Roger Dubuis has been at the forefront of contemporary Haute Horlogerie since 1995. Its audacious creations, firmly anchored in the 21st century, embody substantial expertise expressed through the finest watchmaking mechanisms combined with powerful and daring designs. The next level for Roger Dubuis is taking the fast track with Pirelli. SIHH showcased the introduction of stunning world premieres as well as the big reveal. The union is a perfect match on many levels and a stunning embodiment of what can happen when visionary engineers meet incredible watchmakers.
This year in 2017, the manufacture introduces its ‘Dare to be Rare’ concept summing up its bold approach to watchmaking and its determination to take the road less travelled. This perpetually forward-looking attitude is expressed through a combination of ‘progressive complications and disruptive materials’ inspired by performance-oriented industries. These overarching principles are vividly summed up in two ground-breaking Excalibur models developed in collaboration with Pirelli, as well as through a pair of world-first innovations. The Maison also proudly presents dynamic new iterations of models that have already found their place on tech-and design-lovers’ wrists around the world.
Excalibur, the iconic and deliberately extravagant Roger Dubuis collection, is embedded in the DNA of the Maison. It epitomises the boldly adventurous nature of a manufacture that has always been determined to stay several laps ahead of the pack. It also provides the perfect showcase for the Astral Skeleton principle of star-patterned skeleton movements, now frequently paired with the signature Spider concept that extends open-working beyond the calibre to encompass key external watch elements.
CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué hinted – and as the Roger Dubuis world at the SIHH clearly confirms – 2017 represents “a quantum leap into the next Excalibur aeon… offering an unprecedented vision of a sphere where the magnitude of the aesthetic aftershocks is truly off the scale”.
This year marks the big unveil of a spectacular new luxury alliance between two partners who have long since grasped the fact that exclusive service leaves a lasting imprint on hearts and minds – as well as on racing tracks and connoisseurs’ wrists. Pirelli is a pioneer in technical and industrial innovations and is the sole supplier of premium tyres to the world’s flagship motorsports competitions.
Complimenting this experiential oriented attitude, Pirelli aims to leverage its technical knowledge in leading drivers to the ideal, differentiated solution for their “wheels” that will procure maximum driving pleasure. And in much the same way, the manufacture devotes its skill in architectural and technical mechanics to delivering a wearer experience extending far beyond the timepiece itself, to embrace an entire lifestyle. Another of the strong values shared by the two pioneering firms is their commitment to placing their resolutely state-of-the-art approach to their respective domains at the service of an exclusive lifestyle.
And what better way for Roger Dubuis to both literally and metaphorically ‘attach’ a model to an incredible experience than to fit timepieces with straps featuring rubber inlays from certified Pirelli winning motorsport tyres having competed in real races – and adorned with legendary tread motifs reproducing the profile of a Pirelli CinturatoTM intermediate tyre.
The Excalibur Spider concept, which extends the unique Roger Dubuis skeleton principle beyond the movement to encompass external elements such as the bezel and flange, provides the ideal showcase for this significant colour coding scheme – even extending to the outer rims framing the luminescent tips of the open-worked hands.
This unprecedented concept delivers meaningful collector’s items that will be teamed with equally authentic money-can’t- buy experiences. When the finest engineers from two separate yet interlinked fields of expertise – in this case the automotive and watchmaking industries – share their vast knowledge, comprehensive know-how, sophisticated research and innovative drive, the only ‘limits’ are the exclusive series and race-tyre numbers.
Excalibur Spider Pirelli – Double Flying Tourbillon
Epitomising the perfect combo of rugged- ness and reliability, this is a model clearly built for life in the fast lane. Its sturdy 47mm- diameter black DLC titanium skeleton case flaunts vulcanised blue rubber accents high- lighting its titanium crown and ‘container’.
The flying tourbillons at 5 and 7 o’clock are rimmed by speedometer-like seconds counters complete with automobile-inspired pointers, while the multi-coloured power-reserve indicator represents a cool nod to racing-car cockpit fuel gauges.
Fans of fine mechanics can enjoy an incredible transparent view of the new RD105SQ hand-wound calibre with its signature blue Astral Skeleton – matching the unique above- mentioned ‘Pirelli’ design features.
Excalibur Spider Pirelli – Automatic Skeleton
Since its introduction in 2015, the first Roger Dubuis automatic skeleton has come to typify all that is bold and beautiful about the in-house practice of open-working the parts of the calibre before assembling them. All faces of its 167 components are meticulously hand-crafted in accordance with the stringent quality criteria and prestigious finishing governing the “Poinçon de Genève” certification.
