Franck Muller Vintage Curvex 7-Days Power Reserve Watch

Franck Muller Vintage Curvex 7-Days Power Reserve Watch

Franck Muller Vintage Curvex 7 Days Power Reserve Watch   watch releases

Someday I'd like to hear the real story of Franck Muller's history as a watch brand. As a timepiece maker it is a fascinating company that has done a lot and gained a laudable amount of popularity for a high-end exclusive watch maker. Having said that, the Franck Muller group has certainly had its series of ups and downs from severe economic woes to quasi-scandals. The brand has been admired as helping to bring the luxury watch into new areas of culture with innovative marketing and some very unique watches (such as the Crazy Hour), but at the same time have a bit of a struggle in certain sectors where they are overcoming a reputation for quality issues. Oh, to be in the high-end watch business!

The Franck Muller of today is more restrained and simple that its former self. While the air of avant garde still remains, as a brand they have consolidated and are trying to focus on what really works for them. A few months ago the rumor of a new entry-level in-house movement hinted at the upcoming release of these Vintage Curvex 7-Days Power Reserve models. And here they are. Fresh from Geneva with that iconic Curvex (which most people call tonneau) shaped case and a new long-power reserve movement.

Franck Muller Vintage Curvex 7 Days Power Reserve Watch   watch releases

The models seen are just the gold versions, they will be offered in steel as well. The press release from Franck Muller focused almost entirely on the movement and not the watches themselves. I truly hate when that happens, as it makes it most difficult to tell people exactly what they will be able to buy. What's with the cloak and dagger approach Franck Muller? Having said that I am pretty sure that the watches will be in the 35.90mm wide x 50.30mm tall versions of the Curvex case... or something very close. I have to say that Franck Muller (for me) is the brand that made tonneau-shaped cases seem wearable. Before Franck Muller, I felt this style of case only looked good on the wrists of men with extremely plump fingers who regularly smoke cigars.

Why Franck Muller decided to place their new in-house made FM 1700 caliber movement in a Vintage styled watch isn't clear to me. The new Vintage Curvex watch isn't much different than most other models, save for some dial details. One version has a railroad track style minute marker ring, while other versions have more clean dials with just the hour markers and that iconic Franck Muller font. Light and dark dial options with gold trim make for an attractive appearance.

Franck Muller Vintage Curvex 7 Days Power Reserve Watch   watch releases

As I have mentioned, the movement is the new Franck Muller in-house made FM 1700. It is a manually wound movement with a full week of power reserve. Going in line with the "Vintage" part of the name, the movement has a slower operating speed of 18,000 bph which no doubt helps it keep such a long power reserve.

Over on the dial you can appreciate the movement's complications. The subsidiary seconds dial is slightly recessed within a nice looking gold ring, and the power reserve indicator is one of the piece's most distinctive elements. In the past I've seen several Franck Muller watches with highly diminutive power reserve indicators. On the one hand I love this. The indicator is small and out of the way, but there when you need it. I've said many times that I simply don't like wearing the majority of manually wound movement based watches if they don't have a power reserve indicator. It feels like I am driving a car without a fuel gauge.

The power reserve indicator is small enough to not disrupt the dial in any significant way, which is great. So the only bad news is that some people need it to be larger. Either they have trouble reading the tiny numbers on the disc in the dial, or they keep their watches off their wrist and like to see from afar whether the watch needs winding or not. So while the out-of-the-way nature of the power reserve indicator is a blessing, it is also a curse for some people as it will be too small to use.

The design of the FM 1700 is pleasant but not overly distinctive. It does the job though and is viewable through a sapphire caseaback window. I look forward to seeing the new Franck Muller Vintage Curvex 7-Days Power Reserve watches hands-on soon. Price is about $22,500 in 18k rose gold and about $11,000 in steel.

Franck Muller Vintage Curvex 7 Days Power Reserve Watch   watch releases

 

Tech Specs from Franck Muller:

VINTAGE (CURVEX) 7-DAYS POWER RESERVE
Caliber: FM 1700
Movement: Mechanical with manual-winding, Two barrels, in-house
manufactured Breguet hairspring, high performance FM
escapement and balance screw
Dimensions of Movement: Ø 31.00 mm and height: 5.00 mm
Power Reserve: 7 days
Frequency: 18’000 vibrations / hour
Number of Components: 213
Number of Jewels: 27
Water-resistance:
3 ATM
Movement decoration: Côtes de Genève, circular graining, hand bevelling
Display: Hours and minutes, Seconds at 6 hours, Power reserve

7 comments
T1Dart
T1Dart

My experience with Franck Mulller watches has been extremely disappointing. For the price paid, the quality is poor and service network is unresponsive. If purchasing a watch as an investment, spend your money elsewhere. If purchasing the watch for style and enjoyment, be prepared not to be able to wear a functioning watch. You are better off buying a Chinese copy.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

E movement is very pretty. I also prefer the dial variant with the minute track: looks much more complete.

Also, lol @ "new Vintage".

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

I like the railroad chapter/scale the best. Gives it more of a vintage feel I think. 

Why does the case back not line up with the lugs? If the strap was rotated it looks like the sharp 90 degree "points" would dig into the leather.

Are the lower numbers on the power reserve wheel a different color? If so that helps solve the at a glance or at a distance indication issue.

When I think of Franck Muller, I visualize a tonneau cased watch, so this fits my expectations visually.

au bloc
au bloc

With a really slow beat rate of 18k/hr I wonder how accurate it will be particularly when the main spring winds down. Would love to own the watch though! Crazy Hours is one of my favorites too.

nateb123
nateb123

Amazing to see a Swiss brand like Franck Muller do a movement which is done in the American pocket watch style.  Most Swiss brands would prefer to think that their infinitely more successful rivals of the time had never existed.  But then FM has always been a "We do what we want" kind of brand.  I always loved that when new FM watches arrived at the store, you never knew what kind of box it would come in.  Different coloured woods, different types of leather or suede.   Definitely gave a more bespoke  custom feel to the brand.

AaronThompson2
AaronThompson2

I really like the vintage look of these watches, especially the dial with the railroad track minute markers. And 7 days?! That's pretty cool in itself. Thanks for writing this one up, Ariel!

Trackbacks