The Beverly Hilton has been affectionately called “the hardest working hotel in Hollywood,” and it’s not hard to see why. Designed by acclaimed Los Angeles architect Welton Becket and opened in 1955 at the height of the motion picture industry development boom, the charming mid-century luxury hotel has been a focal protagonist in Hollywood history, thanks to its central role hosting the Golden Globes awards show for the last 60 years. It’s here, where Southern California retailer Feldmar Watch Company, in partnership with Franck Muller Group Geneva, has established its latest retail beachhead: a high-end, recently renovated boutique inside the Beverly Hilton that’s home to the largest collection of Franck Muller watches we’ve ever seen in the United States – and we were proud to help celebrate its opening earlier this month. aBlogtoWatch welcomed its audience to this new Franck Muller Group store on its very first day of operation to view Franck Muller, Backes & Strauss, and Cvstos brand timepieces.
A collection of this scope is significant for reasons beyond its physical size, primarily because it’s a unique opportunity for watch fans to get a more cohesive picture of Franck Muller — a brand easily mis-categorized by those most familiar with its distinct, spotlight-grabbing design language and incredible haute horlogerie watches (just read David’s gleeful hands-on with one of the most complex wristwatches ever built: the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4, right here), reserved for the collecting community’s most elite. And yes, Feldmar does have a surprisingly deep selection of these incredible watches, like the fully jeweled Double Mystery “rainbow,” the blacked-out Gravity Skeleton with its striking red anodized tourbillon cage, and the Triple Axis Revolution 3 Tourbillon, which retails for a cool $1.2 million.
Signature high complications like the Crazy Hour and “Totally Crazy” (which features an hour hand that “jumps” in erratic, non-sequential order around the dial, in addition to the date) are also in ample representation here at the new boutique, but the Franck Muller watches that might surprise you aren’t overly complicated — or even complicated at all. Instead, they’re striking in their simplicity, letting the brand’s signature “Cintrée Curvex-” shaped case do all the talking.
French for “curved,” the elegant Cintrée leverages a more familiar tonneau-shaped silhouette, but Franck Muller executes it with singularity and without too many embellishments, letting the lugless case flow seamlessly into the strap and comfortably over the wrist. Now, it’s worth mentioning that the tonneau isn’t the only case shape in the Franck Muller collection, but it’s certainly the most known entity for the brand and the most prominently exhibited within the new boutique.
A bird’s-eye view on Franck Muller’s full collection also lets you see just how diverse its size offerings are — ranging from the larger 45mm cases in the Vanguard Yachting collection (Franck Muller fans might call “traditional”), to the more compact but equally sporty 41mm Vanguard base models in either steel or titanium, which proved to be a hit among ABTW team members in attendance. These Vanguard models subtly iterate on the Cintrée, modernizing it with bolder lines and more masculine facets and edges like those found on the aviation-inspired Vanguard Fullback, but the silhouette remains largely the same, perfectly framing each of the super-detailed dials — another classic Franck Muller signature.
Joining Franck Muller in the new boutique are sister Franck Muller Group brands Backes & Strauss and Cvstos. While the latter takes a more avant-garde approach to timekeeping as an aesthetic, relative to the case architecture and design of Franck Muller watches, the aforementioned Backes & Strauss is renowned as the oldest diamond company in the world, with watches that, not surprisingly, wield some of the largest stones and most exotic gem-setting techniques in the watch business. In a snapshot, the Los Angeles watch community that turned out to help us celebrate the boutique’s grand opening was as diverse as these in-store offerings, painting a refreshing picture of the thriving Southern California collecting scene that we are proud to call part of our spiritual home. On behalf of the larger aBlogtoWatch team, we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming aBlogtoWatch event here in Southern California, or perhaps a city near you.
For more information on retail hours of the new Franck Muller Flagship Boutique in the Beverly Hilton or to book a private showing of the store’s offerings with one of Feldmar’s retail associates, head over to feldmarwatch.com.
Beverly Hilton Hotel
Franck Muller Group Boutique (a Feldmar Watch retail space)
9876 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10a – 6p