On The Clock With Nicholas Rudaz, CEO of Franck Muller at WPHH 2024
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On The Clock With Nicholas Rudaz, CEO of Franck Muller at WPHH 2024

On The Clock With Nicholas Rudaz, CEO of Franck Muller at WPHH 2024


“The Master of Complications”

At A Glance

  • Chrono Hunter flew to Geneva after being cordially invited by Franck Muller for WPHH 2024 during Watches and Wonders week.
  • A myriad of new releases have been dropped by the Maison at WPHH 2024 from the Vanguard Open Back with in-house movement and Curvex CX Grand Central Tourbillon Skeleton to the triple window CX Master Jumper with jumping hour, and limited edition Long Island collection.
  • Renowned for exquisite avant-garde design, there are a host of other releases at WPHH 2024 that will catch many enthusiasts' eyes. 
  • Franck Muller have now upgraded the striking CX Tourbillon Baguette decked with hand-set baguette diamonds as well as new additions to the Vanguard lineup ,in the form of the Lady Slim Skeleton and ultra-slim Lady Slim Vintage.
  • Shortly after the press conference, which Chrono Hunter attended, it was time for our in-depth and revealing interview with the Maison’s CEO, Nicholas Rudaz.
  • This far reaching tête-à-tête covers many areas of the genius behind Franck Muller not to mention some exclusive near heard before snippets and quips..like does Monsieur Rudaz prefer potato rosti or raclette?
  • Check out our behind the scenes footage over on our Instagram of the Gala Dinner which Chrono Hunter attended. Incorporating a vibrant colours theme this year, there was much to marvel on the night including a glitzy diamond Crazy Hours numerals necklace.

At Chrono Hunter, just like the Cintrée Curvex, we are constantly ahead of the horological curve. So much so that we don’t just bring you our one of a kind platform where customers can enjoy the ultimate buying or selling watch experience via multiple offers and a carefully procured network of the finest luxury retailers.

We are so much more than that. Exclusives to be exact.



Like the Aeternitas Mega, which when debuted was the world’s most complicated watch with a whopping 36 different complexities with a Westminster Carillon chime and 1,000 year calendar, (Now at Watches and Wonders 2024 the new Vacheron Constantin Berkeley has come along with a stonking 63 complications!), we are bringing you devoted horophiles a not to be missed interview with Nicholas Rudaz, CEO of Franck Muller

Bringing a range of timekeeping topics to the table, Simon Lazarus, our Head of Content & PR deep dives into what makes this top luxury watch brand tick. Trust us when we say it will make the silicon hairsprings of your neck stand on end!

Covering the Maison’s brand spanking new releases at WPHH 2024, we gain an insight into many other fundamental elements behind Franck Muller, the importance of the Japanese market, the story behind the inception of the Cintrée Curvex and a few one time horological anecdotes about Franck Muller himself. You really are in for a horological treat.

Are you geared up more than the 1,483 components inside the Aeternitas Mega 4? It’s time to sit back, strap your Curvex CX Flash, Master Jumper or Vanguard Damascus Carbon Skeleton on (new at WPHH 2024) for a second, and enjoy our exclusive, uncensored interview with the man of the moment…Nicholas Rudaz.

Merci mille fois!


Nicholas Rudaz, CEO of Franck Muller - The Big Interview

In Conversation with Nicholas Rudaz at WPHH 2024, Source: Chrono Hunter


Simon Lazarus: Mesdames et Messieurs, Bonjour, Guten Tag, Hallo and welcome to this glorious Geneva morning, I am Simon Lazarus, Head of Content & PR at Chrono Hunter. 

I am delighted we have joining us this morning as part of WPHH 2024, Nicholas Rudaz, who doesn’t need any introduction…but I’ll give him an introduction anyway. Nicholas Rudaz, CEO of Franck Muller…enchanté

Nicholas Rudaz: Welcome to Watchland, Ohayou Gozaimasu as they say in Japan.

Simon Lazarus: We are all multilingual here..it’s all one big family. 

Nicholas Rudaz: Indeed

Simon Lazarus: Thanks for joining us. So look, before we kick off on the new releases which are phenomenal..I see there are a lot of rainbow colours going on here.

