Manufacture Royale Interview with the founder, Arnaud Faivre
Baselworld – Founded in 2010, Manufacture Royale presents its third collection along with a special edition created within the context of a partnership with Wiesmann.
Arnaud Faivre: “We all know of the freedom-loving man who settled for around 20 years in Ferney, welcoming to his castle a number of aristocrats, scholars and intellectuals in order to share his ideas and knowledge. Much less is known of the visionary entrepreneur who nurtured the prosperity of this village on the French border with Geneva. He had grasped the potential of the watchmaker-farmers of the surrounding Jura region and he enlisted the finest talents in creating the prestigious ‘Manufacture Royale de montres de Ferney’. This is a fine example for our modern-day Manufacture Royale which aims to unite watch collectors, connoisseurs and enthusiasts around creations targeting excellence in the field of mechanics and originality in terms of creativity. My dream is to offer my customers what they have als been looking for but never yet found.”
How would you define the Manufacture Royale style?
“Manufacture Royale watches are immediately identifiable by their distinctive geometrical design and their highly technical aesthetic. They stem from the creative mind of the designer Charles Grosbéty, who was given carte blanche in forging a strong identity and ensuring a powerful visual impact. For him, each collection borrows from the previous one and must also herald the next, in a smooth transitional process. The third, which we are presenting at Baselworld 2013, clearly opens up whole new vistas.”
Can you describe it for us?
“Named Volteface 180°, this is a reversible watch showcasing on one side the first Manufacture Royale dial. The latter features cut-away circles and semi-circles, including a larger one just above our in-house tourbillon with its silicon escape-wheel and lever. It is associated with our first screw-free bezel. Nonetheless, the watch with two faces picks up the aesthetic concept of a round shape set inside a square. The 40 mm-diameter case is based on a square plate with cut corners and a circular-grained decoration. It rises and pivots around an axis from which it is suspended at 12 o’clock. This original system evokes the pocket-watches characterising the age of Voltaire. The Volteface 180° is also distinguished by its case in solid silver, a material widely used in the 18th century, and palladium-coated to avoid any risk of tarnishing. Meanwhile, the hand-wound Manufacture-made tourbillon calibre is equipped with a dedicated module powering a synchronised display of the hours and minutes synchronously on both faces.”
Alongside the main collection, you have developed a watch celebrating the 25th anniversary of the German carmaker Wiesmann. What’s the story behind this?
“When I met Friedhelm Wiesmann, one of the brothers who founded this highly exclusive car manufacturer, we hit it off from the word go. It took only a few minutes for us to realise the similarities between your approaches and to decide on the creation of an anniversary watch. We created the design and the prototype in record time, for the March 5 opening of the International Motor Show in Geneva, but this is only a first stage. We will continue sharing our taste for the exceptional through a long-term partnership. This is an exciting project for all devotees of horological or automobile-related mechanical engineering.”