Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller is known for their in-house production of grand complications and largely luxury-oriented collections. However, Franck Mueller has recently announced a completely new watch which departs from their core design language – the new Franck Muller Master Diving watch, a 46.33mm wide, stainless steel, automatic diver’s chronograph with some vintage styling.
Clearly not intended to be subtle, the new Master Diving Collection boasts a wrist-crushing 46.33mm wide by 55.4mm long by 13.8mm thick case finished off with a large, signed, screw-down crown and black-finished, oval shaped chronograph pushers. A lumed ceramic bezel insert helps out with durability and makes for easy elapsed time tracking. While clearly large, the Master Diving case looks to be shaped to wrap around the wearer’s wrist and is well integrated into a black rubber strap, which secures by way of a signed tang buckle.
Available in no less than five dial colors (black, blue, white, orange, and red) the Master Diving dial sports traditional Arabic hour markers and lumed, polished sword hands. Chronograph sub-dials are located at three and six o’clock while the running seconds display is at nine o’clock. Dial text is straightforward with Franck Muller’s logo at twelve and “Master Diving/100m=330ft” tucked in at six. The lack of a date window speaks to Franck Muller’s apparent intentions in designing a real purpose-oriented diver’s watch. A chapter ring, printed with second measurements and lumed in the hour marker positions, surrounds the dial and is itself surrounded by a ring of tiny letter “Ms” for Muller, in case you forgot.
Why Franck Muller Vintage Watches decided to place their brand new in-house created FM 1700 quality movement in a gray styled watch is not clear to me. The newest Vintage Curvex watch is not considerably different than most other versions, save for a few dial details. One variant has a railroad track design minute markers ring, though other models have more blank dials with just the hour markers and that iconic Franck Muller font. Light and black dial alternatives with gold trim make for an attractive appearance.As I’ve said, the motion is the new Franck Muller in-house created FM 1700. It is a manually wound movement with a complete week of power reserve. Going in line with the “Classic” portion of the title, the movement includes a slower operating speed of 18,000 bph that no doubt helps it retain this type of long electricity reserve.Over on the dial you may appreciate the motion’s complications. The subsidiary seconds dial is slightly recessed within a nice looking gold ring, and the power reserve indicator is one of those piece’s most distinguishing elements. Before I’ve seen several Franck Muller watches using exceptionally diminutive power reserve indicators. On the 1 hand I love this. The index is small and out of the way, but there once you need it. I have said many times that I just don’t enjoy wearing the majority of manually wound movement established watches if they do not possess a power reserve indicator. It feels like I am driving a vehicle without a fuel gauge.
While detailed information regarding the Master Diving movement has yet to be released, the FM.7750 title does imply a hopefully modified Valjoux 7750, which is generally considered a durable and dependable Swiss-made automatic chronograph with 42 hours of power reserve and 25 jewels. There is, of course, nothing wrong with this movement. But in a watch from a brand known for haute horology, it does seem a bit odd, especially when you consider the substantial price tag attached.
In all, the Franck Muller Diving Chronograph looks like a reasonably capable sports watch for the enthusiast who just really wanted Franck Muller to make a diver’s-style watch. Features like a lumed ceramic bezel insert and screw-down crown add to the diver argument while a somewhat minimal 100m depth rating means most serious divers will look elsewhere. We will update you on pricing for the Franck Muller Master Diving Collection as soon as we get an update from the brand. franckmuller.com