Hong Kong Tatler - - Style -

CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF THE FRANCK MULLER GROUP Above: Vartan Sirmakes. Right: The Van­guard Grav­ity Skele­ton by Franck Muller

BACK­GROUND Born in Is­tan­bul in 1956, Vartan Sirmakes comes from a fam­ily of Ar­me­nian jew­ellers. At 18, he moved to Geneva and started work­ing as a jewel-set­ting ap­pren­tice un­der An­to­nio Ber­tolini. Af­ter learn­ing the trade, he set up his own work­shop and built a re­spected rep­u­ta­tion within the in­dus­try, gain­ing the at­ten­tion of ma­jor watch­mak­ers like Ebel and Cartier.

HOOKED ON WATCHES Sirmakes’ pas­sion for de­sign and ar­chi­tec­ture in­spired him to di­ver­sify his busi­ness. He part­nered with bracelet and watch case man­u­fac­turer Pierre Ecof­fey and started to de­sign and pro­duce cases. The col­lab­o­ra­tion proved suc­cess­ful, at­tract­ing pres­ti­gious clients like Daniel Roth. Sirmakes even­tu­ally set his sights higher and aimed to pro­duce high-end watches.

PER­FECT MATCH In 1991, Sirmakes met Franck Muller and to­gether they set up Franck Muller Watch­land SA. From the start, they agreed that the com­pany would spe­cialise in com­pli­ca­tion watches—muller’s pas­sion. The duo went on to shake up the watch in­dus­try with re­mark­able in­no­va­tions, such as the triple-axis tour­bil­lon seen on the Franck Muller Rev­o­lu­tion 3 time­piece, as well the gi­ant tour­bil­lon in the aptly named Giga Tour­bil­lon. As well as its out-of-the-box ap­proach to watch­mak­ing, Franck Muller, the brand, also be­came know for its use of ton­neau cases.


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