Vanguard Gravity Tiger
As the Year of the Tiger commences, the House of Franck Muller is delighted to present a new reference that combines high watchmaking with the artistic crafts of gem-setting and miniature sculpting and painting. The Vanguard Gravity Tiger pays homage to the Chinese zodiac animal, ranked third of the 12 creatures, as well as 30 years of high watchmaking by the prestigious watch manufacture.
The Master of Tourbillons
The Franck Muller manufacture has mastered all of the finest complications in haute horlogerie, but it is best known for its mastery of the tourbillon, which houses the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating carriage that averages out positional inaccuracies in timekeeping due to gravity. Franck Muller was one of the first watchmakers to house the tourbillon on the front of the movement and dial, allowing watch owners to admire the rotating escapement freely.
It was also the first watchmaker to develop a triple-axis tourbillon on the wristwatch. Since then, Franck Muller has set numerous records in tourbillon design and construction, from the smallest tourbillons to the largest on a wristwatch, as well as the fastest.
The Vanguard Gravity is another example of a unique tourbillon design by Franck Muller. This oversized tourbillon has an elliptical carriage, with the bridges and pillars of the tourbillon that are arched in convex and concave forms, echoing the design of the case and dial and bringing a distinct three-dimensional appeal to the watch.
It’s also one of the lightest tourbillons around, thanks to its anodised aluminium tourbillon cage which enhances the precision of the watch and also offers more colourways for the carriage. The oversized tourbillon also permits an immense balance wheel running at 3Hz, offering a high level of precision along with shock resistance.
Now the watchmaker has further embellished the Vanguard Gravity to commemorate the Year of the Tiger, with a hand-sculpted, life-like tiger leaping over the Gravity tourbillon, amidst a background of glittering gemstones that sparkle like stars in the sky.
The Tigers Pounce
The Vanguard Gravity Tiger features a hand-sculpted, hand-lacquered tiger that leaps over the tourbillon carriage on the dial, placed on a dial and case that’s set with exquisite gemstones of the highest quality.
The reference comes in 3 variations: in 18K rose or white gold, set with a total of 643 brilliant-cut diamonds on the dial and case; or in an 18K white gold case with black PVD coating, set with 465 brilliant-cut black diamonds on the case, and 63 green diamonds coupled with 48 brilliant-cut black diamonds on the dial. Each is paired with a matching leather strap with diamond-set buckles.
The tiger sculpture that sits on each dial is made entirely in-house at the brand’s manufacture in Les Bois. A master of miniature sculpting crafts the incredibly life-like cat, which is then struck on a thin piece of brass. The sculpture is then shot-blasted to smoothen out the surface, then hand-painted with lacquer, layer by layer, to create the exact shades of colour on the beautiful feline. A total of 36 layers of tinted, translucent lacquer are applied to bring the Asian tiger to life, with 10 layers just for the eyes alone.
The large case of the Vanguard Gravity Tiger, at 49.5mm by 41mm, allows more breathing room for the sculpture of the pouncing tiger, even with the Gravity tourbillon taking up more than half of the dial. It also leaves plenty of room in the MVT FM L03 movement for a generous mainspring, giving the way a power reserve of up to five days. Each version is limited to 3 pieces and are exclusively available at Franck Muller boutiques and retailers.