FRANCK MULLER GROUP

About

Franck Muller Group is a Swiss watchmaker company. The brand of watches carries the slogan "Master of Complications". Franck Muller's watches are worn by various celebrities, among them Demi Moore, Elton John, 50 Cent, and José Mourinho.

Franck Muller timepieces are famous for their fusion of "modern" style, mostly inspired by American watches from the thirties, like "Elgin tonneau", and traditional Swiss watch manufacturing.

Franck Muller is also known for its "World Premiers". Each year, the manufacturer launches at least one new line of timepieces, featuring something special and exclusive, that has never been seen before in the watchmaking industry. The first such world premiere was launched in 1993. The watches had a split seconds chronograph, a minute repeater, and a perpetual calendar. In addition, the watches included an indicator showing the internal temperature.

The company's estimated total sales (in 2010/2011) were €290 million in watches with an average unit price of €38,000.

 Co-founders of the company are Franck Muller and Vartan Sirmakes (read more here).

 Controversies

Co-founder and CEO of the Franck Muller Group, Sirmakes descends from a family of Armenian jewellers and has proven to be one of the most active and well-connected Armenian businessmen in the territory.

Indeed, Sirmakes would find himself be charged by INTERPOL for his activities — and for his widening investment portfolio in Nagorno-Karabakh, one that includes caviar production and a gold mine.

In 2001, PanARMENIAN.Net reported that Sirmakes was switching production of some lines of Franck Muller’s ‘Swiss’ watches to Armenia. The same news story hailed a decision that local gold would be used for the company’s high-end 18-carat gold watch lines.

With local mines being allocated to the political elite and whose ownership is murky, at best, and Nagorno-Karabakh’s mining sites being exploited in defiance of international law, Sirmakes’ apparent patriotism brought Franck Muller into the realms of corporate disrepute of those firms who utilise blood diamonds or child labour.

While Sirmakes pursues profits in the territory, one million people are denied the opportunity to return home.

MORE CORPORATE CRIMINALS