From Tuesday 4th to Thursday 6th October last, WPHH Japan 2016 in Kyoto was held by the Franck Muller Watchland Group at Kyoto’s the Sodoh. The Sodoh was built as the private home and atelier of Japanese painting master Seiho Takeuchi, and is a place surrounded by the rich natural environment of Higashiyama. The historic architecture built in 1929 where rare paintings are shown to the public was somehow evocative of Franck Muller’s chateau in Genthod, Switzerland, and wonderfully merged the two different cultures of Switzerland and Japan.
This year’s WPHH Japan 2016 in Kyoto attracted more than 400 guests. Anticipation for an extraordinary space rose from the driveway to the entrance where limousines pulled by one after another. As one visited the garden, one was met by artistic objects designed by Chiso, an old Kyo Yuzen establishment. People exclaimed in admiration at the fantastical merger of Byzantine numerals and basket of flowers.
The exhibition which took one through the historic mansion was a large scale event which consisted of six rooms. The Sodoh on the night transformed into a luxurious stage, with watches playing the lead, and made one feel the brand’s concept of bringing excitement to people through its philosophy in every part of the exhibition.
The first part of the exhibition that greeted the guests was the Vanguard collection, through which Franck Muller opens a new window on design. Here, a movie pertaining to Vanguard, a pursuit for the beauty created by straight and curved lines, was screened. The image of Vanguard projected across the screen as high as a person’s height was truly spectacular. It was created with the outstanding skills of Franck Muller, who has been pursuing the ultimate beauty in detail, and taste which defined his unwavering pride. Vanguard’s futuristic world-view was presented using a custom-made display.
The highlight of WPHH Japan 2016 in Kyoto was the numerous timepieces the Franck Muller Watchland group is proud of. A total of 250 pieces were curated this year, allowing one to see a vast collection, including valuable archive pieces, under one roof.
The next offering to grab one’s attention was Franck Muller’s room of history. As a retrospect of Franck Muller’s 25-year history, round-shaped vintage models produced in the 1990s when Franck Muller was an independent watchmaker were shown, as well as a board that chronologically traced the brand’s history from its establishment in 1992 to today. The exhibit included photographs of the workshop and Franck Muller’s private home, making it a space where one could understand the origins of creation where fantasy and precision coexist.
The thing that captured the hearts of the guests was the innovative creation of expressing the philosophy of Franck Muller’s watches through traditional Japanese skills. Chiso, an old Kyo Yuzen store with a 460-year history designed pieces which integrated a flower basket and Byzantine numerals, and created a colourful and glorious main feature. Many colourful plants of the four seasons added splendour. Cherry for spring, wisteria for late spring, bush clover and acer for summer, crimson foliage and chrysanthemum for autumn, and plum for winter. The four seasons represent time itself in Japan, and the way the seasons change was expressed through the plants. The arrangement of those plants in a single basket represented the crystallisation of time, and added the beauty of Japanese elegance.
The second half of the well-designed exhibition consisting of six rooms was enriched by Franck Muller Future Form and Franck Muller Wedding, the new ventures of the Franck Muller Watchland group. The special features of “Franck Muller Future Form”, which expresses “the world of time” in a home setting, were the glamping kit with the Nantucket basket containing a set of dinnerware and cutleries from the Colour Dream collection, and drapery. They created a colourful scene where one can imagine enjoying an elegant and fun picnic with family and friends. Franck Muller Wedding, which provides ideas for a relaxing banquet with good friends, staged a joyful world, by decorating the space with wedding dresses and colourful balloons. “Franck Muller Jewellery” unveiled its “Confiserie” collection of jewellery pieces set with sparkling, candy-like coloured gems, including ruby and blue tourmaline.
WPHH Japan 2016 in Kyoto was an event which gave shape to the wish Franck Muller has been keeping in his production of timepieces; for everyone who holds a watch to feel the preciousness of time and to spend significant moments. The exhibition, which integrated Franck Muller’s philosophy and traditional beauty which Japan is proud of, drew its curtains after three days, being enveloped in the excitement, joy and contented smiles of the guests.