One Of The Most Complicated Wristwatches Ever: Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 Hands-On

One Of The Most Complicated Wristwatches Ever: Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 Hands-On

The  Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 I have since quite a while ago thought to be not a chalice, but instead a fantasy, truly. Not that I have ever searched for it explicitly, however I have never unearthed it anyplace on the web, other than when highlighted with the company’s official photographs. In the interim, as years passed, I have indeed worn or potentially found in the wild generally the entirety of the craziest watches the horological world has figured out how to bring to this world. The Aeternitas Mega 4 was, nonetheless, no place to be seen – at any rate in those pieces of the world that I frequented. The Miraculous Encounter happened out of the blue on the most recent day of our SIHH 2018 outing this January, when this watch just… showed up. I was confounded, however not adequately confused to miss calling first dibs prior to continuing to grasp involved photos of this monster myself. Here’s how the Aeternitas Mega 4 closely resembled in the genuine world.

The Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 close to a Grand Seiko SBGC001… with around 1,050 less parts in it.

All pictures by David Bredan

First, the essentials of the complexities. 36 complications, 23 signs through 18 hands and 5 circles, 1,483 components, 99 gems, 91 wheels (!), 7 pushers and 4 correctors, five years of preparation and, apparently, an entire year to assemble… Oh, and a sticker price of around $2.7 million. These are the figures the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 stunned the world with toward the finish of 2009 – regardless of whether watches with above and beyond 1,000 components had existed before it.


I wish to explain that the degree of complexity in a watch can be estimated in excess of a small bunch various ways – from component tally through number of complications, signs, complexities and curiosity factor of signs, toughness, level and complexity of embellishments, etc. Hence, I won’t call this the most complicated ever – in spite of the fact that it was broadly viewed as such at the hour of its dispatch – on the grounds that it is a case simple to subvert by referencing different watches that are, in their own right, similarly as deserving of the most great of exemplifications. Another significant interesting point is the means by which the Aeternitas Mega 4 has 36 complications yet “””only“”” 23 signs. This is on the grounds that, as you’ll see from the rundown underneath, the rundown of complications incorporates mechanical complexities that render a component more complex/not the same as it essentially would be, henceforth adding to the complete figure of complications – however not generally to the quantity of signs (for example flying tourbillon considers two since it is a tourbillon that is of the “flying” game plan without an upper scaffold holding it down).

Let us currently engage ourselves with a full rundown of capacities and complications inside the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 – remembering that this is coming from an elusive, official Franck Muller archive from the hour of dispatch, not fished from the interweb.

  1. Hour, minute & second display
  2. Day-Night display
  3. Grand strike
  4. Small strike
  5. Silence
  6. Minute Repeater
  7. Westminster Carillon on 4 gong
  8. Programming of the Grand hit Small hit work with a waterproof push-piece and show on the dial
  9. Programming of the Strike-Silence work with a waterproof push-piece and show on the dial
  10. Lifting-switch system of the strike when close by setting position
  11. Mechanism which won’t permit the beginning of another strike if the point of reference isn’t to the end
  12. Bolting component of the hand-setting during the strike
  13. Transmission component to the sledge which allows the variation to various state of the gong
  14. Movement power save indicator
  15. Strike power hold indicator
  16. Silent Centrifugal legislative head of the pace of the strike
  17. Tourbillon on a metal roller with artistic balls
  18. Balance wheel with change tightens gold, without index
  19. Breguet overcoil with Phillips curve
  20. Flying tourbillon carriage, with no scaffold, obvious on the dial
  21. Automatic self-twisting system of the movment with platinum miniature rotor
  22. Automatic self-twisting component of the Westminster bells with a platinum miniature rotor
  23. Perpetual Calendar
  24. Display of the days
  25. Display of the months
  26. Retrograde Date
  27. Secular Calendar
  28. Display of the year up to 999 years
  29. Bissextile year display
  30. Indication of the common years
  31. Astronomic moon: deviation of 6.8 seconds for every lunation addressing a blunder of one day each 1000 years
  32. Equation of time
  33. Two extra time-zones
  34. Chronograph consolidated with three section wheels
  35. Instantaneous minutes counter
  36. Hours counter fused in the component of chronograph, retrograde hand display
  37. Fly-back hand mechanism

The FM3480 QPSE is the everything you can eat smorgasbord of fine watchmaking complications. The development is 34.40mm wide, 41.40mm tall and an incredible 13.65mm thick. At the end of the day, the development is about a similar size as a little, tonneau dress watch all cased up – aside from the way that it is much, much heavier. I should say, I’m somewhat disillusioned that Franck Muller didn’t add the whole rundown of complications in letters to the name of the type – Patek style – as I would have wanted to see a FM3480 QPSETCWCHRPEGMTARMFBPRDRGSPSSC! Discussion about missed opportunities!


The fun starts when you are given the watch and first feel its weight. The 18ct white gold Cintrée Curvex 8880 case is 42mm wide, 61mm long, and 19.15mm thick. The weight is totally massive but, it feels extraordinary in an abnormal, mysteriously off-kilter way. I’m sure you’ve been there when you’ve been wearing a watch for long and, briefly, you kind of failed to remember you had it on and wound up shaking your hand in frenzy to decide if there was a watch actually folded over your wrist. Indeed, I don’t think a rational brain – or even a seriously inebriated one, besides – might ignore the inclination this watch gives on the wrist. It’s so weighty and scaring that you are continually mindful of its thickness (not to knock it into things) and its weight… It’s what could be compared to The Mountain’s superfluously large broadsword – that’s a Game of Thrones reference you are welcome to ignore, simply think about a major ass sword.

