The “Master of Complications,” Franck Muller, builds on the classic elegance of Casablanca and injects it into the 21st-century Vanguard case, giving the watch a stronger and more powerful presence on the wrist.

Fondly remembered for its nostalgic film noir cinematography, memorable lines, theme song As Time Goes By, and heart-wrenching wartime-romance storyline led by silver-screen luminaries Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, the Academy Award-winning film for Best Picture of 1943, Casablanca, has inspired countless stories of romance across two meccas of love: Paris and Casablanca. When we speak of Casablanca today, we’re reminded of the love story that Rick and Ilsa shared in the film.

When Franck Muller was a young gentleman watching Casablanca for the first time, the style of the film and its characters sparked his creativity and inspired him to develop a classic three-hand model in 1998 that was both elegant and sporty: the Cintrée Curvex Casablanca. Housed in the genteel tonneau-shaped Cintrée Curvex case, 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 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.

After watching the film Casablanca for the first time as a young gentleman, Franck Muller was inspired to create the classic three-hand Cintrée Curvex Casablanca timepiece in 1998.

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. 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.

The Vanguard case 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 it does, Franck Muller takes design to another level.

The four colourways of the Vanguard Casablanca are inspired by the film and the city itself, as well as the original Casablanca collection. They are available in black, brown and salmon. A fourth and 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 41mm and 42.5mm, which is brand new to Franck Muller and exclusive to Southeast Asia.

Click here to discover the Franck Muller Vanguard Casablanca collection.

written by.
KC Yap
Editor, Augustman Malaysia

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