Franck Muller’s Goes Long with the Long Island Evolution

Franck Muller
Franck Muller

When you think “boundary-pushing”, Franck Muller comes up almost immediately. Known for pioneering technical marvels in horology, the company doesn’t just stop at high and grand complication timepieces, its innovation extends on its exterior to include the case and dials craftsmanship, gem-setting techniques, and the avant-garde materials it uses. Remember the iconic Cintrée Curvex first shown in 1987? How did the timepiece’s curved case and unique contour come to cement Franck Muller’s name? The distinctive silhouette is carried onto the latest evolution of the Long Island Evolution case.

First introduced in 2000, the Long Island isn’t just a drink, it is a watch that made a splash with its three-hand design. The model was a tribute to the Art Deco movement and sported a rounded rectangular case, elegant curved form, short lugs, and arched numerals.

In Geneva, Franck Muller unveils a modern reimagining of the Long Island case. These three new Long Island models are homages to the original while introducing radically new expressions.

A standout feature of the new Long Island is the addition of an inner case that secures the “shaped movements that drive the watch”. With shaped movements, not only do they maximise the use of space within the case, they also present a visual appeal that’s challenging to engineer. The inner case provides added security and shock protection; the multi-layered construction discreetly attaches the sapphire crystal to the flange, which eliminates visible fixing screws.

In terms of aesthetics, the new Long Island boasts an anodised pine green aluminium inner case that’s paired with a black PVD-coated and satin-brushed titanium outer case. The watches are finished off with matte black alligator leather straps with contrast stitching and pine green edges.

Long Island Evolution 7 Days Power Reserve

Franck Muller
Franck Muller

Rounding off the collection is the Long Island Evolution 7 Days Power Reserve that features a hand-wound FM 1745 calibre in a fully skeletonised design. As a recall to the pocket watch movements, this impressive timepiece, it offers a seven-day power reserve; as a precise oscillator runs at 18,000vph.

The movement’s bridges are fully skeletonised so that you can peer through the sapphire crystal. A small seconds counter at the bottom of the display balances out the enormous mainspring above it. Turn the watch over and you can admire the partially revealed gear train and winding gears; in the dark, Arabic numerals are aglow.

Long Island Evolution Master Jumper

Franck Muller
Franck Muller

If you have to push the envelope, you go all out. Franck Muller introduces a triple-jumping complication for the Long Island Evolution Master Jumper. While triple jumping displays aren’t new, previous ones only do calendar functions in perpetual calendars. For the Evolution Master, there are three numerical indications for the hours, minutes and date functions combined. 

There’s an inner sapphire crystal at the level of the inner bezel to give that 3D depth to the timepiece. A crystal displays useful text elements that directly incorporate the frames for the three apertures: with the movement to remain open-worked while showcasing technical indications.

Three windows are arranged vertically down the middle of the case. You have got the hours at the top, minutes in the middle, and the date at the bottom. The minute and date windows utilises two separate discs for the tens and ones. Both jump at each decimal increment, while the hour window uses a single disc for hours ‘1’ to ’12’. All five discs and their driving wheels are seen through the front, supported by a bridge with machined cutouts.

Powering the numerical displays requires a lot of power. Thus the double-barrel system. The first barrel, located at 12 o’clock, drives the hours and minutes discs. The second barrel, at 6 o’clock, powers the movement and the date discs. A double-barrel system allows sufficient torque for instantaneous jumps, especially at day’s end when the date also changes.

As a testament to Franck Muller’s technical prowess, the Calibre FM 3100 was designed specifically for this timepiece. Hand-finished with meticulous techniques, it offers a blend of beauty and technical excellence, resulting from four years of dedicated development.

Long Island Evolution Giga Tourbillon

Franck Muller

Franck Muller is always known for its tourbillon designs. From the first multi-axis tourbillon to holding the record for the most complex wristwatch, the brand continues advancing tourbillon design like the Giga Tourbillon movement. This technical marvel features a 20mm cage. Now it graces the Long Island case with an all-black treatment that matches the titanium case.

The oversized tourbillon cage takes up half of the movement. It’s supported by a three-pointed bridge mirrored in the barrel bridges holding four mainsprings. These mainsprings provide a generous four-day power reserve that is displayed between the barrels. Super-LumiNova-filled hands indicate the hours and minutes, with the tourbillon doing double duty as a running second counter.

The Long Island Evolution is exclusive to the Asia Pacific region. There are 300 pieces for the 7 Days Power Reserve, 100 for the Master Jumper and only eight pieces for the Giga Tourbillon.

This article was first seen on Esquire.Sg.

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