As showcases go, Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller’s World Presentation of Haute Horlogerie has always astounded us with great leaps forward in engineering and design. Timepieces with audacious colours, unorthodox engineering and unexpected designs define the Presentation, and Franck Muller took the chance to introduce a watch that embodies all three in the Grand Central Tourbillon Flash CX 36.
It is, at first glance, an exciting watch, inviting deeper inspection. The strap and indices, in a zesty orange, give the watch an exciting pop of colour. The indices are placed around the tourbillon cage, but their colour and placement are such that readability remains clear and intuitive. To add to this, the tourbillon cage bridge incorporates a bright neon arrow to indicate seconds that orbits this heart of the watch. The tourbillon is placed front and centre of the dial. It is set into a sleek microblasted matte black brass dial. Fitting it into the Curvex CX case also highlights the tourbillon mechanism as it stands out from the aerodynamic, curved profile of the timepiece.
This makes the Flash CX 36 part of a historic line that began with 2021’s Grand Central Tourbillon, the world’s first tonneau-shaped centre tourbillon.
You can also see elements of the timepiece’s inspiration – futuristic automobiles – in its aesthetics. The tonneau-shaped watch has an air of aerodynamism, with its exciting profile and silhouette as well as the black titanium bezel that gives the dial a sense of depth. The placement of the tourbillon, again, recalls car engines placed in locations that draw the eye and gives audiences a sense of the mechanical might of the racecars. And in this context, it’s an impressive engine. The watch is powered by a self-winding movement, featuring a sunray-brushed eccentric micro rotor. This gives the Grand Central Tourbillon CX 36 a stunning four days of power reserve.
Understanding this – that its engineering is what truly defines the timepiece – the Maison’s artisans have added beautiful embellishments to the movement. This includes the Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges, the circular graining on the plate and chamfering on the bridges, the springs and the rotor. The watch is indeed an impressive timepiece – something you wouldn’t be able to tell immediately from its size.
At 36 mm, it sports a sleek, slender silhouette. And while the size might suggest subtlety, it is in fact a statement piece full of guile and panache, a showcase piece that is minimalist and audacious in equal measure. Franck Muller’s Grand Central Tourbillon Flash CX 36 was built with the years ahead in mind, and in this, we find this tonneau-shaped marvel far ahead of its time.
For more information, visit Franck Muller’s Grand Central Tourbillon Flash website here.