Serial Innovator Roger Dubuis Lets Rip At The SIHH
Serial Innovator Roger Dubuis Lets Rip At The SIHH
Hyper horology, adrenaline and a determination to break existing codes are part of the Roger Dubuis DNA. Driven by an avantgarde spirit, a firm commitment to being part of a tribe, and a penchant for strong mechanical content, the Maison’s rampant creativity is unleashed onto extravagant, disruptive design exemplified by serial innovations.
This is expressed through the annual launch of unique and unequivocally daring timepieces that are not only each more challenging than the last, but which systematically push both technical and aesthetic boundaries and shake up the watchmaking world at large.
Big inventions deserve big celebrations and the Maison, renowned for and proud of doing things differently, ensures it has plenty of those and that its audiences are taken by storm on each occasion. Designed to reinforce the sentiment of uniqueness and being a member of an exclusive circle, clients are regularly exposed to immersive experiences at made-to-measure events. Whether these take the form of actually driving a Lamborghini or an invitation to see Super Trofeo races in person, attendees can have no doubt in their minds as to what Roger Dubuis is about, the extent of its expertise and its prowess as a serial innovator.
Right on Roger Dubuis’ home turf, Geneva’s annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is one of a number of perfect platforms and experiences for the expression of every ounce of the Maison’s fondness for excess. Here, once a year, the Manufacture’s R&D department has carte blanche to break existing codes, go to innovative extremes and introduce its latest world premieres.
A tripartite exclusive: the best of three
True to form, from January 14th to 17th, Geneva’s Palexpo will rock to the beat of the latest Roger Dubuis creations propelled by high-octane expertise and innovative prowess. Representing a new phase in its mission to challenge itself, Roger Dubuis has innovated in recent years by drawing inspiration from other industry fields. This has led to the cementing of partnerships with two other iconic names equally committed to delivering standout customer experiences – and the ensuing launch of a series of spectacular, emotion-fuelling, Geneva-hallmarked models that have clearly illustrated what happens when visionary engineers meet with incredible watchmakers.
In 2019, Roger Dubuis combines the best of everything it has with that of its partner industries, chosen for their reputations of being at the forefront of technology and equally determined to shatter existing R&D boundaries. The result is a one off – and totally unique – timepiece based on the Maison’s favourite platform of expression: Excalibur.
Inspired by partners Lamborghini Squadra Corse and Pirelli, the highly complicated Excalibur One-Off timepiece is inspired by the recently unveiled Lamborghini SC18 Alston supercar. This is the first ever one-off hypercar created by the Lamborghini motorsport division exclusively developed for a client’s recreational use on the track. The futuristic Excalibur One-off timepiece features a design at the crossroads of modern art and innovative architecture and a calibre worthy of the most complex engine. Composed of an amazing variety of materials, this unique superlative-packed timepiece is truly representative of what Fine Watchmaking, a supercar manufacturer and an iconic tyre king can do.
Following the same design philosophy as Lamborghini Squadra Corse, Roger Dubuis engineers have thus created a timepiece inspired by the supercar manufacturer’s aesthetic codes and aggressive allure, namely clean, precise lines, great depth and an eye-catching show of lights. The compact calibre has been developed around a single frame like the tubular structure of a supercar.
Since 1963, tyre king Pirelli has equipped every Lamborghini produced and currently manufactures bespoke tyres designed for the best performance, handling and safety of specific car models. Marked with an “L”, they are designed with the purpose of enhancing the car’s performance while ensuring a unique driving experience, both on and off the track. The Excalibur One-off timepiece features this distinctive L-branded strap with distinctive large air intakes and shaped to maximise breathability and resistance. The design and colours of this complex three-dimensional creation were also inspired by the interior of its supercar alter-ego. In addition, the mesh of this strap consists of nylon fibres that are exactly like those embedded in the inner structure of Pirelli tyres. The expertise of the Pirelli engineers thus helped Roger Dubuis enhance the quality of its strap by endowing it with very good torsional and traction resistance. This in turn makes it possible to achieve an authentic skeleton effect through extensive openworking.
