The revival of a classic legend
Casablanca. The romantic movie is a Hollywood classic, set in WWII featuring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. It’s iconically remembered for its memorable lines, theme song and most importantly, the two great lead actors. Across the world, the film has inspired countless stories of romance across two meccas of passionate love: Paris and Casablanca. When we speak of Casablanca today, we’re inevitably reminded of the love story that Rick and Ilsa shared in the film.
When Franck Muller was a young gentleman seeing the movie for the first time, it sparked his creativity and inspired him to develop a classic three-hand model in 1998 that was both elegant, sporty and inspired by the style of the movie and its characters: The Cintrée Curvex Casablanca.
Housed in the genteel tonneau-shaped Cintrée Curvex case that is a Franck Muller icon of its own, the Casablanca captured the refined austerity of the inter-war era. The dial’s printed hour markers, diamond-shaped hands with a central feuille seconds hand, offered an Art Deco style design that was simple yet sophisticated. Coupled with a hand-stitched calf leather strap, its casual formality was decades ahead of its time, a style that’s revived across watchmakers today.
A New Casablanca, Housed in a Vanguard Case
Today, Franck Muller is thrilled to announce a new Casablanca model, one that both recalls the original spirit of the watch and brings it forward in a new form: The Vanguard Casablanca. This collection builds on the Casablanca’s simple elegance and injects it into the 21st -century Vanguard case, giving the watch a stronger and more powerful presence on the wrist.
The stainless steel Vanguard case offers utmost comfort with its polished, curved and rounded case middle and bezel design. It follows the unique contouring of Franck Muller’s perfected tonneau design, with a bold bezel that makes it easily identifiable and fits any wrist. Vanguard echoes the design philosophy of the Cintrée Curvex (which means “arched in a curve”) that bends the curved axes of the watch case on four levels, rather than two in classic tonneaus. Like everything that the Manufacture does, it takes design to another level.
The four colourways of the Vanguard Casablanca are inspired by the movie and the city itself, as well as the first Casablanca collection Franck Muller launched. They are available in black, brown, and salmon. A fourth special boutique edition of both the time-and-date and chronograph models, in a black dial with blue accents, with contrast stitching on the hand-sewn straps, is available at Franck Muller boutiques across the region.
The numerals of the Vanguard Casablanca are Art Deco inspired, both straight and arched at the same time. The inner bezel and display features Vanguard-style details such as the compass points and angled skeleton hands with an arrow-shaped seconds hand. Other useful updates include the small date aperture, and luminous applied hands.
The Vanguard’s oversized hour markers add greater legibility on the dial, with a robust design that echoes the field military watches of the period.
The Vanguard Casablanca also comes in a chronograph model, powered by the self-winding calibre 2880. The model features a central chronograph seconds hand, with a 30-minute totaliser and small seconds counter at 3 and 9 o’clock respectively.
Both references are available in two sizes: a smaller 41mm and a 43mm size that’s brand new to Franck Muller and exclusive to Southeast Asia. Garrik Low, General Manager of Franck Muller, remarks, “We’ve developed a brand new case size that bears the distinctive style and codes of the brand, and that our collectors have desired for a long time.”