Nicholas Rudaz: Of course, Franck Muller was the first to put the rainbow on the Double Mystery and today we have a wonderful baguette piece triple axis tourbillon

Simon Lazarus: We’ll move on to that in a tick…but for our viewers who don’t know anything about you just tell us about your background and how you nearly ended up in Malaysia, back in the day.

Nicholas Rudaz: Well, we’ll make it very short. I have been working at the factory now for sixteen years. I was Director, General Manager and I have been CEO for the last two years. 

I actually come from the hotel business, because I worked at the Four Seasons in London. I opened up Hotel La Reserve in Geneva here 21 years ago and I have also lived in Australia, England, Canada and Malaysia

Simon Lazarus: So that was the background but now we want to go on to the main reason why we are all here…Franck Muller, the new releases, les nouvelles releases.

Nicholas Rudaz: Absolutely

Simon Lazarus: Just tell us because there are a lot of releases.

Nicholas Rudaz: Correct, correct

Simon Lazarus: So fill us in...

Nicholas Rudaz: Briefly I will try to fill you in (a cacophony of laughs) So effectively, Franck Muller has always been at the forefront of design and complications and colours as well, and this year we are very proud to be presenting a wonderful new ladies collection with vintage ladies and lots of wonderful new declinations of colours


The emblematic Curvex CX Master Jumper with new in-house movement and three apertures for a one of a kind time telling visual

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We are presenting the Master Jumper of course in the CX case in lots of different finishes and colours, diamonds, without diamonds…because as you know the co-founder of the brand was a diamond setter, so we are very strong in presenting diamond pieces.

A first for the Maison, Franck Muller unveils the new Master Lighter alongside S.T. Dupont. In development for more than two years, Haute Horlogerie and goldsmithing meet to form a perfectly executed lighter. 

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We have this new wonderful Dupont collaboration. We have made a new limited edition lighter with the Franck Muller mechanical movement inside the lighter, available in four different declinations and limited to 88 pieces. 

We are very happy with this collaboration. We have a new wonderful Long Island case, exclusively available for the Asia-Pacific market and it’s in three different models for the Long Island Evolution. 

The new Long Island Evolution, specifically for the Asia-Pacific market, encompassing Master Jumper, Giga Tourbillon and impressive 7 Days Power Reserve

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One being the power reserve one, the other being the Giga tourbillon, the world’s biggest tourbillon and Franck Muller was the first to put the tourbillon on the front of a wristwatch.

He was the first to do the double axis tourbillon, he was the first to do the triple axis tourbillon and today, Franck Muller makes the world’s fastest tourbillon, the world’s biggest tourbillon and also we make the world’s most complicated watch...

Simon Lazarus: The Aeternitas Mega of course

The latest Aeternitas Mega 5, the definition of what this Maison is about. Intricate watchmaking, incorporating 1,483 components, it is sold for more than $2 million

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Nicholas Rudaz: We presented the Aeternitas 4 back in 2012 and to this date is still one of the world’s most complicated watches.

Simon Lazarus: The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300G with only a mere 20 complications is not a patch on the Aeternitas. That’s nearly double…it’s a feat of engineering, of craftsmanship and every Franck Muller has this…some of the most iconic watches that I have seen for example…the Crazy Hours.

Showcasing the renowned Crazy Hours on a red leather strap, Source: Chrono Hunter

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Nicholas Rudaz: Correct, which I am wearing on my right wrist…

Simon Lazarus: let’s get a nice closeup of the Crazy Hours.

Nicholas Rudaz: But as I was saying, this is an iconic watch for the brand, we celebrated the 20th anniversary last year. And 20 years ago there was no Iphone, there was no social media so you had to present this in a magazine. It was incredibly difficult for people to actually understand what is going on. 

But today, thanks to people like you Simon and social media (Merci beaucoup Nicholas), you share the emotion of the watch in just ten seconds…and this is why this watch is still doing extremely well.

The Aeternitas Tower, Dubai Marina in conjunction with London Gate due for completion in 2026.

Simon Lazarus: So you mention in your presentation about the Middle East, that new incredible building the Franck Muller Aeternitas Tower at Dubai Marina.

This is the highest branded residential tower, located in Dubai Marina…at a whopping 450 metres tall, are you reaching new heights and when is this due to be launched?


