Insider: Manufacture Royale 1770 Flying Tourbillon Squelette. Hands-on with a Timepiece that is Exquisitely Skeletonized for Maximum Transparency.

Manufacture Royale is an independent watch brand that was revived in 2010 and that is directly linked to the Manufacture Royale des Montres de Ferney, which was a watchmaking atelier in which thinker and philosopher Voltaire was involved back in 1770. The Manufacture Royale des Montres de Ferney produced watches from 1770 until 1778 when Voltaire died at the age of 83. While most of Ferney's watches were to be presented as gifts at royal weddings and even though no watch bears Voltaire's signature on it, it is well documented that Voltaire granted no-interest loans to watchmakers as well as materials and supplies as necessary. A benefactor to the Geneva based watchmaking ateliers, Voltaire is today honored by the creations from Manufacture Royale.

The new Manufacture Royale 1770 Tourbillon squelette —skeleton— is an exceptionally finished watch with a design that capitalizes on the unparalleled transparency of its skeletonized movement that reveals some of the most intricate details in its manual wound movement with strong emphasis on the mainspring barrel, the flying tourbillon, the wheels and even the crown detent and stem. Without a doubt one of the most see-through and heavily skeletonized watches out there, the Manufacture Royale 1770 Flying Tourbillon Squelette is also a watch that recaptured our interest in what this brand has been releasing in the last three years. 

Things You Need to Know

Cased in a generous 43 mm case in 18K rose gold or stainless steel, the Manufacture Royale 1770 Flying Tourbillon Squelette features a chocolate brown CVD-treatment on its bridges, mainplate, mainspring barrel and tourbillon cage. This treatment consists of depositing a clear metal oxide that creates a deep brown all over the different parts of the movement. With its flying tourbillon at 6 o'clock and a skeletonized mainspring barrel at 12 o'clock, the visual symphony created by the level of skeletonization of this watch is very impressive.

The flying tourbillon with a cantilevered construction has its cage held on one side only so that it can perform a flying revolution around one axis. The cage of course features the characteristic shape of a sword utilized since day one by Manufacture Royale. Additionally, a purpleish hue characterizes the silicon escapement utilized in this watch.

The mainspring barrel crowned with a coat of arms with the initials of Manufacture Royale,
is fully skeletonized on the dial side to showcase the mainspring that transmits the 108-hour power reserve to the watch.

The Movement

Turning the watch around reveals an exquisitely finished mainplate also with brown CVD-treatment. The Manufacture Royale calibre MR06 composed of 167 components is a 15-jewel manual wound movement that offers a power reserve of four and a half days. The watch is water resistant to 30 meters and the movement is fully visible via the display case back that allows for a very nice see-through experience on both sides of the watch.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the Manufacture Royale 1770 Flying Tourbillon Squelette ref. 177043.08P.BR wears true to its size and with stunning wrist presence thanks to its smooth curves enhanced by two side lugs held by four screws which hold the middle case to form elegant horns. The sword-shaped hands along with the hand-stitched, large scaled alligator strap with pin buckle make a perfect combo worthy of its price tag.

Sticker Price $78,800 USD for 18K rose gold and $55,700 USD in steel. For more info on Manufacture Royale click here.