Fifteen years on and Franck Muller’s Crazy Hours timepiece is still going strong with a new injection of limited edition watches for Asia. Chief Operations Officer Nicholas Rudaz tells us more.
The Crazy Hours was a watch that cemented Franck Muller’s reputation for complications. What is the reception of the watch today?
You know, when we first launched this watch and its picture was shown in the newspapers or magazines, 95 percent of the people looking at the photo could not see what made the watch special; because it does take a little bit of reflection [to understand what the watch does]. And it’s the same today when I show this watch to someone who knows nothing about the Crazy Hours. It’s only when I ask them to read the time that their mind starts to understand what’s going on. And I like [to see] their reaction when that happens. Now, we can promote the watch through video and social media, and of course the message comes across much easier. Plus, the new designs have proven to be popular with the public and we’ve sold already quite a nice number of this new limited edition collection. So I think the dream of the Crazy Hours, the fun of this complication, is still very well received.
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Tell us a bit more about this new limited edition collection.
Well, it’s been updated with different colours and it has a trendier, younger dial. We’ve outlined the numerals so that it pops more and we’ve also got this hologram effect in the dial that is all made by hand. It takes 12 different layers of lacquer on the dial to achieve this. So, you know, it’s not just a quick stamp that produces the dial; it’s a handmade artwork.
Why did you decide to make it an Asia-Exclusive collection?
We’ve always had a very close relationship with Asia; it is our largest market as well— Asia represents about 60 percent of our market—so it was only natural that we’d make such a big limited collection [for the region].
What birthday wish do you have for the Crazy Hours?
I would just love the whole world to buy one! But really, I’m just fascinated in presenting this product all the time because when you wear it, people [who don’t know the watch] think it’s not working or that it’s not showing the correct time. So you have to tell people how to use it—the fascination is always there.
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Franck Muller seems to be a brand that attracts diehard fans. Why do you think this is so?
When we launched in ’92, the product was absolutely unique. No other watchmaker was making the kind of complications or designs that we were doing then. The fact that Franck Muller is different is what, I think, appeals to people. They want something avant-gardist, something that stands out and is unique. The fact that Franck Muller has always been a little bit bold, experimental, and different is why the brand is still strong today, if not stronger.