Technical excellence: from hyper car to hyper watch
The Excalibur One-off timepiece is powered by the third calibre to be produced within the framework of this iconic three-way partnership in the form of the purpose-built RD106SQ movement, mechanical double flying tourbillon inclined 90°. Built like a supercar engine, it emulates the V-shape geometry of the Lamborghini engines.
A master of the complexity of regulating organs in mechanical movements in this timepiece, Roger Dubuis plays with three dimensions (thus positioning each piece on a different level and crossing it over the others) by inclining the heart of the watch. Directly derived from the gravity compensation concept embodied by the tourbillon, the disruptive double flying tourbillon is assembled on two planes, creating a 90° angle between them and linked with a differential. At 12 o’clock the Excalibur One-off timepiece features a double disc jumping hour with one hand for the minutes and a jumping hours counter (like on a Lamborghini, in which a single hand gives the number of revolutions and a counter shows the speed). The movement is framed by two sapphire components symbolizing the rev counters of a car. Further tribute is paid to the Lamborghini SC18 Alston supercar with a function selector reminiscent of a supercar mode selector which allows the user to choose the watch settings (W = wind the watch, S = set the time) – a brand-new and playful function for a super watch. A construction of this complexity required rethinking and adapting every tool used in the finishing of each piece to comply with the criteria of the Poinçon de Genève.
Lamborghini Squadra Corse is known for its mastery of carbon fiber, a remarkable material used in many of its creations and notably the SC18 Alston supercar which has indeed been referred to as a “one-off carbon fibre monster Lamborghini”. Oozing stylish muscle, the robust 47 mm case of the Excalibur One-off timepiece features carbon SMC in the case, flange and bridge, along with a woven carbon case-middle. This choice reflects the acknowledged mastery achieved by both Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini Squadra Corse in using this remarkable material renowned for its resistance (safety) and lightness (performance) properties. Ceramic, another automotive-related material widely employed for the brakes of supercars, appears in black on the bezel as well as in the red liquid ceramic minute markers.
Every day is a competition day for Roger Dubuis, filled with challenges to be taken on and ambitious goals to be reached. Like Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the Maison is firmly committed to cutting-edge performance, ferocious groundbreaking technology and super-sleek aesthetics, all fuelled by a high-impact R&D vision and focused on delivering bold customer experiences. This set of common denominators put them on a fast track to a roaring encounter where sparks were bound to fly. One year into these high-octane joint endeavours, the spiky hexagonal forms of the carbon atom on which Lamborghini design is based continue to merge with Swiss precision and mechanical instruments.
When visionary engineers meet with incredible watchmakers, the inevitable surge of adrenaline results in models “Powered by raging mechanics”. Timepieces procuring sensations akin to those experienced at the wheel of a Lamborghini equipped with Pirelli tyres. The same sense of controlled strength, perfect hold, ‘crazy’ details, and high-octane thrills. Combining the highest expression of Lamborghini's power with the finest Italian craftsmanship, the Lamborghini Huracán supercar represents a perfect fusion of authentic design and state-of-the-art mechanical technology. With its crisp, streamlined allure, this magnificent machine is sure to send the emotions of even the hardest heart into overdrive. Tailgating the Excalibur One-off timepiece at this year’s SIHH and offering a whole new experience Roger Dubuis style, the 2019 line-up also includes a new pair of raging steeds from the Excalibur Huracán stable inspired by this iconic supercar. Both these stand-out timepieces reflect the aesthetic codes of their motorised alter ego and its legendary hexagonal signature in particular. A versatile geometrical figure used to construct the volume of the Huracán, this appears throughout the timepieces in various guises, while the architecture of the skeleton movement is a magnificent tribute to the Manufacture’s ability to construct highly complex and totally out-of-the-box skeleton calibres. From track to road to wrist, this ideal blend of sophisticated mechanical engineering and sleek aesthetics thus enables aficionados to feel the automotive magic at their fingertips.
