Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Franck Muller Gravity Tourbillon Skeleton: Specifications, colours and the beautiful mechanism of the luxury watch

Luxury watch maker Franck Muller shows us just how close watchmaking is to gravity with the help of its new timepiece, the Franck Muller Gravity Tourbillon Skeleton

Dec 28, 2016 | By Ashok Soman

Gravity and timekeeping make strange but fetching bedfellows as shown here in the Franck Muller Gravity Tourbillon Skeleton. For a start, let’s get the strange part out of the way. Gravity is a force that certainly affects space-time and it is very cool in that way. Unfortunately, how it does this is very poorly understood by most people, largely because it is counter-intuitive. Since Abraham-Louis Breguet invented the tourbillon, the world of mechanical timekeeping has had a special relationship with this fundamental force.

On the one hand, it made admirable strides in illustrating how a mechanical system could correct for errors in rate caused by gravity’s effect on the hairspring. On the other hand, it also gave the impression that gravity was an avowed enemy of timekeeping but this is certainly not the case.

The Franck Muller Gravity Tourbillon Skeleton zooms in on the poetic side of gravity, leaning on the fact that gravity effectively causes space-time to curve. This is reflected to amazing effect in the gentle slope of the tourbillon carriage and bridges. The implication of this design is that gravity is causing deformations around the escapement, without causing any visible effects. This is extraordinarily beautiful. Adding to this are the matching blue accents in the carriage and the bridges, alongside the now-familiar curves of the Vanguard case. It helps of course that the tourbillon is quite large, with the carriage itself having a diameter of 21.2mm; the balance wheel is likewise quite large at 14mm and is set noticeably off-centre, calling further attention to the entire assembly.

franck-muller-gravity-sqt-planche-croquis-bleu

Returning to that striking blue colour for a moment and the contrast with the black elements, the manual-winding calibre CS-03.SQT largely uses anodized aluminium so there is a wide range of colour possibilities here, from orange to yellow, to blue and more. Franck Muller says personalization is certainly a possibility here. As for that black, it is the result of a PVD treatment but the movement can also feature 5N or rhodium plating.

Specifications

Movement Manual-winding CS-03.SQT with tourbillon; 5-day power reserve

Case 38.4mm x 39.6mm PVD-treated titanium, steel, rose gold or white gold; water resistant to 30 meters

Strap Rubber and nylon

 
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