Franck Muller Watch Guide
Franck Muller met Vartan Sirmakes towards the end of the 1980’s. Franck was making his own models of timepieces under the brand ‘Frank Geneva.’ He had unveiled his World Premiers each year since 1986, complications that branded him a genius amongst his peers. Vartan had set up a workshop in a district near Lake Geneva, having made cases for numerous fine watchmaking brands.
Franck called upon Vartan’s skills in 1991, requesting him to design his new case bodies. It was then they realised that their combined skills, passion and experience could birth a truly extraordinary brand.
Manufacture Franck Muller was officially founded in 1991, close to Geneva, in a village called Gethod. Three years later, Manufacture Franck Muller was established in the same location. This production site, eventually dubbed as ‘Watchland’, overlooked Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc.
The beginning of the 90s saw the emergence of the quartz movement, which resulted in many in the Swiss industry giving up. In a somewhat bold and risky choice, Franck Muller did not follow the crowd and dedicated itself to mechanical watches with complications.
During this period, it was almost impossible to gain a reputation and standing when rivalled by large watchmaking houses that have been within the industry for centuries. Watchmakers, especially in the fine watch sector, honoured tradition and as result were not very welcoming to innovation, particularly in terms of design. In a daring move, Franck Muller introduced the Cintree Curvex; a curved body with 3 dimensions. Requiring incredible difficulty in production, these boundary breaking time pieces came in bright colour dials, taking a gallant step in Fine Watches.
The Franck Muller Group has devoted itself to controlling the many stages of its production for many years. This has allowed them to continue producing one unique model after the next, providing its customers with a higher quality and better turnaround times.
As the fine watch market continues to saturate, Franck Muller continues to push the barriers of watch making with technique and innovation, whilst still keeping true the traditions of Swiss watchmaking. The Franck Muller Group’s individuality and self-sufficient production processes has allowed the company to be unmatched in creativity, making them leaders in starting new trends, as oppose to following them.
Less than two decades has seen The Franck Muller Group experience worldwide growth and popularity, a steady financial status and a yearly production of 40,000 watches. There are now 6 production sites and over 500 employees in Switzerland alone. Internationally the brand boasts 48 stores and 600 points of sale in over 100 countries.
Franck Muller has been responsible from some truly unique collections over the years: from the likes Crazy Hours and Vegas models featuring more amusing complications, to the Aeternitas Mega, boasting 36 complications and 1483 components – considered the most complicated wrist watch in the world. It is works such as this that only supports the brands label as ‘Master of Complications.’
Muller and Sirmakes have fused an original design with conventional mechanism to transform a small brand into an international success that has charmed the world all over.
Patek Philippe lauched its propriety quality label for mechanical watches in 2009. The Patek Philippe Seal attests to the utmost quality of its timepieces, exceeding official standards by integrating all competencies and features of relevance in lifelong maintenance, manufacturing and precision.
Regardless of the date of completion, the Patek Philippe Seal is the only seal of quality that applies to the whole watch and assures lifetime maintenance of the watch. Governed by an independent supervisory body and detailed regulations The Patek Philippe Seal embodies all the company’s quality standards and core values, and Messrs Stern act as its main guardians.
Geneva’s oldest independent family-owned watch manufacturer; Patek Philippe its independence enables it to follow which ever path it desires, creating its own destiny whilst pursuing its long term vision. The company benefits from total freedom to be creative and innovative. Its in-house movements are developed and manufactured according to its own exceptional quality criteria and only produces watches that reflect the core values, in every aspect, its quest for the only best timepieces. Patek Philippe’s heart and spirit is independence and is the guarantee of durability, continuity, reliability and trustworthiness.
Patek Philippe, through its achievements at the cutting edge of innovation, constantly pushes back the frontiers of the watchmaking art; representing tradition at its most dynamic. Confirming Patek Philippe’s pioneering role by filing over 80 patents, twenty of which are of major importance to the history of horology. The Patek Philippe Seal was therefore designed to evolve; accommodating all the technical progress and future developments that serve to advance long-term reliability, precision and mechanical functionality.
Patek Philippe have always conceived its timepieces and exclusive creations; over 200 models are now in regular production, fitted with a vast array of in-house movements, the timepieces are produced in small series of between ten and several hundred watches. From paper to production, they earn a special place in the hearts of worldwide enthusiasts. Each Patek Philippe ; a unique creation coveted by the connoisseur due to the rigorous standards applied at each step of the long development process, months of crafting and finishing goes into each precious piece.
