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From one of independent watchmaking’s more eccentric manufacturers, the spectacular Manufacture Royale ADN Spirit Steel DLC Forged Carbon Black is a watch which grabs the attention, and with its extroverted styling and brooding black body set off with flashes of red and blue, a piece with immense presence on the wrist.

A young company with an old and celebrated name, the Manufacture Royale story goes back to 1770, when the famous French free thinking philosopher Voltaire established the brand to supply the courts and palaces of Europe with lavish timepieces and luxury artefacts. Fast forward to 2010, and following a gap of two hundred years, this long dormant name was revived in Vallorbe, Switzerland, returning with the essence of its famed visionary founder intact.

Encased in a 46mm multi-part case of black forged carbon fibre and DLC coated stainless steel, and with an open worked dial which exposes the architecture of the bridges and the mechanism beneath, the Manufacture Royale ADN Spirit is a magnificent watch in both size and personality, conspicuous and imposing in its elaborate high tech construction.

Resembling a porthole in its appearance, the round bezel has twelve screws sunk into its rim, which also serve as external hour indices, and the case itself is cradled on tubular limbs in forged carbon. Under a flat sapphire crystal, the dial is replaced with a view of the symmetric layout of angular black bridges, with two pale blue sapphire glass panels, which bear vivid red numerals at the 12 and 6, standing out in striking contrast to the all-black watch.

The time is displayed via skeletonised steel hands for the hours and minutes, which are tipped with red luminous accents, and they are complemented by a small seconds subdial at the 9.

A little further in, the barrel is skeletonised, revealing the mainspring within, and the balance and escapement assembly are also visible, animating the dial area with its rapid oscillating pulse beneath the 6.

As with every other part of the watch, the hand winding MR010 movement has been produced using traditional artisanal techniques and finished by hand, and through the sapphire exhibition case back the underside is revealed. Beating at 28’800 vib/h it boasts a power reserve of at least 48 hours when fully wound.

Presented on a durable, weatherproof black fabric strap with robust pin buckle, the Manufacture Royale ADN Spirit Steel Steel DLC Forged Carbon is an exceptional watch of uncompromising modern design and superb technical finesse.
© 2019 The Limited Edition
© 2018 The Limited Edition
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