If Lewis Carroll taught us anything with his book Through The Looking Glass, it’s that things don’t need to be logical for them to make sense. Similarly, with its hallmark crazy complications, non-round cases and amusing dials, what Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller serves up is an antithesis to the common ways of telling the time. The new Vanguard Crazy Hours Asia Exclusive honours this premise with whimsical escapism.
At first glance, the eye is naturally drawn towards the layout of the oversized Arabic numerals. To the uninitiated, it appears unequivocally out of order, with the index for 11 positioned at three o’clock, five at nine o’clock and so on. Such is the unique design of the Crazy Hours. And the fun lies in the realisation that there are more ways than one when it comes to reading the time.
Say the hour hand is at the conventional 12 o’clock position. The numeral 8 there tells you it’s in fact eight o’clock. As the hour elapses, the minute hand makes its normal revolution round the dial. Upon its completion, the hour hand snaps deftly to the five o’clock position, indicating that it is now nine o’clock. Mechanical ingenuity aside, what may feel chaotic at first can in fact be philosophical. Time is a quantum illusion after all. And its passage varies between individuals.
By the same token, it can be said that restricting the portrayal of time to a singular expression is unnecessary, when it can be treated as a novel process. This process befits the Crazy Hours, a design that has long been revered as one of Franck Muller’s most outstanding and original creations.
This year marks the Crazy Hours’ debut in the Vanguard collection, along with some eye-catching enhancements like carbon composite cases and alligator straps sporting flashy topstitching unique to the Vanguard Crazy Hours Asia Exclusive. A visual feast for most, but little more than a day’s work for Franck Muller.