Franck Muller Monopusher 7000
The maverick Franck Muller was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the Mecca of watchmaking to an Italian mother and Swiss father. At age of 15, he left La Chaux-de-Fonds to enroll at the Ecole d’Horlogerie de Genève. The highly gifted, Muller, was able to disassemble and reassemble movements with particular ease and successfully graduated from watchmaking school in 1978. The state of the watch industry from 1970-1980s was at its nadir, due to the Quartz revolution. Franck Muller, gained a stellar reputation for being one of the most gifted watch restorers, proudly working on some of the most historically important pocket watches and wristwatches for leading auction houses. In addition, several of the pieces found at the Patek Philippe museum were restored by Franck Muller.
Subsequently, in 1991 Franck Muller and Vartan Sirmakes founded Franck Muller Watchland SA to which the Franck Muller “Master of Complications” brand belongs. Nicolas Foulkes, an author, and authority on all things watches, interviewed Sir Elton John who encapsulated the dire state of men’s watches at the time …
“Men’s watches were nice but they were boring. Suddenly Franck enabled men to go forward to more daring watches. Franck was always concerned with the inside; but the outside was beautiful too and the dials of the watches used different colours, and different design styles.”
In a way, Franck Muller paved the way for others to follow suit. His markable complications caught everyone’s attention, in turn, the lust to own a Franck Muller catapulted to new heights. The world of Hollywood was also particularly receptive to his creations. The relatively reserved Swiss are known to shy away from the spotlight, on the other hand, Frank Muller was full of life and embraced this newfound fame, being one of the very few watchmakers to be famous outside of the industry.
The achievements that both Muller and Sirmakes enjoyed together cannot be understated, the younger generations will simply not know how important Franck Muller once was. Similar to early Daniel Roth’s (Sirmakes was instrumental in the case development of Daniel Roths), Franck Mullers, earlier pieces are starting to gain traction amongst collectors.
This 40mm stainless-steel Franck Muller reference, 7000 R EN, was introduced in 1995 for the World Endurance Championship, at the time Franck Muller had their own racing team that raced a McClaren F1 GTR in both the BPR Global GT Series and 24 Hours of Lemans. Unlike the colorway of the car, the 7000 R EN remains to be an extremely sober and elegant wristwatch, reminiscent of Franck Muller’s early work.
The two-tone silver dial features applied blue steeled batons as well as blue steeled hands, for the pure timekeeping measurements Feuille hands are used for the hours and minutes. The subsidiary dial for the 60-second is found at 9 o’clock, subsequently, the 30-minute and 12 -hour registers are found at 3 and 6 o’clock. The sub-dials along with the outermost tachometer scale 1000 UPH appear to have aged to a pinkish-silvery shade. Despite the complexity of the complication, the dial remains highly legible due to typography and the different methods used to finish the dial. The flat rounded pushers found at 2 and 4 o’clock are used to start and stop the chronograph, the split-second mechanism is triggered using the co-axial button-crown found at 3 o’clock, the multipurpose crown can be used to also set the time.
The three-body case measures 40mm and features a blend of polished facets as well as brushed. Despite the rather large polished rounded bezel it essentially accentuates the dial, the lack of crown guards also plays into favour of the dial. The accentuated lugs with screw bars allow for the watch to sit comfortably on the wrist. The working screw heads, that secure the strap the to the case, are also finished to the same level found on the rest of the polished pushers. The brushed case-back is signed “Franck Muller – Geneve Master of Complication No. XX 7000 R EN”.
The movement found within the reference 7000 R EN is Calibre 7000 FM. At the base the movement uses the Valjoux 7750 which was originally introduced in 1974, the main difference found in this robust calibre versus its counterparts at the time was the use of the tilting pinion system along with the multipurpose cam. The 7750 is derived from the earlier, manual-wind Valjoux 7730. Adding to the Valjoux 7750 Franck Muller added a rattrapante module and interestingly opted to fit a platinum rotor on this particular calibre, in doing so, it allows for the movement to wind more efficiently. Not only was Franck Muller able to add a rattrapante to the Valjoux 7750, he was also able to seamlessly blend in the complication through the co-axial button in the crown.T he straight-line level escapement found in the the FM 7000 boasts a 44-hour power reserve and features hacking seconds.
Brand: Franck Muller
Model: 7000 R EN
Movement: Calibre 7000 FM
Case Diameter: 40 MM
Year: Circa 1995
Box and Papers: Full Set