franck Muller Grand Central Tourbillon, the entire movement had to be redesigned from scratch. Putting the tourbillon in the centre of a watch is no easy feat when you consider that on almost all movements, the central area is reserved for the wheels and pinions necessary to allow the hands to display the correct time. This is why most tourbillons are placed at the 6 o’clock position.
Therefore, to displace this mechanism for the tourbillon, the designers at Franck Muller had to completely rethink the movement. By redesigning the gear train, they were able to support the tourbillon in the centre with a single bridge while the time-telling indicators were stacked as open-worked discs around the rotating carriage of the tourbillon.
For this reference, the movement was created within the brand’s signature tonneau shape and to complicate matters further, it was even placed into the Cintrée Curvex CX case that has a curved profile. The result however is a stunning watch that not only offers an extremely technical feat of engineering on its dial but also comes in a form factor that is comfortable on the wrist.
The latest version of the Grand Central Tourbillon has been shrunk down slightly into a 36mm case making it great for female watch connoisseurs but also for men who prefer a slightly smaller form factor. Additionally, the Franck Muller Grand Central Tourbillon Curvex CX 36 has a stamped guilloche pattern on the dial surrounding the tourbillon and is sealed in with 20 layers of translucent lacquer.
Even with the large central tourbillon running in its centre, the self-winding FM CX 36T-CTR movement can provide a massive 4 days of power reserve.
The Franck Muller Grand Central Tourbillon Curvex CX 36 is priced in the six-figure bracket. For more information on pricing and availability, you can enquire about the watch HERE.