Manufacture Royale was founded in 1770 by French philosopher Voltaire who was one of the main figures of the French enlightenment. Voltaire believed in the importance of having a heart that is free in spirit and independent of things.
Manufacture Royale followed in Voltaire’s footsteps to cultivate that belief in free spirit and possess courage to be audacious in driving the brand forward, breaking boundaries and surpassing others while doing so.
Over the years, we have seen Manufacture Royale making big statements in the market. The Androgyne is one of the more popular models in their range which featured its trademark casing. It also featured a single barrel driving the tourbillon in an excellently designed case that allows for a very clear view of the movement itself.
The brand is also well known for its other creation, the Opera which is a minute repeater that features a very unique design whereby the case can be extended to form a mini echo box to amplify the sound of the timepiece. Both pieces are unique in their own right and certainly exemplify Voltaire’s value of being free spirited and daring in execution of designs.
This year, Manufacture Royale presents the 1770 Micromegas revolution, featuring a double flying tourbillon where each has a different rotation speed and this technical aspect of the watch was as such to pay tribute to a legendary character imagined by Voltaire, Micromegas.
The tale tells of a giant that left his birth planet to explore the universe and he eventually found his way to planet earth. However, the humans on the planet did not live up to expectations where Micromegas found them to be ignorant and without any tolerance. Manufacture Royale found inspiration in this story between giants and humans, subsequently developing the double flying tourbillon that rotates at two different speeds; one completing a rotation in 6 seconds while the other in 60 seconds.
Case, Dial and Hands
The 1770 Micromegas revolution comes in a huge 45 mm case that is available in either Titanium or Gold. On first look, we like the design of the casing specifically the smooth curvatures around the lugs that give the timepiece a sleek and modern look to it. This aesthetical feature was inspired by the sports cars and their aerodynamically sound bodies.
What is so fascinating about this watch is seeing two tourbillons rotating at different speeds getting the timepiece to move. The sight is pretty impressive while the engineering behind this marvel is all the more impressive; both cages are connected by a torque stabilizer which is directly connected to the barrel. This means it acts as a straightforward source of energy, with no intermediaries, for the regulating organs.
However, one thing that bothers me is the hour dial that has been clearly obstructed by the minute wheel that is on top of it. We can understand the need for the watch to be complex enough to impress customers but it can really bother one when you cannot read the time on the watch with ease when the 5 and 9 markers are obstructed by the minute wheel. Regardless of how complex the design has to be, it is still paramount that a watch still serves its function proper, telling time with ease.
The timepiece is powered by the caliber MR08 and the two tourbillons operates at the respective frequencies: 4Hz (28,800 vph) & 3Hz (21,600 vph) with a power reserve of 40 hours. The finishing of the movement is pretty decent and it features the Côtes de Genève motif on the mainplate.
The design of the movement is pretty impressive given how it is able to regulate both tourbillons that is operating at different speeds and does so with the help of a torque stabiliser without any intermediaries which has not been seen in the market thus far.
The Manufacture Royale 1770 Micromegas revolution is a brilliant timepiece and we definitely enjoyed the storyline behind its design. The movement is really well designed and certainly an engineering marvel with its work on the double flying tourbillon that has different speeds.
However, the one thing that bothers us about this timepiece is still seeing the hours dial being obstructed by the minute wheel and not allowing the watch to perform its basic function with ease. Retailing at CHF$137,000 for the Titanium version and CHF$162,000 for the Rose Gold version, the 1770 Micromegas revolution is worth a look for collectors looking to get something different and unique in terms of complex designs.
Type: In-house Mechanical, self-winding by medium-rotor
Dimensions: Diameter: 36mm / Height: 8.7mm
Power reserve: 40 hours
Micro : 4Hz, 28 800 vibrations/hour (10 RPM)
Megas : 3Hz, 21 600 vibrations/hour (1 RPM)
Plate and bridges:
Entirely decorated by hand / ruthenium treatment
Mainplate with Côtes de Genève, 5n & 1N engraving
Double flying tourbillon:
Left tourbillon: one rotation/6 seconds
Titanium cage, brass flying balance wheel
Right tourbillon: one rotation/60 seconds
Brass Cage, brass flying balance wheel
Silicon escape wheel and pallet fork
Double flying tourbillon, Regulator, Hours, Minutes
Dimensions: Diameter: 45mm / Height: 11.8mm
Crown: MR logo, sanded, hand-polished
Crystal Sapphire, antiglare treatment on both sides
Water resistance: 3 ATM
Dial with hand of hours
Skeletonised Minute wheel
Titanium/Gold folding clasp