The design and height of the famous Roger Dubuis micro-rotor effectively enhance the spectacular 3D effect favoured by the manufacture, as does the raised position of the Astral Skeleton. Typifying the blend of formal aesthetics and useful functionality adopted by the Maison, the instantly recognisable star shape features tips pointing to hour-markers, thereby enhancing both clarity and legibility.
As well as enjoying the key ‘Pirelli’ signature characteristics linking their high-octane timepiece with a landmark motorsports victory, lucky owners of this 88-piece limited edition will enjoy the privilege of being invited to high-end local Pirelli events.
Excalibur Spider Carbon
Roger Dubuis ‘releases the beast’ at the SIHH 2017 with the world premiere Excalibur Spider Carbon. This striking black and red model features a Spider-type skeletonised case with a DLC- treated crown, case-back and ‘container’, all made from titanium. The light yet sturdy material is teamed here with multi-layered carbon for the case, as well as vulcanised rubber on the container and red lacquer lighting up the bezel. The strap features a rubber base and red RubberTech fabric-like inlay, firmly secured by a DLC-coated titanium folding clasp. Even more importantly, it introduces the first-ever movement plate.
Limited edition of 28 pieces bridges and tourbillon upper-cage entirely made in carbon. The result is a main plate and case forming a ‘chassis’ that is rendered even lighter by this choice of material. The honeycomb dial decor inspired by automobile radiator grilles creates a perfect high-tech background against which to highlight this Calibre RD509SQ, an ‘Astral Skeleton’ flying tourbillon movement beating at a rate of 21,600 vibrations per hour and benefiting from a 70-hour power reserve.
Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt Micromelt
When it comes to progressive complications, the hand-wound 590-part RD101 Quatuor movement – beating at a frequency of 4×4 Hz (115,200 vph) with its four sprung balances and five differentials – is as progressive as they get. It is outstandingly fast and efficient, since it achieves instantaneously what the tourbillon takes a full minute to accomplish – namely compensating for the rate variations caused by the effects of gravity on a watch. Also, 2017 will see it welcome its very own disruptive material: cobalt chrome.
This gleaming cobalt chrome makes a pleasing contrast with the blue PVD-coated movement barrel cage and bridges, as well as the dial, hour-marker and alligator leather strap. Dynamic red and white accents are provided by the printed speedometer-style minute track, the white gold skeleton hands with Super-LumiNova®-filled red tips, as well as the red strap stitching.
Excalibur Spider Automatic Skeleton
Synonymous with the contemporary outdoor, automobile-inspired vibe embodied in the Roger Dubuis ‘Technical Skeletons’, the Excalibur Spider Automatic Skeleton offers a fresh expression of the talent and ingenuity deployed by the ‘pioneer of contemporary skeletons’, showcasing its ability to raise this workmanship to the rank of a contemporary art form. Issued in an 88-piece limited edition, this stunningly handsome interpretation attired in pink gold offers its own distinctive take on this vibrant microcosm of technical and architectural mechanics.
To ensure optimal readability by night and day, the applied screws on the flange as well as the tips of the hands sweeping across the dial are enhanced with Super-LumiNova. The distinctive multi-material strap with its black rubber base, grey calf leather inlay and grey stitching, is secured by a DLC-treated titanium folding buckle.
Excalibur 36 automatic
Like the electric blue lava bursting from certain volcanoes, the Excalibur Essential 36 Automatic appears with an arrestingly beautiful black DLC-treated titanium case topped by a bezel set with 48 blue sapphires. Simultaneously evoking fire and ice, the sparkling gems reflect and accentuate the cool gleam of the blue PVD-coated dial with its shimmering sun-brushed finish. This elegant smaller-sized interpretation of the Excalibur carries the collection’s characteristic fluted bezel and triple lugs, together with the radiating Roman numerals.
The versatile 36 mm diameter makes it suitable for both masculine and feminine wrists, and there is sure to be a gender mix among the lucky few who will grab their piece of this 28-piece limited edition. It is equipped with the RD830 calibre featuring a 22K pink gold rotor that may be admired in action through the transparent sapphire crystal case-back and ensures a 48-hour power reserve. Setting a perfectly elegant finishing touch, the matching blue alligator leather strap is fitted with DLC-treated titanium folding buckle.