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INTRODUCING: Franck Muller’s Long Island Evolution Master Jumper Ref. LI 35 MJ SQT NR BR(VR)

Franck Muller Long Island Master Jumper

The Long Island gets a major upgrade along with a new triple-jumping complication.  

Before we go any further into this latest release from Franck Muller, I have to declare that I have a bias because the Long Island was one of my first proper encounters with fine watchmaking. It remains one of the watch designs I’m most fond of, especially when coupled with Franck Muller’s Crazy Hours complication.  

Franck Muller Long Island
The original Long Island is one of Franck Muller’s best-loved designs with its elegant Art Deco-inspired aesthetic.

In fact, Franck Muller, in general, has an excellent record at time-only or time-and-date watches, whether it’s the Casablanca or Long Island or its iconic Cintrée Curvex. Adding a tourbillon or multi-axis tourbillon certainly elevates an elegant three-hander, too. There’s no doubt that the watchmaker has a flair for complications, but I find its design language best communicated through a simple timekeeper.

Franck Muller Long Island Master Jumper
Franck Muller makes a bold statement with the Long Island Master Jumper featuring a triple-jumping complication.

Jumping Displays 

That may be why, for the 2024 re-invigoration of the Long Island, the watchmaker has introduced three different time-only or time-and-date references in wildly different displays. The most significant of these is the Master Jumper, a new triple-jumping complication that is statement-making (and a record in watchmaking as well). Although triple jumpers do exist in perpetual calendars, these are calendar-only instantaneous triple jumpers that coincide just once a month in their jumps.

Franck Muller Long Island Master Jumper
The Franck Muller Long Island Master Jumper uses five discs to display the hours, minutes, and date.

When it comes to jumping displays in timekeepers, the Zeitwerk Date comes closest to the Franck Muller Master Jumper, though the latter outperforms in one aspect: it’s a big date display, which means there are two discs for the date. In total, the Master Jumper uses five discs to display the hours (one disc), minutes (two), and date. That really makes it an impressive movement because the energy required to drive five discs (or even four or three) over and over is significant and also causes some amplitude dip at each occurrence. That can have an impact on accuracy.

Franck Muller Long Island Master Jumper
The Calibre FM 3100 has an unusual double barrel system. One barrel powers the date display and gear train, and the other drives just the time display.

Franck Muller overcame this using an unusual double barrel system, with one barrel powering the date display and the gear train and another driving just the time display. By splitting the two sources (like a karrusel), it reduces the impact on accuracy. Sadly, this also comes at a different cost – power reserve. The Calibre FM 3100 has 30 hours of autonomy, enough if you’re wearing this watch daily, but winding the watch will be a daily ablution.  

Franck Muller Long Island Evolution
The Franck Muller Long Island Evolution has a black PVD-coated titanium case and green anodised aluminium inner case, giving the watch an almost TRON-like look.

A New Long Island 

For about five years (or more) now, I’ve been asking Franck Muller if they would be updating the Long Island case. Not that the original Long Island looks outdated, but in terms of construction, materials, and development, it’s certainly a step behind. The new Long Island Evolution (Franck Muller does love an Evolution) certainly changes all that. Housed in a black PVD-coated brushed titanium case, with an aluminium inner case, the watch is lightweight and highly contemporary. It looks almost TRON-like if you consider the bright green anodisation of the inner case.

Franck Muller Long Island Evolution
Transparency, sportiness, and trendiness are the highlights of the Franck Muller Long Island Evolution.

This additional construction is designed to enhance the shock protection offered in the watch, which matches the skeletonised display. Transparency, sportiness, and trendiness are the highlights of this series, and it’s almost the complete opposite of the Novocento origins of the Long Island, which is Art Deco-inspired and romantic in style. Yet, if you put the two together, you can see how one is closely affiliated with the other. The same gently rounded edges, short lugs for easy wearing, and curved case construction that conforms to the wrist all work well together.  

There are two other models in the series, one of which is a Giga Tourbillon and the other a time-only with a seven-day power reserve. The latter is again another interesting piece; this was previously used in an old classic Franck Muller watch but has been given a modern redesign with new indexes and black treatment on the movement plates. All in all, this is an evolution that many have been waiting for. 

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


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