Dragon dreams: Cintrée Curvex Ryoko Kaneta Dragon Limited Edition

By Special Feature 4 July, 2024

The mythical beast gets ‘kawaii’, courtesy of an unprecedented collaboration between Franck Muller and Japanese artist, Ryoko Kaneta

This is indisputably a commemorative Year of the Dragon watch—but not like we know it. Independent watch marque Franck Muller, known for taking the road less travelled with its horological exploits, is at it again with the Cintrée Curvex Ryoko Kaneta Dragon. A 500-piece limited edition Asia Pacific exclusive timepiece, the watch flips the traditional zodiac-themed watch on its head.

Where regular Year of the Dragon commemorative watches tend to portray the mythical beast as ferocious and authoritative, Franck Muller’s Cintrée Curvex Ryoko Kaneta Dragon employs a whimsical approach, instead imbuing its depiction of the dragon with saccharine cuteness.

Kaneta depicts the dragons as anthropomorphic beings that echo Japanese pop culture’s obsession with anything “kawaii” (cute). Photo by Franck Muller

In the hands of leading millennial Japanese artist, Ryoko Kaneta, who is known for interpreting ancient Japanese philosophies through the lenses of contemporary manga-style art, the majestic dragon is transformed into something altogether more playful and child-like.

Kaneta’s unique aesthetic style lies in her knack for presenting various aspects of nature as anthropomorphic beings. On the Cintrée Curvex Ryoko Kaneta Dragon, the dragon takes the form of 12 doll-like creatures—cute beings with huge, saucer-like eyes and dressed in peacoats and ruffle skirts—that appear to be playing hide-and-seek around the watch’s trademark Art Deco-style numbers.

The artist, whose name appears on the dial, is said to be inspired by Franck Muller’s iconoclastic approach to watchmaking when conceptualising her artwork for the timepiece. Taking the lead from the Cintrée Curvex’s sensuous, curvilinear silhouette that extends in all three dimensions, Kaneta, too, decided to have her figures “interact” with the watch by positioning them with the dial’s indices.

Retailing at S$18,000, the Cintrée Curvex Ryoko Kaneta Dragon is exclusive to Asia Pacific, and will be available in a limited run of 500 pieces. Photo by Franck Muller

Encased in a polished 45mm by 32mm stainless steel case, and set against a turquoise sunray guilloche dial, Kaneta’s dragon figures ooze unabashed levels of ‘kawaii-ness’ (‘cute’ in Japanese). Complemented by a similarly hued alligator strap, and driven by Franck Muller’s MVT FM 2536-SC self-winding movement with 42-hour power reserve, the Cintrée Curvex Ryoko Kaneta Dragon is quite possibly the most radiant Year of the Dragon commemorative watch you will wear this year.

Franck Muller