FRANCK MULLER : The Vanguard Racing Skeleton
- July 21, 2020
An exercise in escapism, the VanguardTM Racing Skeleton in Carbon teleports you into your favourite F1 driver’s cockpit, with just a flick of the wrist.
Inspired by the breakneck world of motor competition, this exciting 2020 premiere from the renowned Franck Muller is imbued with the perfect balance of racing red, black and white.
Horological knowhow has always been synonymous with the Master of Complications, and this time is no exception. The regular FM 2800-DT calibre has been skeletonised to a refined depth, revealing its inner workings and vital organs, and elaborate architecture that enthrals.
Tantalisingly openworked, the gallant hunk of a carbon case catches the eye without much effort. Within its sleek polymer case, the inner bezel is demarcated by a black and white minute track, while the inner chapter ring emblazoned with red and white minute markings resembles a racing circuit. The calibre is affixed to the case with four trilateral clamps underneath elongated 1, 5, 7 and 11 indices, which, to some, might resemble bridges into a miniature futuristic racing realm suspended in mid-air.
Beneath this racing circuit, one will discover the intricately skeletonised date disc, stripped down to leave only bold angular outlines of individual numerals. As the eyes gravitate towards the centre of the intense visual spectacle, an engraved “SECOND” atop a smoked sapphire crystal denotes a novel 60-second counter sub dial.
At first glimpse, one might surmise the scale is amiss because “00” is below, and “30” is above, but look again – the reverse end of the seconds hand is extended in white, topped off with a red-tip. This end measures elapsed seconds on an unconventional hazy subdial, which affords a quaint view of gears, wheels, screws and jewels.
Flanking the carbon case are protruding crown guards and a side-case insert in glossy crimson, made of anodised aluminium, fortified through an electrochemical process to yield an exceptionally durable finish that is corrosion and scratch resistant. Extensively used in industrial applications owing to its high mechanical strength, the sturdy compound is deployed here with perfect symmetry.
A champion is always awarded with gold: flip the VanguardTM Racing Skeleton around and be rewarded with movement bridges and engravings that are bathed and finished with 24 carat gold, and then PVD-coated to blend in with the elegant design. Peek at the lug plots, and you might notice the absence of spring bars – these have been supplanted by two hidden screws securing the straps to the case.
The black rubber straps are supplemented on top by a layer of matted suede composite – the same fabric lining drivers’ bucket seats to combat sideslipping while racing. Two lines of red stitching fasten the anti-slip material to the snug-fitting black rubber strap, injecting a dose of sporty racing flavour. The high-octane timepiece is anchored to the wrist by a double-fold deployant buckle crafted in black PVD-treated titanium – the same material and surface treatment as the crown, which has been knurled for better grip.
When all these fervid components coalesce on the wrist, the senses are electrified. It’s time to floor that pedal – 3, 2, 1, GO!