Four dial variations in silver, blue, anthracite, and tan are presented under a domed sapphire crystal with a nicely balanced two-register display on the Race chronograph. Each of the four colorways features a vertical linear pattern on the dial made with 25 layers of clear lacquer applied over the base color. Once cured, the familiar Franck Muller numerals are hand painted onto the dial adding that extra touch of palpable quality. 

The proportions of the case have been well thought out and are perfect for this type of retro sport timepiece. The Race Chronograph is not huge with a 42mm diameter yet remains easy to read thanks to the wide aperture for the dial. Doing away with excess markings, scales, tachymetric and tachometric functions on the dial and bezel creates a less is more approach and establishes the Race as a dress chronograph that leans towards purity and clean design rather than a frenzy of clutter and calculation scales of the prototypical “instrument” chronograph.  


 Large enough to read at a glance while remaining comfortable to wear all day, the Race Chronograph is also remarkably slim for an automatic chronograph and measures in at a trim 9.55mm thick. While thinner than you might expect from an automatic chronograph, these proportions create a presence and style strong enough to look great on your wrist and fit under your cuff without making you feel like you have an anchor strapped to your arm. Running the chronograph starts with A quick push of the start/stop button at 2 o’clock. The precision pushers offer great haptic feedback with a crisp click to start the chronograph and send the center seconds hand into motion. Another push on the same start/stop button freezes both the center seconds and the chronograph minutes hands (at 3 o’clock) to read the total elapsed time up to 30 minutes. The chronograph’s center seconds hand works in tandem with a white chapter ring circling the perimeter of the dial to indicate elapsed seconds, while the hand at 3 o’clock points to the total minutes accumulated since the chronograph was started. When the chronograph is in the stopped position to read elapsed time, a quick press of the reset button at 4 o’clock instantly and precisely resets the chronograph hands back to zero.  Joining the chrono minutes register on the dial is the “running” seconds display at 9 o’clock - which is always in motion tracking the current time whenever the watch is running. Finally, a discrete date window at 6 o’clock completes the functions on the dial.


Inside the case beats a customized automatic winding chronograph Cal 7003 composed of 283 individual components decorated, assembled, and regulated by Franck Muller’s in-house team of talented watchmakers & technicians. Visible through the see-through back (pictures coming soon), this movement beats at 28,800bph (8 beats per second), is anti-magnetic, shock resistant, and will accurately track time for 46 hours when fully wound.

Franck Muller’s Round Race Chronograph is a timeless take on the instrument watch and offers an understated elegance in a classic bi-compax layout designed and built to Franck Muller’s own high horological standards.