New Balance is a brand as well known for its enthusiasm for collaborations as it is for its popularity as a sneaker brand.
Like us, you may have missed out on the news last year that their diverse range of product partners included, for the first time, Franck Muller, with whom they released a Japan-only limited edition series of the New Balance 996.
Well it turns out that it was not a one-off, as 2021 brings with it their second pair of sneakers – this time, a limited edition Franck-Mullerfied MS327.
Last year’s limited edition also consisted of two models – one that was navy/ silver and the other gold/ navy, both with metallic leathers on their toe boxes and heels, with croc-printed leather on the mid foot (a nod to straps, although the tradition of calling new straps ‘new shoes’ is also something to consider here), heel tab and tongue. They featured a take on Franck Muller’s distinctive numbers as a print on the sneakers. If you are curious, you can see them here.
This year’s offering has its ‘watch inspiration’ part from Franck Muller’s Casablanca Collection and in particular travel.
The salmon pink dial featured in the Casablanca was inspired by the Sahara Desert. How does this relate to the new sneakers? Well they say that the choice of black and brown variants are a reference to the desert and black night sky, respectively.
Their ‘327’ model number is embroidered across the medial portion of the shoe, with printed versions filling the”N” logo. Other details are contrast stitching, a Franck Muller lace toggle, and a leather tongue tag.
The Franck Muller x New Balance 996 from last year was available only in Japan and had a price of ¥22,000. This year’s MS327 is ¥27,500 (including taxes) and sizing is D/ 22.5 – 29.0cm. The release date is 17 December 2021.
Applications are by lottery, either via Franck Muller Japan or New Balance Japan. If you apply through Franck Muller, applications are now open, and you have until 2 December 2021. If you apply through New Balance, applications will open at 1300 on December 8 and close at 1300 on December 13, 2021. Be sure to read the terms and conditions about eligibility etc.
[Photo credit: Franck Muller/ New Balance]