A steampunk wristwatch fit for an 18th century philospher

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The Androgyne Royale Steel(Credit: Manufacture Royale)

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If less is more, then next to nothing is optimum. At least, that seems to be the thinking behind Manufacture Royale's Androgyne Royale wristwatch, which boasts an ultra-skeletonized design to show off its mechanical craftsmanship. The latest in the Androgyne Collection by the Swiss company founded by Voltaire in 1770 and revived in 2010, it's "steampunk-inspired" in-house design is intended to answer the question of what sort of modern watch the philosopher would have worn.

If nothing else, the Androgyne Royale is an eyecatcher. Its articulated lugs that allow it to fit any wrist give it an aggressive appearance unusual in such haute horlogerie and provides a square frame to hold the round case for the 167-part, 15-jewel MR06 hand-wound mechanical movement.

The latter is skeletonized as much as possible with the dial abandoned in favor of softly curved bridges that expose the tourbillon with silicon escape wheel, pallet fork, and ceramic ball bearing.

The Androgyne Royale has a power reserve of 108 hours and does 21,600 vibrations per hour.

The movement plates and bridges are all hand decorated with sand-finished black ruthenium treated Royale Blue or Royale Grey brass and hand-finished polished chamfers. Instead of a dial, there are twelve distinct bezel screws to mark the hours.

This is all set in a 43 mm case made of 52 parts. For the Androgyne Royale Steel, the case is of polished stainless steel with stainless steel skeletonized hands and a blue alligator strap, while the Androgyne Royale Glacier is in a Glacier PVD-coated stainless steel case with red hand-painted skeletonized hands atop the Royale Grey movement and a grey alligator strap with red stitching.

The Androgyne Royale watch is priced at US$61,600.

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