Manufacture Royale has just dropped a new version of their distinctive Androgyne watch. When the brand was first launched in 2010, one of the collections that really stood out for them was the Androgyne range. The name of the collection is a bit misleading (more on this later), but there’s no doubting that the watch had a strong and peculiar look that was unlike anything at the time, or even now. For 2016, Manufacture Royale is updating its Androgyne collection with the new Manufacture Royale Androgyne Royale Steel, so let’s find out more about this watch.
Though Manufacture Royale’s relationship with the French philosopher Voltaire is tenuous at best, there can be no denying that as an independent watch brand, Manufacture Royale is very bold, and that its Androgyne watch best personifies the brand’s daring and sense of adventure.
The name Androgyne is quite strange, because no matter how many times I look at the watch, it is unmistakably masculine. The conspicuous lugs and exposed screws are so macho to my eyes that there is simply nothing androgynous about the look. No one would likely call this a “unisex” watch. Still, it’s a funky and attention-grabbing name, and perhaps that was what Manufacture Royale was going for. The brand hasn’t messed around with the basics, and the new Manufacture Royale Androgyne Royale Steel still has that unique steampunk-inspired 52-part case that made the Androgyne collection great. The mirror-polished stainless case of the Androgyne Royale is 43mm wide, but thanks to special flexible lugs that can bend to fit the wearer more comfortably, and the exposed screws on the bezel, it will definitely look and wear bigger.
The major change with this watch is on the dial and movement. There is no dial to speak of because the movement has been skeletonized, giving its owners a full, unrestricted view of the thoroughly modern-looking 167-part Caliber MR-06 underneath. The movement consists of 167 parts, 15 jewels, and the flying tourbillon makes a single rotation every minute. It beats at 3Hz, and also features a high-tech silicon escape wheel, silicon pallet fork, and ceramic ball-bearing. Power reserve is a very impressive 108 hours.
According to Manufacture Royale, the movement has been finished in “strict haute horlogerie tradition.” The gently curved bridges have been treated to a bright Royale Blue PVD and have been sand-finished to create a textured look. The chamfers have also been hand-polished. The brass plates have also been treated with black ruthenium with a sanded finish. This provides contrast against the skeletonized stainless steel hands, which improves legibility.
Judging from the press photos sent to us, it would seem that Manufacture Royale has succeeded in creating an even bolder version of its already very outrageous Androgyne watch. Specifically, the striking Royale Blue PVD treatment looks to be a good match for the inventive and unusual Androgyne case design. I also like how the Manufacture Royale Androgyne Royale Steel watch is offered with a matching hand-stitched blue alligator strap.
There is another variant called the Androgyne Royale Pure Glacier Steel, which is similar in every aspect save for the color of the stainless steel case, hands, and movement. The Androgyne Royale Pure Glacier Steel features a Glacier PVD stainless steel case that appears grey, and also a movement finished with Royale Grey PVD. The hands are painted red to ensure legibility. The Manufacture Royale Androgyne Royale Steel and Royale Pure Glacier Steel are both priced at $61,600. manufacture-royale.com