A younger and more economical Casablanca for young watch lovers.
If the name “Casablanca” conjures up images of Humphrey Bogart saying goodbye to Ingrid Bergman’s heartbreaking “We’ll Always Have Paris” in the iconic 1942 film, we don’t feel surprise. Or, if you’re a wealthy traveler familiar with exotics, the charming Moroccan port city is known for its diverse architectural and gastronomic treasures.
However, if you’re a watch lover, the name “Casablanca” will inadvertently conjure up Franck Muller’s eponymous line of exquisite tonneau-shaped dress watches. Legend has it that the brand’s eponymous founder himself was inspired by the movie “Casablanca” when he created the watch collection.
Defined by sensuous lines that amplify the curves and three-dimensionality of a traditional tonneau-shaped case – Franck Muller has since registered a trademark for “Cintree Curvex” (French for “arched curve”) – Casablanca watches also feature capriciousness. The dial is dominated by large Art Deco Arabic numerals fanning out from the center. Indeed, this look and style will become synonymous with Franck Muller. More pertinently, the Casablanca collection is both an homage to the old school and a uniquely modern dress watch that was so popular that it rang at multiple cash registers in its heyday.
While the Casablanca line has never been discontinued, it has taken a back seat in recent years, overshadowed by the brand’s other product lines. Especially the Vanguard series, launched in 2015, dominates the new releases. This year, however, Franck Muller decided to cross-fuse the two collections with the launch of Vanguard Casablanca. For on-screen comparisons—after all, the collection has “Casablanca” in its name—these watches are like a Baz Luhrmann-esque remake of the original.
Watch lovers who know the Vanguard collection will be familiar with the watch’s hefty case (sort of like a gym bro version of the Cintree Curvex), colorful and eye-catching dials, and thick, sturdy straps that convey a sporty and dynamic spirit. Just as the Vanguard-treated Franck Muller’s iconic Crazy Hours and Revolution 3 Tourbillon finally look like they’re party-ready, Vanguard Casablanca also resurfaces as a bundled collection that looks years shorter than the original.
Available in 41mm and 43mm, the Vanguard Casablanca makes its presence felt. The barrel-shaped profile has been significantly enhanced, replacing the original Casablanca Art Deco dial with the classic spear hands, and bold stretched printed hour markers with a unique font (also Art Deco) skeletonized hands by Vanguard Collection. Minute track and compass points on the inner bezel.
To say the least, the series’ hyperbole is straight-forward. The watches are available in automatic three-hand and steel chronograph versions, with a black dial with Super-LumiNova markers, a brown dial with chocolate-colored numerals, and a salmon-colored dial with Super-LumiNova markers. Each version is imbued with its own glamour while collectively expressing the collection’s sporty luxury DNA. In addition, there is a boutique version of the stainless steel three-hand and chronograph models with black dials and blue numerals, which in our opinion is the coolest look in the collection.
The sporty style of the Vanguard Casablanca is very different from the exuberant and refined elegance of the original Casablanca. Franck Muller called it the collection’s “21st century” style, and he didn’t stray too far. In addition, as one of the brand ambassadors, Vanguard Casablanca aims to attract the attention of young watch lovers.
The watch’s muscular silhouette, vibrant colours and most importantly, make them entry-level for Franck Muller. Granted, that’s still a pretty high bar for young executives. But as the brand’s entry-level range, Vanguard Casablanca offers a tantalizing and intriguing proposition. fake luxury watches