Manufacture Royale, located in the heart of the Swiss watchmaking industry in the Jura Mountains, presents the just released 1770 Voltige, a new timepiece with the novelty of the escapement placed above the dial. With this technique the watch clearly reveals how energy is transformed into increments of time. It’s also intended to catch the eye of collectors and connoisseurs of the watchmaker’s art.
1770 Voltige reveals its heart in its escapement, positioned above the dial rather like a trapeze artist suspended beneath a glass big top. Designed and made in Manufacture Royale’s workshops in the Swiss Jura, the watch shows a new vision of time measurement. By taking the escapement out of the movement and giving it pride of place above the dial, Manufacture Royale highlights its importance, for the precision of any mechanical watch depends upon it!
Placing the escapement center-stage reflects the expertise of the designers of the movement. With the interlacing of its parts, the visible escapement is a mesmerising sight. Like Voltigeur, which is French for acrobat, 1770 Voltige implies precision and expert technique, but also daring and risk-taking.
1770 Voltige is an inspired yet at the same time humble approach to watchmaking. The novel construction of the watch illustrates the horological principle of regulation. The balance is secured by a semi-circular bridge which gradually rises to its high point above the dial. Beneath it, the pallet and the escape wheel meet at a rate of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz).
The exclusive MR05 calibre that powers Voltige 1770 was designed around this concept, and displays hours, minutes and small seconds. Its automatic winding provides 40 hours of power reserve. Its components, and those of the dial, are finished and all decorated in the best traditions of Swiss watchmaking.
1770 Voltige gives the impression that the balance is in a state of levitation, as the dial has been swept free to leave plenty of space around the escapement. This harmony is further highlighted by a palette of greys, a cartouche at 3 o’clock bearing the “Manufacture Royale” inscription, and a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock with a sieve-like structure.
The hands also appear to be floating in space. The 45mm case has a transparent back that reveals the movement, and is mounted by a domed crystal that gives 1770 Voltige a pleasingly curved line.
As with the other watches in the collection, 1770 Voltige’s case is held by two brancards. They hug the sides of the case, extending beyond its middle to form the lugs. This design molds to the wrist for complete comfort. Retail price for the new timepiece is from US$33,000.00.