Swiss independent watchmaker Manufacture Royale has unveiled its “street art” inspired collection of one-of-a-kind watches, and the first one we’ve seen looks great. Each ADN Street Art timepiece will in fact be a unique piece, a result and inherent property of its decorative design process—water transfer printing—a medium from which infinite custom designs are possible. The 46mm case, original to Manufacture Royale in its design, appears to be the same as is used for the Androgyne collection (as I’ve previously highlighted). Inside is Manufacture Royale’s MR10 calibre (its tenth) a distinct take on the ‘skeleton’ movement, complete with a one-minute flying tourbillon on silicone ball bearings. After some quick background, we”l take a closer look at the latest exciting release from the up and coming high-end Manufacture Royale.
The original Manufacture Royale was founded by the philosopher Voltaire in 1770, though its existence was rather short lived as the brand also faded away when Voltaire passed in 1778. The modern Manufacture Royale was started in 2010 by David Gouten, and soon thereafter began offering complicated, distinctive “enlightened” watches to upper crust watch buyers (its pieces run $50k and up, roughly speaking). I met Gouten several years ago and recall that he has considerable experience in the watch industry as well as his family, but I do not recall how he came upon deciding to start a new watch brand under the Manufacture Royale banner.
While this independent brand can and does trace its inspirational roots back to Voltaire, it really is a new manufacture. And one that I am continually impressed by. What I admire most about Manufacture Royale is its spirit of independence; the brand has carved out its own modern day identity with unique and engaging timepieces — part avant-garde, part steampunk, part haute horlogerie. The new street art pieces are yet another element in this DNA mix:
Manufacture Royale ADN Street Art
unique design pieces
Using the technique of water transfer printing, a water soluble film with a printed motif is placed on the water’s surface in a vat. Then, an activator is added, dissolving the film that the motif is printed on, leaving only the ink on the surface of the water. After the movement components have been placed in the water, the ink wraps around them and adheres. Once removed from the vat, the components are rinsed and rhodium plated. The resulting unique water transfer printed components artfully highlight the skeleton movement’s architecture and define each one-of-a-kind timepiece.
Another great release from Manufacture Royale!