Master watchmakers are definitely an unusual breed. First of all, they choose to exercise their considerable engineering prowess on the most esoteric and archaic of technologies. There’s a certain type of person drawn to innovating a centuries-old technology: a creative iconoclast.
The luxury watch world is small and exclusive, especially the Swiss luxury watch world. Watchmakers can end up operating in a very insular world. There’s always a push to innovate movements, but most complications have already been invented and perfected. The rare exception to this rule is the Franck Muller Crazy Hours, a watch that plays with the very concept of time. Here are three reasons Crazy Hours is our over-the-top watch of the month.
1. Crazy Hours Is Delightfully Disorienting
Most fans of fine watches are expertly practiced at identifying the time with a simple glance at their wrist. The Crazy Hours watch forces the wearer to initially pay attention to the actual numerals, rather than their position on the dial, in order to tell the time. In that tiny, half-second pause is a moment of pleasant disorientation. It gives your brain just a tiny workout, and infuses a sense of delight into the simple act of checking the time. In a year like this, we’re all for a little delight.
2. Crazy Hours Is A Mechanical Masterpiece
The Crazy Hours movement is complex and beautiful, and it’s become a flagship for Muller’s brand. This complication won’t be used in many other watches, so the work that went into its development is especially (impressive) and interesting. Essentially, the Crazy Hours is a jumping hours movement with a twist. The hour markers for four of the numerals are in their usual positions: 4, 10, 7, and 1. The hour movement of the watch has been changed so that the hand jumps 5 positions every hour, landing on the correct numeral. In practice, however, the watch moves as if by magic, wildly spinning and then always landing on the right index. (The second hand performs as usual, and minutes are read by position on the dial, not numeral.)
3. It’s The Perfect Watch for Working From Home
Although unintentional, Crazy Hours is also the perfect watch for the coronavirus era. Without many of the routines and rituals that used to frame our days, time feels more fluid and unpredictable in nature. Although the Crazy Hours complication was invented in 2003, it seems almost prophetic, pointing to a future where time would lose some of its meaning. Let’s be honest: most weeks in 2020 you weren’t sure if it was Tuesday or Thursday. This is a watch that embraces that ethos, telling you it’s ok to be uncertain. It encourages you to take a moment of mindfulness every time you look down at your wrist.
Image: @king_moshoeshoe_2 Instagram
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By: Meghan Clark