The Voltige Plume Noir (or Black Feather) by Manufacture Royale is a delight to watch. The balance, large at 14 mm diameter, oscillates at 21,600 vibrations per hour, and it is accompanied by the escapement just below. The assembly’s hypnotic movement is the epitomy of mechanical watchmaking. At the bottom of the dial, a subdial for the continuous seconds is in the same colour scheme of black PVD-finish steel with blued hands. MB&F has created a series of watches, the LM1, which, like the Voltige, puts the balance wheel at centre stage; the Voltige is more elemental, more philosophical, as would be expected from a brand that takes its inspiration from Voltaire.
The design combines symmetry and asymmetry, with two circular-arc metal strips on each side of the dial, one gently climbing so that it can extend into a diagonal arm forming the balance bridge, the other bearing the brand name. The balance, in super-slim titanium, is mirrored by the subdial below. Another shorter circular-arc bridge carries the escapement, and on the other side there is the MR logo. The subtleties continue with the hour markers, low pyramidal studs inside the bezel, with small blue minute markers at the extremity of the dial, interrupted in correspondence with each stud. The minute markers coordinate with the 12 blue dots on the continuous seconds subdial.
The case is gripped has two lateral curving strips, screwed to the main circular case and continuous with the lugs. It is 45 mm in diameter, 13.8 mm thick, in PVD-coated stainless steel (other versions are available, including red gold). Water resistance is the standard 3 bar. The watch has an alligator strap with blue stitching and a black PVD steel buckle.
The MR05 movement is a self-winding calibre, designed and built in-house. It has a power reserve of 40 hours. It’s visible through the sapphire caseback.
Price of the Voltige Black Feather
The Manufacture Royale Voltige Black Feather costs 30,800 Swiss francs (not including tax) for the black PVD-treated steel version. The version in red gold costs around 45,000 Swiss francs. As can be seen from the engraved caseback, the Black Feather is a limited edition of 38 pieces: the number apparently refers to Rousseau’s age when the philosopher had an argument with Voltaire Further information from https://manufacture-royale.com