Patek Philippe timepieces are simply works of art which their beauty reflects the mechanical perfection; outliving passing fashions without ever losing their modernity and appeal; the exceptional creations they are. Having established its own understated, timeless style, Patek Philippe have combined elegance, discretion, personality and an aristocratic touch to inspire models with strong, refined, simple lines that have become classics. Now as always, evolving with subtle modifications enable the watches to retain all the traditional characteristics and charm.
To hear a story of love, passion and tenderness; speak to the owner of a Patek Philippe, hear how highly they speak of their timepiece. A Patek Philippe is not just a timepiece; it is a personal possession full of precious memories, pride, not just a means of telling the time. Often related to a personal event – a professional success, a marriage, a birth of a child, the death of a loved one - the sentimental value can be overwhelming. You have earned that Patek Philippe; one of the most eloquent expressions of love or affection; offering a Patek Philippe as a gift.
Founded in 1839, Patek Philippe and its history is part of Geneva’s great watchmaking tradition; the story of a unique heritage, a combination of ingenuity, passion and experience that the company proudly safeguards and revitalizes in all its disciplines and skills. Faithful to the noble artisanal techniques, its craftsmen and watchmakers perpetuate, day after day, the beautiful, timeless gestures and the deftness of touch and the sharpness of the eye have always distinguished the fine art of watchmaking. With the most advanced technology these skills thrive in perfect harmony.
Quality and Fine Workmanship
To develop, manufacture and assemble the finest timepieces in the world was the one and only goal that Antoine Norbert de Patek and Adrien Philippe had. Today, more than ever “fine workmanship” and “quality” remain the first words brought to mind when describing a Patek Philippe; in every aspect, whether in terms of the external elements or the movement, the aesthetic aspects or the technical; the rate of accuracy or the performance of each function of the timepiece, President of Patek Philippe - Thierry Stern and his father, Honorary President - Philippe Stern – personally stand by all the commitments embodied in the Patek Philippe Seal, the most exclusive of quality hallmarks.
A Patek Philippe commands a high price; as the product of an extraordinary amount of time, care and knowledge; it will fully retain or even increase in value over the years. Any Patek Philippe is an investment piece, and investment for now and an investment for the future. At auction many of our timepieces have fetched record-setting sums achieving cult status. The great sentimental value that a Patek Philippe usually acquires in the eyes of its owner makes each one a treasured family heirloom not to mention the solid reputation amongst collectors, the status it gives you for even owning a Patek Philippe, as you do not buy a Patek Philippe; You earn a Patek Philippe.
Patek Philippe works with a handpicked distribution network to provide a service to uphold its reputation. In over 70 countries with almost 500 retailers are representing the company having been selected according to Patek Philippe’s stringent specifications. Patek Philippe believes that it has a duty to provide the highest standard of after-sales service possible, and has made this a key criterion and requirement of the Patek Philippe Seal. This ensures the owener of the timepiece that the watch will continue to receive the required care and attention to remain as reliable as ever, generation to generation.
To become the custodian of a scientific artistic tradition is to acquire a Patek Philippe; handed down with love and care and will continue to inspire the family to earn their very own. It is the ticket to a world of a family company where from father to son, mother to daughter, each generation dedicated to perpetuating this unique heritage, a prized family heirloom to remain within the family for generations. To earn your own Patek Philippe is also to welcome your own family into a tradition designed to last and accompany successive generations, signifying you beginning your very own tradition, creating a bridge between the past and the future.
May 1st 1839
Antoni Patek (Businessman) and François Czapek (Watchmaker); two Polish immigrants; joined forces to found "Patek, Czapek & Cie" in Geneva.
Patek met French watchmaker; Jean-Adrien Philippe; in Paris where he presented his pioneering stem winding and setting system by the crown.
Czapek decided to leave the company and to continue on his own, the company name then changed to "Patek & Cie".
Adrien Philippe officially became associated with the company, it was renamed "Patek Philippe& Cie", before changing again in 1901 to "Ancienne Manufacture d’Horlogerie Patek Philippe & Cie, S.A.".
Charles and Jean Stern, two brothers purchased the company; owners of a fine dial manufacturer in Geneva. Since then, "Patek Philippe S.A." remains a family owned firm.
Thierry Stern became president and his father Philippe Stern, Honorary president; officailly transferring the company presidency from the 3rd to the 4th generation.