Franck Muller (1958 – ) A gifted Swiss watchmaker whose company bears his name. Muller grew up in La Chaux-de-Fonds raised by his Italian mother and Swiss-born father. At 15, he enrolled in a watchmaking school. By the early 1980s, he had graduated from the Watchmaking School of Geneva. He started his career by repairing expensive, high quality pocket watches. A friend of the independent watchmaker, Svend Andersen, Muller specialized in watches from the Patek Philippe collection.
Most of these clients for whom he did work were private individuals and/or museums. As Muller worked with these complicated timepieces, he studied their mechanisms and became determined to open his own shop. He did that in 1991.
On its Facebook page, the company writes, “In less than 20 years the Franck Muller brand has become a reference in the Haute Horlogerie world. Founded 1991 by the talented young watchmaker, Franck Muller, in association with Vartan Sirmakes, a specialist in Haute Horlogerie, the Franck Mueller brand is known for its technical expertise and innovative design. Today the House has more than 65 patents, 47 exclusive boutiques throughout the world and 6 production sites in Switzerland.”
In 1984, Franck Muller designed his tourbillon wristwatch. In the 1980s, few watchmakers could create such a highly complicated timepiece. Muller’s private clients continued to seek new creations and the business started growing.
Muller’s ultra-complicated timepieces became famous in Europe and the United States. Today, his factory produces a limited number of watches for private clientele. Muller collections include a variety of designs and price ranges.
Franck Muller is also known for its “World Premiers”. Each year, the company launches at least one new timepiece line that features something special and exclusive and never seen in the watchmaking industry.
The first such world premiere was in 1993. These watches had a split second chronograph, minute repeater, and perpetual calendar. In addition, the watches had an indicator to show internal temperature. All the company’s watches are mechanical, having either manual or self-winding movements.
The Franck Mueller brand carries the slogan, “Master of Complications”. His watches have been seen adorning the wrists of celebrities including Demi Moore, Elton John, and 50 Cent. Franck Muller timepieces are famous for their fusion of “modern” style, mostly inspired by American watches from the thirties, like the “Elgin tonneau”, and also for following the spirit of traditional Swiss watch manufacturing.