With the 1770 Haute Voltige, Manufacture Royale transforms time into performance art. It selects the most significant parts of the movement – the 14mm-diameter balance wheel and the escapement – and puts them above the dial, in isolation from the rest of the movement which is hidden below. The geometry is beautiful, with a bridge for the balance on a circular arc, another on the other side that holds the subdial above the plane of the dial, and a shorter bridge for the escapement on a concentric arc further in. With the minimalist minute markers around the edge of the dial, the watch becomes almost a tiny modern Stonehenge. Parts of the dial are differentiated in finish, with sunray brushing on the main dial, and a checked pattern on the subdial.
It displays two time zones, with skeletonized hands for local time, and a subdial at 5 o’clock for the additional time zone. Both time displays are adjusted using the crown, and can accommodate any time zone, including the irregular half or quarter-hour zones.
The case is in steel, with black PVD or bright steel versions. It is 45 mm in diameter and 13.8 mm thick, water resistance 3 bar/30 metres. Like other watches in the 1770 collection, the case has a circular central part, with two side pieces gripping it and fixed with four screws, extending to form the horns at the end.
The watch is powered by the Calibre MR07 movement, designed and built in-house. It is the seventh movement developed by Manufacture Royale since its renaissance in 2010. It is self-winding, running at 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hertz), with a power reserve of 40 hours. The oscillating weight and bridges can be seen through the sapphire caseback.
1770 Haute Voltige price
The Manufacture Royale 1770 Haute Voltige costs 33,000 Swiss francs in the steel version, and 48,000 francs for a version in rose gold. For further details, see the brand’s website manufacture-royale.com