The Middle East has always been a key region for audacious watchmaker Roger Dubuis, but now more than ever its importance is growing at a faster rate than ever. So much so that the brand recently launched a Middle East exclusive watch as part of its iconic Excalibur line. The new Platinum Edition Excalibur Monobalancier is a limited edition timepiece that expresses the bold and daring personality of the brand and offers customers in the region the exclusivity they crave. Here we find out more about this watch and the brand’s future in the Middle East with CEO Nicola Andreatta.
Nicola Andreatta Roger Dubuis CEO
Tell us about the last year at Roger Dubuis and what is the focus moving forward.
2022 was a very interesting year for Roger Dubuis. We completed the renovation of our Excalibur line, with the launch of the Monobalancier collection in three different models. A key step in establishing the new entry-level to the Maison, celebrating our skeletonized calibres and our watchmaking prowess equally distributed between the increased performance of our iconic calibre powered by a micro-rotor and the incredible craftsmanship, driven by the strict rules of Geneva Seal. But it was also the year of many new ideas and creations: from the mesmerizing Knights of the Round Table Central Tourbillon to several collaborations with our partners in the Motorsport World and the artists adhering to our “Urban Culture” universe. Among all, we had a lot of fun pushing the boundaries of Haute Horlogerie, exploring and inventing new calibres and new materials.
In 2023 we will continue along the same line, with plenty of exciting novelties and surprises which will be revealed in specific gatherings with our community. From Watches & Wonders in Geneva to the Festival of Speed in Goodwood, our Tribe will connect again to experience strong emotions and enjoy life at its best. The Hyper Life of Roger Dubuis.
What is your vision for the brand and how are you implementing that today?
Since its early days, the idea behind Roger Dubuis was that of evolving the world of fine watchmaking with a contemporary and expressive approach. Today we continue being loyal to our DNA, with our unique and distinctive interpretation of the art of watchmaking: our Hyper Horology™. It’s all about the values we carry forward, with this idea of constantly projecting ourselves towards the future, never being scared to challenge ourselves with the aim of discovering and experiencing new paths. This reflects very well in our world, in the way we interact with our clientele. Together with them, we experience our quest beyond watchmaking, we talk to achievers and explorers, to those who keep living larger than life, and want to enjoy every little second of it.
What is the biggest challenge you face and how do you overcome that?
The world is changing at such a fast pace that I believe that we must be attentive in adapting to the shifts we are observing, becoming more agile in navigating the uncertain context we live in and inventing new ways to be anti-fragile and to thrive within disruption. I am convinced that we have the right size, definitely the right people and even more the right spirit to overcome any challenge and succeed.
Congratulations on the new Platinum Edition Excalibur Monobalancier, tell us about this timepiece.
It is a Limited Edition of only 28 pieces, created especially for the Middle East, to show our appreciation to the region. We went back to Platinum, a material we did not use for a while, which is extremely tough to conquer, requiring the most skilled watchmakers not to compromise with the complex Excalibur signature shape. We also decided to use green, a unique shade of it to differentiate from the crowd, and a very dear colour in the Middle East as it represents nature and life.
This watch highlights the brand’s close relationship with the Middle East – tell us about Roger Dubuis in the region.
Roger Dubuis has a loyal community of clients in the Middle East, one that shares our passion for Hyper Horology™ and our values. The Middle East is certainly one of our priority regions today, as testified by the new Platinum Edition Excalibur Monobalancier exclusive to Dubai, our flagship boutique in The Dubai Mall, an exclusive Excalibur Spider Kit created for Qatar, and the work the Maison is doing to get closer to its clients with a strong network of points of sales and the project of soon extending our e-commerce infrastructure to the region.
We know you are a brand that continues to push the limits of watchmaking and innovation – what’s next?
We will continue to be loyal to our values: excessive, impertinent and extravagant, always celebrating pleasure, madness and freedom. We are very much planning to remain the “infant terrible” of Fine Watchmaking. Later this year we are planning to unveil a new calibre celebrating our connection to the world of Motorsport… Stay tuned!
Can you share with us any new innovations or materials you are working with?
As mentioned before, in the last few years we have completely renewed our Excalibur line, with three brand new calibres: Double Flying Tourbillon, Single Flying Tourbillon and Monobalancier. An incredible effort for us, always thinking about the best way to innovate while satisfying our most demanding clients.
Last year we also presented some new materials that are lighter, more comfortable, more resistant or simply differentiating us from our peers. From our MCF, our whitish Mineral Composite Fiber which resulted in 13% lighter than SMC carbon fibre, to CCF, our Ceramic Composite Fiber, even lighter while displaying a singular marble-like texture, to our work with luminescence and sapphire micro-beams, these are just some of the materials presented in our creations this year.
How would you assess the watchmaking industry today post-COVID and what has changed?
The appetite for traditional watchmaking is well alive within our current environment, especially within affluent communities, creating the ground for authentic and daring niche brands to grow and prosper. And this is something I truly enjoy witnessing. At the same time, the world is evolving at an unprecedented pace, with digitalization being the most visible sign of this change and something everybody and every business will have to deal with.
We know you are a brand that likes to curate exclusive experiences for your customers – tell us about that.
The starting point is the way we think about our clients: they are part of our Tribe. We enjoy being close to them, getting to know them and having them become friends and experience our Hyper Life. We want them to have rewarding experiences and daring moments: whether it is meaningful personal attention, making them discover our incredible Manufacture or inviting them to experience the creative universes of our partners. In the end, it all comes back to us being “emotional providers” to our community.
As a company known for its innovation are you looking to explore the virtual world and/or NFTs?
What else can we look forward to for the last part of the year and into next year?
As always, expect the unexpected from Roger Dubuis!
How would you describe the brand in one word?
Excess – from the Latin ex-cedo: going beyond, pushing the limits, always challenging ourselves.
By Lindsay Judge