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Baselworld is finished and we must confess it was a nice edition. At LuxuryActivist we discovered or rediscovered great watchmakers. With the creation of the new space called “Les Ateliers”, Baselworld celebrate the high value of independent creators and Manufacture Royale is for sure one of the best.

Manufacture Royale, great heritage that builds the future.


In 1770, French philosopher Voltaire supports the establishment of watchmaking workshops in Ferney-Voltaire near Geneva and Manufacture Royale is established. It is then an important producer of timepieces and the famous Jean-Antoine Lépine, clockmaker to the king, is one of its watchmakers. Manufacture Royale also made objets d’art such as table watches. The Manufacture gently disappeared from the news but was revived recently in 2010. In its modern era, Manufacture Royale produces modern watches with great Haute Horlogerie complications, manufactured in-house. Currently they also produce and manufacture watches elements for several other brands, showing a strong in-house know-how and a great network of artisans.

Manufacture Royale during Baselworld 2017, state of the art.

Manufacture Royale was our first meeting at Baselworld this year. It was the opportunity to discover the new space called Les Ateliers. The watch show committee brought the creative independent brands into the main hall. It is an interesting move, like a bet that perhaps one day some of these brands will be seen at the prestigious ground-floor of the same hall. With Manufacture Royale we saw a passionate and realistic speech. It was a day-dream yet with the two feet strongly positioned on the ground. Four main pieces were shown, all of them would capitalize in the brand’s heritage and DNA. The watches were amazingly creative and high-qualitative.

  • 1770 Flying Tourbillon Squelette
  • 1770 Haute Voltige
  • 1770 Micromegas Revolution Couleurs
  • ADN

With these novelties, Manufacture Royale see 2017 as a good year in which they capitalize on their strength and once more they will please collectors and watch aficionados from all over the world.

Manufacture Royale 1770 Flying Tourbillon Squelette

This was the first model presented to us and that Chocolate color is just amazing. By combining a Tourbillon and a true work of skeleton the movement, Manufacture Royale presents a decent watchmaking mastery. Each element is built, designed, placed to be highlighted and to underline the different functionalities of the watch.
Certain elements of the watch like the bridge, manipulate, the barrel and the tourbillon cage are CVD treated in a special way. There is a fine deposit of a transparent metal oxide that allows manufacture Royale to obtain this specific brown shade with deep reflections. In order to contrast the look, the barrel is signed with the initials of Manufacture Royale and is openworked which allows to reveal its spring. The Flying tourbillon is doing one rotation per minute, on ceramic bearings. The balance wheel is showed with adjusting screws and the escapement wheel and pallet are in silicon This watch has 167 components and its manual winding caliber offers a 4 days power reserve.

Manufacture Royale 1770 Haute Voltige Dragon

This is an interesting timepiece. Manufacture Royale decided to play with contrasts. Different colors and materials will blend in order to create an original look. The escapement and balance wheel are unusually positioned on the dial side, producing a hypnotic spectacle and giving material form to passing time. The balance wheel is red anodized aluminium and it provides an interesting 3D effect on the dial. The dial itself has an interesting khaki color with very elegant reflections. A beautiful detail is the secondary dial that contains a sun stamp surrounded with a metal circle.
If you travel, there is one very interesting functionality to bear in mind. The hours and minutes of the two timezones are completely independent. This means you can define the second timezone as accurately as possible. Some regions around the world have 30mn difference, so when you are in India, you might get GMT+5.30. This configuration is impossible to have with a standard GMT functionality.

Manufacture Royale 1770 Micromegas Revolution Couleurs


This watch is a state of the art and you can see it just by looking at it. The Manufacture Royale 1770 Micromégas Révolution proposes innovative and spectacular watch kinetics. Although a few rare multiple tourbillon watches do exist, it is the first to combine two cages with different rotation speeds. One completes an exceptionally rapid rotation in just 6 seconds whereas the other opts for the traditional minute. A torque stabiliser averages out the two for enhanced precision.
This hypnotic ballet is completed by the oscillations of a micro-rotor. The hours are indicated on an off-centred dial, like a regulator, whereas the minutes are indicated by a skeleton wheel. The sculptural 45mm case remains true to the style of the 1770 collection. Two sidebars, held by hexagonal screws, surround the middle case, forming elegant, slender horns. Its strong features are highlighted by a fluted bezel. The sapphire crystal caseback is closed by four screws and reveals the splendid hand finishing of the MR08 calibre.

Manufacture Royale ADN

The Manufacture Royale ADN watch is a fascinating watchmaking creation, imposing its style through the Brand’s identity codes.

  • The dynamic forms
  • Three-dimensional architecture
  • Strength of design
  • Singular character
  • Sculptural aesthetic
  • Perfect mechanism
  • Contemporary vision

What can make a watchmaker the most proud is the highlight of its know-how. In this watch, you can find the very best of Manufacture Royale in terms of technique, design and creative philosophy. Certain elements are definitely important to observe. That is why this model is called ADN, which is DNA in French, relating to the fact that you can find the essential spirit of the brand in this watch.

The watch case
You will probably recognize the inspiration for this new watch case. Its intriguing design is inspired by the Opera and Androgyne models at the heart of the brand’s revival. Nevertheless you can see that the design has been rounded up to make it softened. In configures a very interesting SteamPunk style with a very modern look.

The watch movement
The ‘ADN’ model is built around the exclusive MR09 calibre. It is a manual wound mechanical movement that indicates a first time zone on a dial at noon and a second time zone at four o’clock. There is an astonishing jumping hour digital display with an analogue minute display featuring a sword-shaped hand. The periodical jump of a disc reveals the hour through an aperture at the exact place where the number is traditionally positioned on the dial. It is quick, intuitive and fun to read.
One important element of this watch is a one-minute flying tourbillon mounted on ceramic ball bearings. Its balance with regulating screws oscillates at 21,600 vibrations per hour for a power reserve of at least 80 hours.

As we can see, Manufacture Royale is an astonishing watchmaker. Inspired by the spirit of Voltaire, its founder, today Manufacture Royale cultivates its garden in order to bloom amazing flowers as astonishing timepieces. If you wish to learn more about the amazing universe of Manufacture Royale, please connect to their official website:

In a world where true creations are often limited, Manufacture Royale shines with talent. And at the end, this is the true spirit of Swiss Watch making.

Arsène Wargas

Info sourced by LuxuryActivist team at Baselworld 2017. Special thanks to Pia de Chefdebien to the insights provided. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available. Images are for illustration purposes only.