“The reason why we have been very good in Japan from day one is because we worked with a wonderful man, called Mr. Saito-San who was working with TAG Heuer back in the 70s and 80s” - Nicholas Rudaz, CEO of Franck Muller


Nicholas Rudaz: Due to be launched in 2026

Simon Lazarus: And I know the Japanese market is also integral for Franck Muller…

Nicholas Rudaz: Yes, of course, the Japanese market has always been very big with us 

Simon Lazarus: Tell me why briefly.

Nicholas Rudaz: We can even do Franck Muller weddings where all the art on the table is with the numbers, the Franck Muller designs and the reason why we have been very good in Japan from day one is because we worked with a wonderful man, called Mr. Saito-San. 

And he was working with TAG Heuer back in the 70s and 80s. He is the one who positioned TAG Heuer in the Formula 1 industry for example…and when it was sold, he lost TAG Heuer and at the same time, he met Franck and he thought wow, this is a genius, this is someone incredible who I can think I can work with him.

And that’s why from day one we were very well positioned in Japan.

Opening of the new opulent FM store in Kuala Lumpur, January 2024.


Simon Lazarus: And obviously, you have had the recent opening in Kuala Lumpur…tell us more about that

Nicholas Rudaz: Well, thanks to our wonderful partner in Asia Pacific, Cortina, they developed our biggest flagship luxury store at the Pavilion Mall in Kuala Lumpur, for which I was there for the grand opening, back in January this year. Almost 200 square metres of Franck Muller presentation.

NOTE: If you want to see what their largest boutique store across Asia is all about, check it out here

Simon Lazarus: So tell me is that a growing market, the South East Asian and Malaysian market, are there a lot of enthusiasts out there?

Nicholas Rudaz: It’s always been a very important market for us and we are very happy to develop it even further with a new concept, with a new design of boutiques and our great partner Cortina does a fantastic job for us in the region. So we are very happy to be working hand in hand with them for the long term.

Simon Lazarus: Do you see a synergy between the Japanese market and the Malaysian market…is that going to go, pardon the pun, hand in hand?

Nicholas Rudaz: Well, the Asian market is slightly different in Japan and this distribution belongs to us directly..so different market, different dynamics, different products and we have to adapt each time.


Moonphase or Chronograph? Skeleton or Tourbillon? What does Franck Muller’s CEO, Nicholas Rudaz prefer as he plays a speedy game of “This or That.”


Simon Lazarus: Last thing to round off…I am going to play a little game with you called celui-ci ou celui-la (this or that) 

Nicholas Rudaz: Ok, no problem, I'll try. (laughs). In French or in English?

Simon Lazarus: For our audience, let’s keep it to English…for the time being. So I'll give you some quick-fire things and you tell me which you prefer. It’s very quick

Nicholas Rudaz: Ok

Simon Lazarus: Ok…moonphase or chronograph

Nicholas Rudaz: Errrr okmoonphase

Simon Lazarus: Skeleton or tourbillon

Nicholas Rudaz: Skeleton tourbillon!

Simon Lazarus: (Laughs) Vanguard Damascus Steel or Cintrée Curvex

Nicholas Rudaz: Ahhh that’s a killer, that’s like asking me to choose between my son and my daughter…

Simon Lazarus: Hey, I am the one with the tough questions! We’ll call it a draw. And finally (long dramatic pause) potato rösti or raclette?

Nicholas Rudaz: Hmmm. Always raclette…but you should have asked raclette or fondue!

Simon Lazarus: And if we have time, can you tell us not one but two anecdotes about Franck?

Nicholas Rudaz: If I have time and if you have time…

Simon Lazarus: Yes, absolutely

Nicholas Rudaz: What I would like to share with you to give you an understanding of who Franck is, when he was 15 years old, he was at the watch school here in Geneva. 

And after the first year, he won the prize for being the best student of the class. At that time, the prize was a Rolex watch.

The infamous yellow gold Rolex Datejust piece unique, modified by Franck Muller and transformed into the Rolex Perpetual Calendar ref. 16238 (now owned by Jay-Z), ​​Source: LiveAuctioneers

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Simon Lazarus: Oh really?

Nicholas Rudaz: And any fifteen year old who wins a Rolex will keep it precious for the rest of his life, or he will sell it quickly to buy a motorbike or a guitar, or go travelling. (Simon interjects with oh yes, “level up”)

And what Franck did, he disassembled the Rolex watch, he added a complication which was the Quantieme perpetual and then sold it at a profit…at a premium.

