With the 1770 Flying Tourbillon Openwork, Manufacture Royale gives the existing Androgyne Royale a different, even more elemental case. While in the Androgyne Royale there were an indication of the hours by means of 12 screws on the bezel, in the new 1770 Flying Tourbillon watch for 2017, the case is smooth and circular, and the hour markers are reduced to small pyramical studs on the inner bezel flange. All the attention is placed on the tourbillon at the bottom, with its cage that incorporates the MR logo with the initials on either side of the sword. Voltaire, to whom the brand traces its identity, was of the opinion that the pen is stronger than the sword.
Movement in full view
The hand-wound MR06 calibre, entirely made in-house, is a beautiful assembly, with curving bridges holding the hour and minute hands, and another pair of bridges for the mainspring barrel at the top. Bridges, mainplate, barrel and tourbillon cage are CVD-treated to give them a light brown shade. The movement incorporates modern technology, with the tourbillon cage mounted on ceramic bearings, and the pallet and pallet-wheel in silicon. This helps reduce friction and increase power reserve to 108 hours, more than 4 days, excellent performance from a watch with a single mainspring and a tourbillon, a complication that tends to absorb more energy than a normal balance. There is no power reserve indicator, but you can get an idea of how much power is left from the state of the mainspring spires. The tourbillon runs at 3 Hertz, and its cage rotates once a minute.
Case and strap
The 1770 case, in steel or rose gold, is distinctive for its two sidebars screwed onto the case band and that continue to form the graceful lugs. It’s a comfortable size at 43 mm diameter, 11.72 mm thick. The watch has an alligator strap with pin buckle.
Price and availability
The rose gold version of the 1770 Flying Tourbillon Openwork costs 50,000 Swiss francs plus VAT; the steel version costs 35,000 Swiss francs plus tax. It is not a limited edition, but it is limited by production.