With the Lunar New Year coming in only two weeks, Franck Muller surprises with a new Year of the Rabbit themed release that while seeming out of character to what we might typically expect from the brand, is nonetheless a harbinger of more exciting out of the box releases to come.
The new watch is a collaboration with provocative Tokyo based streetwear label #FR2, and is named the #FR2NCK Muller Vanguard, which explains the unusual corruption of the usual brand name on the dial of the watch. For sure, it might come across as an uncomfortable interruption to the usually bejewelled and/or high horological orientation of the brand, but the accompanying aesthetics are thoroughly in line with the high contrast, bold monochromatic aesthetic that characterizes the #FR2 streetwear label.
The main highlight of the dial of the #FR2NCK Muller Vanguard are the streetwear label’s Fxxking Rabbits motif applied at the seven and eight hour markers, and these along with the hand-applied exploding Arabic hour indices that are in black PVD are set up against a background of matte white, which comes in stark contrast to the Super Luminova on both the skeletonised obelisk hands and the #FR2 rabbits logo really makes these elements “pop’’ in the dark.
The single spot of color in this arrangement is the red eye on the rabbit, throwing a cheeky, knowing wink – as if to say: “Have fun with this watch, as much as I’m having fun!”
This stark monochromatic dial is then contrasted with a new dark coloured carbon and glass fibre composite Vanguard case, which is then attached to a white nylon strap with velcro closures. These additional ingredients not only further the monochromatic theme of the watch, but also makes the watch wear very lightly on the wrist.
And then with the watch on, check out what the words printed on the strap when you tilt your wrist a little – “#FR2 fxxkingrabbits NO SEXUAL SERVICES”
The watch is powered by the brand’s MVT FM 800-DT, a self-winding movement with bidirectional rotor system, 165 components, 21 jewels, beating at 28,800 alternations per hour, with 42 hours power reserve, which is hidden behind a solid caseback. This caseback comes engraved with the full Franck Muller name (so we know that it is still a Franck Muller). the Fxxking Rabbits motif, the #FR2 logo, some references numbers, and finally your edition number (out of 800 limited edition pieces)
Do note that this 800 piece limited edition collaboration is only available for the Southeast Asia and Australia markets, though if you’re hard up for one, I’m sure that Franck Muller will help you out no matter where you are in the world if you contact them.
Overall, what I like about the #FR2NCK MULLER Vanguard is how it brings together traditional luxury Swiss watchmaking and Japanese streetwear cool in an engaging watch that expresses the flavours of both seemingly disparate universes. Not only that, the watch itself is attractive, and makes for a fresh, casual, sporty, wearing experience. Lastly, after the relative gloom of the past couple of years, it’s nice to have a new year watch release that is cheeky, tongue in cheek and fun again.