Swiss luxury watch brand Manufacture Royale pays tribute to Micromegas, the mythical hero of a short story by Voltaire, by unveiling a complication timepiece featuring a groundbreaking double flying tourbillon rotating at two speeds. Successfully combining the height of horological technology with the Voltairean philosophical tale from which it takes its name, the 1770 Micromegas has the pleasure and the ambition to inspire.
In this short story, Micromegas was a 120,000-foot tall giant who set out to explore space after being expelled from his own planet, Sirius, as punishment for his dissenting ideas. After visiting Earth, and having observed the arrogance and ignorance of its inhabitants, Micromegas concludes that dialogue and tolerance are the keys to living in harmony.
In this new world premiere complication timepiece, Manufacture Royale chooses to redefine the principles of watchmaking with the new MR04 calibre, with spectacular results. Granted, multiple tourbillons already exist but no pair rotated at two different speeds, until now. The first cage, on the left, makes one revolution in 6 seconds. The second, on the right, completes its rotation in 60 seconds. The two are connected by a differential which receives energy from the barrel. The regulating organs are therefore in direct contact with the source of power. In addition to its precision, the MR04 calibre delivers a long power reserve of approximately 80 hours that is maintained by automatic winding, an exception on a timepiece of this type.
In addition to its Haute Horlogerie finishes, the MR04 calibre is given NAC surface treatment. Conventional jewels are replaced by ceramic ball bearings. Such new, innovative and unexpected characteristics reflect Manufacture Royale’s uniquely enlightened approach to watchmaking.
The sight of the two tourbillons spinning at contrasting yet regular speeds inspires a strange and hypnotic sensation as to the notion of passing time. Like the giant in his musings, the 1770 Micromegas questions our perception of reality. This impression is further accentuated by the watch’s design, and the prominence given to the two tourbillon cages. Completely unobstructed, they recall instruments on a racing car. The titanium dial, enhanced with a rubber-effect black varnish, SuperLuminova and Titalyte, underscores this sleek and sporting style, as do the blued and skeletonised titanium hands.
The case construction reflects the identity of Manufacture Royale, and the aesthetic and technical attributes of its 1770 collection, with two brancards that hug the central section then extend to form the lugs. Assembled from multiple elements, it confirms a powerful, technical dimension taken from the automotive world. Angles and straight edges blend with curves while satin and polished finishes intersect at complex angles in a demonstration of technical mastery and attention to detail. Lines are tighter, more edgy, as is the notched bezel. Like the dial, it is crafted from titanium for its qualities of lightness and resistance. The back of the case is open to show the new calibre.
Calibre MR04, In-house Mechanical, self-winding
Dimensions: diameter: 36mm / height: 8.7mm
Power reserve: 80 hours
Frequency: 3Hz, 21,600 vibrations/hour
Plate and bridges: Mainplate with Côtes de Genève, 5N engraving
Silicon escape wheel and pallet fork
Balance spring: Flat
Double flying tourbillon
– Left tourbillon: one rotation/6 seconds
– Right tourbillon: one rotation/60 seconds
Dimensions: Diameter: 45mm / height: 11.8mm
Crown: MR logo, sanded, hand-polished
Crystal: Sapphire, antiglare treatment on both sides
Water resistance: 3 ATM
Rubber-effect black lacquer, SuperLuminova, titanium and Titalyte treatment
Buckle: Titanium folding clasp