You acknowledge fun has quite recently raised to an entire other level once you turn your wrist away from you. Hand on heart, I can say I was stunned (and uncontrollably delighted) at this sight for two reasons: 1) I have never seen a watch with the extents of a wiener canine on my wrist and 2) the watch had a sense of safety and peculiarly comfortable on the wrist that I basically wasn’t hoping to see such a tallness related with it. It in a real sense is a stunt on the psyche when you pivot your wrist away from you and find the thickness – I did it on many occasions and each time as the level, OK-looking dial began turning away from me, I could detect my brain terrifying as it attempted to comprehend what it was taking a gander at. It’s totally insane.

The Cintrex case is a heavenly piece of plan, and I should commend Franck Muller on their decision of this specific hand-sewn croc tie and a tang clasp. On a size of 1 to 10 for wearability, I was – let’s concede, not without reason – expecting the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 to score around 1, possibly a liberal 2… But the mix of the tie (it gets the case together high and profound into the drags, essentially shackling this monster of a watch onto the wrist) just as its decision of a graceful, however solid crocodile material implied I not even once had an inclination that the watch needs to somersault off my wrist any time I lifted a fork or drank from a glass – we saw the watch during lunch. It had a sense of safety around the wrist as the top 10% of watches out there, which is presumably the greatest mystery/shock of this watch.


On the image above, you can see this ~1 pound (that’s a rough approximation) watch sitting flush against my wrist, even in a vertical position. The watch wasn’t hauling down itself around my wrist – nah, rather, it was pulling my whole arm. This is to say that with insightfully picked drill-focuses for the strap’s spring bars a watch with abdominal muscle dag nab solutely tremendous extents can be held comfortably and safely around the wrist. This is only a heads-up to luxury work area diver’s watches, just as all the others: if this beast can sit fine on the wrist, you have no reason not to be incredibly comfortable without fail, all the time.

I urge everybody to attempt to settle on their own which side of the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 is more insane. The dial, with its 18 hands and 5 circles, or the case-back with its level 9000 labyrinth of cams, wheels, gears, plates, spans, etc. Peculiarly, the lone genuine clarity issue of the dial comes from the ineffectively AR-covered bended gem – I comprehend bended precious stones will consistently mirror a more extensive field of view on what’s behind/over the wearer of the watch… But I don’t figure I might get an absolutely (or near it) clear gander at the whole dial simultaneously. The signs are spread out cleverly with a brilliant utilization of blue and red making the various signs overly simple to recognize. I won’t attempt to depict where everything is on the dial – if it’s not too much trouble, simply allude to the graph shared on the past page to distinguish the individual functions.

The caseback see from a remote place is astoundingly spotless. In spite of the fact that I am certain you can have the white gold casing of the sapphire caseback engraved with individual messages or hotshot inscriptions of a portion of the watch’s specs, I think the vertically brushed piece outlines the very bustling development in a somewhat tasteful manner. This specific model, however it certainly dazzled me with its visual complexity, appeared to have carried on with a to some degree harder life: this specific piece was introduced by somebody from the brand thus, from the indications of wear on the development, I’ll put it all out there and say that this piece more likely than not been dismantled and re-collected ordinarily as of now. Given that this isn’t a customer’s piece, the production can do anything they desire with it and not go through hours (or days) cleaning every single little scratch or grime from the many pieces that are on show on the caseback’s side – so this, in my book, and since this wasn’t an authority occasion or appearing of the watch, is fine.


With that note made, the sheer thought behind the development is stunning to say the least… And to see this numerous little, 3-dimensional, CNC-cut (and not stepped) sorts come out on a caseback is a watch lover’s dream, without a doubt. I can scarcely envision the time and exertion that is needed to CAD configuration, machine, check, machine once more, refine, beautify, amass and maybe further tidy up this numerous individual pieces. The final product resembles a Lange Double Split on a great deal of and especially solid steroids: wherever you look, you see parts, cams, wheels, each with their own devoted capacity that thusly are connected to something else.

I figure Franck Muller should make a sapphire cased form of this straightaway – in the event that they are not kidding about demonstrating this watch off and selling a greater amount of it. On a last note with respect to every one of these complications that I figure everybody should remember: I didn’t attempt 95% of the complications in this watch thus I can’t comment on how they work… Honestly, I have no clue, nor measurable information on this, yet I would be shocked if all the complications on a watch with this degree of complexity reliably worked well at the equivalent time… and I’d be similarly as stunned if the watch’s proprietor really realized… But, guess what? However much a blasphemy this may appear to say, I don’t think requesting that this watch function admirably for an all-encompassing period is a preposterous solicitation. To the extent I’m concerned, and you may dissent, if any brand could show me a watch that had every one of its capacities working at one single second, I’d think about that as an amazing accomplishment – however that wouldn’t lead me to anticipate that it should work constantly. In the event that you think that’s a low bar of assumptions, I surmise you are yet to get a smart thought on the incomprehensible complexities that the cooperation somewhere in the range of a great many parts impose.

So, fundamentally, how was it to see the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 at its unexpected appearance? Invigorating. Following an entire seven day stretch of generally tepid, retro-jabber SIHH 2018, this Franck Muller-style center finger directly despite watch traditionalism was entertaining, captivating, and in truth, a major irregular the Horological Bucket List.

I am absolutely glad to see that the Aeternitas Mega 4 really exists and I was emphatically astounded by the reasonable and smart plan of its tie and tie joining, wearability, dial design, and the conspicuous difference among these and the weight, thickness, and that glossy horrible bended precious stone. It’s a tour de force that, at the equivalent, is additionally kind of a spoof of the class that it was intended to, ehm, consummate.

Last known cost for the Franck Muller Aeternitas Mega 4 is around $2,700,000. franckmuller.com