Visible through the titanium sapphire crystal case back of the Excalibur Huracán timepieces, throbs another powerful new driver. The second in the brand’s iconic collection to be developed for the partnership with Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the skeleton automatic RD630 caliber offers a 12° angled balance wheel representing the movement signature associated with Lamborghini Squadra Corse – a visual impression further accentuated by the honeycomb structure also typical of the automobile world. The 360° oscillating weight inspired by the rim of the Huracán supercar creates a captivating optical illusion when rotating rapidly, reproducing the same kind of speed effect as a supercar wheel. The sprung balance has been turned around in comparison to a traditional mechanical movement to ensure that wearers enjoy the full benefit of seeing the heart of their timepiece beating. The upper calibre features a strut-bar designed bridge recalling those found on the V10 engine of the Lamborghini Huracán supercar. Taking the Maison’s cutting-edge skeleton concept to new heights, a cryptic date-disc reveals the date only when passing through its dedicated aperture and cannot be decoded through the back. Combined with a racy allure enhanced by the crown evoking a supercar wheel nut, an impressive 60-hour power reserve ensures that these contenders are in it for the long haul.
Getting a grip
When visionary engineers meet with incredible watchmakers, the result is also a Perfect Fit on every level. Resolutely in the vanguard of technology, Pirelli has been partnering with Lamborghini for more than half a century and all Lamborghini sports and road cars are naturally equipped with cutting-edge Pirelli tyres. The latter rule the road on Huracán supercars, and now also ensure a perfect hold on the wrist, since the strap of the Excalibur Huracán Performante 88-piece limited edition timepiece crosses the finish line bearing a rubber inlay featuring the Pirelli P Zero™ Trofeo R tyre-pattern design. This custom-made tyre enhance the driving pleasure and represents the state of the art technology for the ultimate performance on track thanks to Pirelli’s centennial racing expertise. Meanwhile, the Excalibur Huracán timepiece with its bi-material strap featuring a black rubber base, grey Alcantara® inlay and black stitching. Both of these rugged watchbands are secured by adjustable folding buckle complete with a quick release system ensuring a speedy getaway.
If you wish upon a star
Convinced that women too deserve to wear calibres that are as daring and technical as their masculine counterparts, the 36 mm Excalibur Shooting Star timepiece is the perfect illustration of Roger Dubuis’ ability to build the impossible. Designed for women who stand out, the Excalibur Shooting Star timepiece exudes all the audacity any girl could wish for.
The proud bearer of the Maison’s iconic Astral signature enhanced by a sparkling shooting star, the Excalibur Shooting Star timepiece features the latest generation of skeleton flying tourbillon, one of the highest complications in the world of Haute Horlogerie. This is the very first time a complication of this nature has been displayed in such a diminutive piece and is the result of two years of development by Roger Dubuis watchmakers. With its sassy-looking skeleton movements and materials chosen from among the most luxurious and innovative available, the Excalibur Shooting Star timepiece thus offers a perfect union between Fine Watchmaking technology and natural elegance.
Powered by a mechanical skeleton flying tourbillon RD510SQ complete with the prestigious Poinçon de Geneve, the 36 mm Excalibur Shooting Star timepiece represents a galactic new trajectory in the world of skeleton complications. All aglow in 18K pink gold with white round cut diamonds and enamel accents, this 28-piece limited edition comes with “please don’t make me choose” options in pink or blue. If choices really have to be made and pink is your preference, this stunning model offers gleaming white mother-of-pearl décor on the inside. Its retail exclusive blue counterpart features diamond-set lugs and caseband, along with a sophisticated blue sunburst décor on the inside. But why choose? Like Roger Dubuis women, shooting stars are oblivious to the rules.