Roger Dubuis is a brand that intrigues and fascinates me. It is useless to hide it, I love technologically driven watches, with an attractive design, which showcase all the technical savoir faire of the maisons that produce them. Roger Dubuis undoubtedly owns these characteristics and thanks to the possibility of being able to visit the manufacture of the brand in that of Meyrin, in Geneva, I have had the opportunity to appreciate it for a very, very close time.
A look at the brand
Roger Dubuis is the brand founded in 1995 by the watchmaker of the same name and today it is part of the Richemont galaxy, after being purchased in 2005.
His know-how is mainly focused on the design, engineering and construction of movements, with everything that comes with it in terms of mechanical studies and materials.
It is one of the very few brands to be able to certify with the Geneva Punch many of its calibers and the philosophies of product development on which it has decided to focus in the last period can be divided into two distinct strands:
- Adrenaline Factor, of which all versions of excalibur born from the collaborations with Pirelli and Lamborghini are part.
- Expressive Singularity,to which all the "unique series" belong, the new Excalibur "Diabolus in Machina" and "Pride" and the famous Excalibur "Knights of the Round Table".
In recent years Roger Dubuis has focused much of his energy on collaborations with Lamborghini is Pirelli, to the detriment of expressive singularities. These partnerships are not just a marketing gimmick that can sponsor certain models or find new customers, but are based on sharing of values, visions, on joint technological development and the ability to provide its customers with richer and more fulfilling experiences.
From this modus operandi and from these synergies have been born several innovations in the first place from the point of view of materials and their processing (think of the carbon finish or mineral composite used in the Excalibur Twofold), and then arrive at completely new one-off models created on the specifications of customers eager to have a real unique watch to combine with their car , as with theExcalibur One-Off with two inclined flying tourbillons and jumping hours.
Roger Dubuis, however, also possesses another soul, that is, the one enclosed in the "expressive singularity" previously described as representing a fundamental part of the brand. This is interpreted both in the form of watches in very limited edition (or unique pieces even) with very complex calibers and particular processes of precious stones, both as a mentality and corporate philosophy that leads to constant innovation and overcoming its limits.
In this regard, it has recently been born within the company the Qlab, which is an area where younger children can be free to express their ideas, and artisans can not only carry on their art crafts, but also create new ones. From this initiative was born the new work with which the riders of the Excalibur "Knights of the round table" based on low-poly technology and, consequently, a new art craft are decorated.
As mentioned above, Roger Dubuis's manufacture mainly produces movements and we have been shown the entire production process which, starting from a brass or carbon plate, leads to obtaining a finished and decorated caliber in accordance with the standards imposed by the Hallmark of Geneva. But what allows Roger Dubuis to stand out from other manufacturers of the same level? Well, the reasons are different, let me explain:
- Integrated Quality Control:every single plate (generally skeletonized) at the end of its production process is controlled by a CNC metrological machine without the aid of optical systems, which would not have the same precision. For example, each hole is physically controlled at 6 different points, thus calculating the deviation of dimensions from the drawing. If the measured deviation approaches the limit of the tolerances imposed, an alert is sent to the CNC machine that has completed the machining so that the tools are replaced or a re-set of the machine itself is performed.
All this logic is part of a feedback control system called Jarvis that allows you to constantly monitor the health of the different machine tools and intervene in time on them to reduce the number of defective components to be discarded. The rate of discarded components obtained is only 3%.
- Know-how on carbon processing:working this material is not easy and requires specific configurations and calibrations of the machines involved in its processing, which can take several hours. Roger Dubuis has developed, over the years, a level know-how that allows him to make platines and various components in this material without resorting to the support of external companies. I would also like to point out the great collaboration with the establishment of the Geneva Punch to be able to certify carbon gauges with this seal, since the finishes on this material are not visible as on metals.
- Finishes:all finishes of each individual part, toothed wheel or bridge are performed manually. To see people still hand-waxing on each wheel, the perlage on all decks and the polishing called "black polishing" on each vine is incredible and clearly conveys what is behind the relative process of realization and, consequently, at the price of a watch belonging to haute horlogerie.
By seeing live what lies behind the images attached to this article, you can perceive the enormous amount of time and human energy required to achieve the level of detail and perfection present in Roger Dubuis calibers.
We were able to touch 5 watches from collaborations with Lamborghini and Pirelli.
Excalibur Spider Skeleton Automatic Pirelli "Hard"
It is a skeletonized watch, automatic with micro rotor in tungsten and 45 mm case in DLC treated titanium, born from the collaboration with Pirelli. The orange color of the details recalls the same as the Hard tires used during formula 1 GPs, the same ones that were then used to make the watch strap. Inside it, in fact, there are real parts of the carcass mounted on the single-seater, then enclosed between two rubber layers to make the watch wearable and compatible with the skin of the wrist. The finish of the strap is such as to recall the phenomenon of graining (vesicles) that can be seen on the pnaumatics at the end of the races. The watch is certified with the Geneva Punch.
Excalibur Spider Huracán Performante
This watch represents the entry level of the collections born from the synergies with Lamborghini. It is dedicated to the Huracan Performante, so much so that the frame of the movement recalls the structure that supports the 640 hp 5.2 l V10 engine mounted on the car. The gauge is automatic and has a 12° inclined escapement. While not presenting the Geneva Punch, it is finished to the same standards that can be found on higher-end watches. The strap is made of rubber and alcantara.
Excalibur Spider Aventador S
The "Duotuor", as it is nicknamed, mounts a manual caliber with seconds dead and two 45° inclined escapements connected to each other through a differential, all certified Geneva Punch. The watch in question is a remarkable exercise in technique, design and research. The position and inclination of the escapements is such as to optimize the running of the watch in the position where it is most often located, so as to improve its accuracy. The version we have tried has the carbon case with rose gold details and is a limited edition of 28 pieces. The strap is made of alcantara and rubber. The sound produced by this watch while driving is hypnotic and really feels like you have a high-cylinder racing engine on your wrist.
Excalibur Spider Sottozero
Here is the first Tourbillon that is presented to us. This Excalibur Spider Sottozero features a manual flying tourbillon caliber with power reserve indication and features a titanium case. Born from the collaboration with Pirelli, the strap has the same compund used for the nailed tires "Sottozero" that are mounted in case you have to cross isrticular nevous paths. It is a limited edition of 88 pieces.
Excalibur Spider Pirelli ICE ZERO 2
This watch is an evolution of the previous version whose caliber is pushed to an even higher level through the use of two flying tourbillons connected to each other via a differential. It is a limited edition at 8 pcs. Interestingly, the two escapements sound completely different between the Aventador S (noisier) and this (quieter) Pirelli Ice Zero 2 due to the use of tourbillons instead of more traditional regulators.
I would like to thank Roger Dubuis CEO, Nicola Andreatta, and the entire Roger Dubuis Team for giving us the precious opportunity to visit their factory.