The ADN Spirit by Manufacture Royale is a piece which in name and in its design encapsulates the essence of this very eclectic watch company. A watch with enormous presence, at 46m and with a complex case and dial construction it is impressive and imposing in its aesthetics, and complex in its modern take on the principles of traditional haute horlogerie.
Established by the great French philosopher Voltaire in 1770, the Manufacture Royal name had been dormant for more than 200 years, until being revived in name and spirit in 2010, and the ADN, which is the French for DNA, is designed to be eccentric and different, but still very cool and contemporary.
The stainless steel case is essentially round, but an elaborate cradle of tubular limbs which are the elements of the lugs certainly draw the eye to this exceptional piece. This arrangement features jointed pivots, which allow the lugs to adapt to any wrist size, so guaranteeing superb wrist-hugging comfort, despite the generous dimensions of the watch.
Beneath the sapphire crystal, there is no conventional dial as such, with only a pair of small blue sapphire glass panels at the 12 and the 6 adorned with numerals, and the display instead showcases the fascinating architecture of the bespoke movement which beats within. Coated with olive green chemical vapour deposit, the angular bridges are stripped back so there is a transparency which allows an open view of the barrel, gear train and the constantly oscillating balance which is suspended in isolation in the lower portion of the dial.
Underneath, a sapphire caseback reveals the skeletonised single plate which houses the movement’s components. Here the barrel and exquisite winding mechanism which is operated by the crown are exposed. The detailing throughout is meticulously executed, and every surface has been finished with either grained, sunray guilloché or highly polished hand decoration, which emphasises the true haute horlogerie standards which every Manufacture Royale piece represents.
As with every other part of the watch, the hand winding MR010 movement has been produced using traditional artisanal techniques and finished by hand. Beating at 28’800vph it has a power reserve of at least 48 hours when fully wound.
Presented on a durable, weatherproof fabric strap in olive green with robust pin buckle, the Manufacture Royale ADN Spirit is an exceptional watch of daring modern design and superb technical finesse.