The brand Manufacture Royale (MR) had been around for some years but only just made its appearance in Singapore this year. A small but elite watch company run by an experienced family of the Goutens and Guten. The company uses designers such as Eric Grioud and Charles Grosbety. Arnaud Favire, the Founder and CEO is involved in the development and engineering of the watches at MR.
At the showcase dinner organised by The Millenary
on the 10th June 2014, held at Buona Terra
Restaurant along Scotts Road, guest were treated to a wonderful dinner of exotic dishes. The quality of the food served was good and the service excellent.
As with showcase events, there was a presentation table of the MR watches laid out by the staff from The Millenary, was tastefully presented and decorated.
The small select group of guests included Who's Who from the local watch collecting scene.
Mr Marc Guten, the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of MR was on hand to introduce the brand and the watches on show.
Currently the brand has three watch designs in its stable. The 1770, the Androgyne and the Opera. The 1770 is the "simplest" design of MR with a clean dial save for the tourbillon cage located at the 7 marker. Currently, every single watch that MR produces has the tourbillon making the entry level piece 1770 in steel to cost over S$70,000.
The highlight piece on show was the Opera Black Gold featuring over 1600 small diamonds in its accordion retractable style mechanism - which is reputedly designed to be the sound chamber for its repeater bells. The Opera is a tourbillon minute repeater. The price of the watch shown below was not disclosed but it is known that the bicolour gold retails for US$1.2 million. The Opera however is sized at an enormous 50mm which will probably put off many who are not willing or able to wear large timepieces.
The Androgyne is also a skeleton dial tourbillon but in a more reasonable 43mm case. The case looks similar to the Opera but sans the accordion mechanism. On the wrist the Androgyne is slim although somewhat largish due to its round bezel of square case.
On close inspection, the Androgyne is a well made timepiece, finished well and clean. The movement in skeleton form is pleasant and uncluttered. The diamond embeded version looks a tad too fussy compared to the stainless steel version shown below.
Manufacture Royale is a daring brand that has created a few interesting models. Unfortunately the models that it makes are only for those who have the liquidity of Donald Trump. Nevertheless the brand's annual output numbers will be so small that the branding to a select eligible few potential customers should not prove to be too difficult.