Franck Muller Crazy Hours -- Replica ?

Roy Gardner

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The white plastic movement spacer certainly suggests a fake.
I read somewhere that Franck Muller licensed the crazy hours mechanism to the counterfeiters because Muller could make more money that way. So, in a way, your watch could be partly "legal."
 
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Rick Hufnagel

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Looks like a Chinese DG28xx movement, although it would be modified to provide the jump to the correct hours.

I would think it would be easier to service it than find the correct movement with the jump number feature.
 

MrRoundel

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If there's no special feature then the not-so-special feature must be that it never tells the correct time, right? I mean without the ability of the hands to "jump" to the proper time, it will only be right twice per day. Either that or the rectangular dial has to do some crazy physics stumping gymnastics to move the numbers to proper position relative to the conventionally moving hands, no? It would be interesting to see what lies beneath...the dial.
 

Rick Hufnagel

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The replicas with these movements have the 5hr jump complication under the dial.

During my inexpensive economy Chinese watch rabbit hole, i've read about these. there is an underdial picture somewhere on the internet and for some reason I can't find it. If it comes up I'll post a link.
 
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Chris Radek

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Oh wow! I would have never guessed.

This reminds me of Daniels describing one of his early watches - he wanted it to be special, so he put a lot of effort into making a flyback hour hand mechanism, and while it was neat, you couldn't tell time on the darn thing so he quit doing that.
 
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glenhead

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To reiterate:

This isn't a "replica" or a "homage" or any other euphemistic feel-good word. It's a fake, a cheap Chinese knock-off of a $7000 work of art. The fake movements are readily available for $35 right now (yes, I looked) from at least one parts house. I'm not going to give any more information than that. If you want one of the movements you'll have to find it yourself.

In function, the hour hand stays at its hour until the minute hand hits the 12. During the minute hand's transit of the dial, a trip mechanism winds up. At the 12, the trip mechanism releases and the hour hand is kicked forward five notches. In the real Franck Muller the movement is elegant, well made, and sure. The Chinese stole the concept of the five-hour jump and kludged something together to slap onto one of their cheapest movements. The complete lack of quality means that the jump fails fairly quickly. I'm not going to go into detail about how it fails, as I don't wish to encourage anyone.

I've had one of these abominations on my bench, and believe me, you don't want to try to overhaul it. It is about as far away from "easier to service it" as I've seen. The whole concept of "parts availability" with these things is a non-starting laugh. They're made to be thrown away and replaced. I've worked on several of the better-made Chinese movements - this one ain't one of them.

Glen
 

Roy Gardner

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In the Frank Muller section of Lucien Trueb's book The World of Watches on page 176, he says the hour hand jumps forward 150 degrees each hour, matching glenhead's 5 notches. Look at watchbob's photo of the dial and by counting clockwise 5 hours each time, you get the sequence 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-etc. The clever and deliberate layout of the numbers on the dial makes for a relatively simple "crazy" mechanism in the motion works.
 

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