Simon Lazarus: And this was going back how long?

Nicholas Rudaz: At age 16…and this is the genius of Franck Muller, and this is what we strive for every single day.

Simon Lazarus: Of course, because look, I see it in these phenomenal colours that are across…everyone now goes on about the slimmer watches, the 36, 37, 38, 39mm wristwear.

Nicholas Rudaz: Correct

Simon Lazarus: The slimmer watches, that’s where it’s going. But then you add in all these colourways, the accents, the hues…

Nicholas Rudaz: Of course, Colour Dreams, Franck Muller was the first to put the colours inside the watch with the Colour Dreams.

Simon Lazarus: Was it the 30th anniversary?

Nicholas Rudaz: That was the Crazy Hours, no sorry that was the 30th anniversary of the brand, this was two years ago. And for that one we did a Colour Dreams Crazy Hours.

Simon Lazarus: Because the dial on that, the Crazy Hours with all the hues, colourways and the bezel and especially we've talked about the Crazy Hours, the Cintrée Curvex with the uniformity and with the sleek silhouettes. The Cintrée Curvex is another iconic watch.

Nicholas Rudaz: It is the DNA of the brand for sure and every single dial is hand painted. We have our own dial factory. We are vertically integrated so everything is in-house and that’s why we can react very quickly to the market.


Franck Muller Anecdote - The Inspiration Behind the Curvex

The epitome of the Maison. The sleek contours of the Cintrée Curvex

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Simon Lazarus: And one more thing as we are nearly out of time (I hate these watch puns so I will get them out the way now) I need one more anecdote about Franck Muller.

Nicholas Rudaz: One more anecdote about Franck Muller…

Simon Lazarus: You promised me two, I have one already.

Nicholas Rudaz: With pleasure Simon. So, what you need to understand is that Franck in the very beginning was only doing highly complicated watches which no one else was doing at the time.

This was back in the late 80’s and early 90s. And he was spending his time delivering all these complicated watches to these watch collectors, all around the world.

And one day, the wife of a collector said to Franck, ah you need to make me a design watch. You need to make me something special, a nice case. Something different but simple.

And Franck was lost for words, because he only knows how to do hugely complicated watches. So, he left the client not knowing what to do, and thinking what am I going to do, what is my inspiration.

And he thought about the lady asking him…about the curves of the lady. And this is how from the curves of the lady that he created the wonderful curved Curvex watch, which today is still very iconic. And that was his inspiration for this wonderful shape.

Simon Lazarus: So tell me in the nineties, Franck Muller was famous for the sporty chronograph, can you enlighten our viewers about that sporty chronograph that was oh so popular?

Nicholas Rudaz: Well, back in the day, Franck was the first to be doing the double faced, round faced chronograph, and that’s why today we have brought out this iconic model as well for 2024.

Simon Lazarus: I hear the bell ringing…we are sadly out of time.

Nicholas Rudaz: Ok great Simon.

Simon Lazarus: Merci beaucoup de votre temps 

Nicholas Rudaz: Thanks very much for coming to Watchland…great to have you with us, and thank you to your…fans.

Simon Lazarus: Thank you and you will be seeing a lot more of Franck Muller…on chronohunter.com. Thanks again Nicholas.

Nicholas Rudaz: Cheers, it was my pleasure. Thank you very much.



So there we have it. The pleasure was all his. And it certainly was as myself, alongside the Founders of Chrono Hunter, Sam and Max revelled in the incredible hospitality, warmth and of course watches shown across the Watchland Estate and at WPHH 2024. 

Don’t forget the brand was putting tourbillons on wristwatches a decade before Richard Mille came onto the scene. 1991 to be precise. There really aren’t enough superlatives to describe this magnanimous two day experience. A huge shout out must go to the PR team at Franck Muller USA for their gracious invitation.

And we look forward to doing it all over again…this time next year!


Want to buy a Franck Muller at the best possible price? Looking to buy or sell on the most secure platform where you only deal with the most exclusive network of luxury retailers? It’s about time you contact Chrono Hunter. 

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Images unless otherwise specified: Franck Muller


Further Reading: 

Franck Muller - A Brand History


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