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June 2014


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The four members of the Gouten/Guten family - Marc, Gerard, David and Alexis - were all there crowded onto a relatively small booth in the Palace – suitably named on this occasion but uncomfortably housed.

Established originally in 1770 by the celebrated entrepreneur of the Enlightenment, François-Marie Arouet, aka Voltaire, the Manufacture Royale in 1770 manufactured more than four thousand superb timepieces a year. Today, with the combined competence of the new family ownership, the intention is to establish an independent brand creating timepieces in keeping with its history, hence the beautiful timepiece the Manufacture Royale 1770.

 The four family members of Manufacture Royale: Gérard, David and Alexis Gouten, Marc Guten.
The four family members of Manufacture Royale: Gérard, David and Alexis Gouten, Marc Guten.

Both Alexis and Marc took pains to explain to me that the Manufacture Royale has no intentions of slotting into a niche brand classification, but is going to become a fiercely competitive and important brand on the watch landscape.
All four members of the family are steeped in the intricacies of the industry and as they say they are demonstrating the same spirit of enterprise that presided over its creation. The brand creates and produces complicated haute horlogerie watches in its own workshops in the Swiss Jura mountains, the cradle of the industry, and via its experienced craftsmen will guarantee the excellent mechanical and decorative quality of each timepiece.

Manufacture Royale 1770 in rose gold
Manufacture Royale 1770 in rose gold

At present, the brand caters for an exclusive clientele maintaining the technical and unique heritage of its original founder and as if proof was necessary they have created a new timepiece, the Manufacture Royale 1770.
This aesthetically pleasing 43 mm rose gold watch has a mechanical hand-wound movement with a minute rotation tourbillon with hours and minutes functions and a power reserve of 108 hours. The plates and bridges are entirely hand-decorated with straight-grained, black-polished with chamfered and perlage decoration. The dial is opaline-silvered with an aperture at 7 o’clock for the tourbillon and a power-reserve indicator at 10 o’clock. The 1770 is also available in stainless steel.

Prices for Manufacture Royale timepieces range from 43,000 to 480,000 Swiss francs and if the sale of their recent Opera watch is anything to go by – five pieces sold this year ranging from 350,000 to 480,000 francs – then the brand can look optimistically at its future.