For those who are lovers of traditional watchmaking but appreciate a thoroughly modern twist, the 1770 Micromégas Revolution from Manufacture Royale is a flamboyant expression of high end craftsmanship, from a watch brand whose heritage can be traced back almost a quarter of a millennial, to the year 1770 when famed French philosopher Voltaire founded the company and the Manufacture Royale name was born.
Laying all of its mechanical elements bare to the world, the 1770 Micromégas Revolution is a horologic showcase, and on its face, the hours and minutes are almost abstract, and share the view with a pair of tourbillons and a stripped back and part skeletonised movement.
An impressive wristwatch indeed, the silvery-grey grained 45mm rose gold case makes a bold statement on the wrist, yet despite its considerable size, thanks to its lightweight material, it is still a very comfortable piece to wear.
Beneath the sapphire crystal, the large see through cavity captures the motion of the double tourbillons which immediately catches the eye. Directly driven from the barrel, and working in regulated harmony, the pair appears to be suspended mid watch and operate at different speeds, and so whereas the tourbillon at the 4 o’clock position cycles every 60 seconds, its neighbour does so at a frantic 10 seconds per cycle.
The hours and minutes are displayed individually, and above a small offset dial for the hours, a skeletonised disc rotates to indicate the minutes, which references off a small arrow at the 3.
The in house manufacture MR08 departs from many of watchmaking’s standards and has a contemporary design. It is self winding, and adding, even more, animation to an already lively face, its micro-rotor is located at the front, continuously keeping the 40hour power reserve topped up as it oscillates as the wrist moves.
Turned over, a sapphire crystal case back reveals minimized plates and bridges, which have Côtes de Genève ribbing, and a 360° view of the tourbillons and much of the gear train and the single barrel.
A fascinating novelty from the world of independent Haute Horlogerie, the Manufacture Royale is presented on a black alligator leather strap with folding clasp.