2017 for Roger Dubuis is all about supercharged horology, as the brand’s Excalibur family takes centre stage with a Pirelli-powered collection featuring an entirely new composite.
“With Excalibur, the iconic Roger Dubuis family, we have five innovations this year,” says Gregory Bruttin, Product Strategy Director. (There’s also a sixth, limited-edition automatic model featuring blue sapphires, for a more traditionally feminine interpretation of the Excalibur family). Two Excalibur Spider models are the first expression of a new ten-year partnership with tyre manufacturer Pirelli. The Excalibur
Spider Pirelli – Double Flying Tourbillon, as its name suggests, features two tourbillons, at 5 and 7 o’clock, which are rimmed by seconds counters and a power-reserve indicator that nods to racing car cockpit fuel gauges.
The Excalibur Spider Pirelli – Double Flying Tourbillon, as its name suggests, features two tourbillons, at 5 and 7 o’clock
“Pirelli develops around 2,000 different types of rubber every year – in watchmaking we develop around one, so that was a reason we worked with them – to share their knowledge. The strap rubber is from the Monaco Grand Prix winning tyre of Hamilton and the watch is limited to 8 pieces; the Automatic Skeleton is limited to 88 pieces,” says Bruttin. Alongside the new partnership, Roger Dubuis also introduces a new composite, cobalt chrome, as seen in the Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt Micromelt, a unique high performance alloy that is used on the 48-mm case, bezel, caseback and crown. The Quatuor movement which was launched four years ago receives an update with several components now in the new alloy.
Left: Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt Micromelt and (right) Excalibur Spider Pirelli Double Flying Tourbillon.
“The Micromelt is used in supercars, aerospace, and was first used in the medical industry,” says Bruttin. “It’s timeless in appearance; we worked with leaders in alloys to develop it; it was a long and interesting process – the quality of the material is perfect – it is the best of the best.”
Next up, the Excalibur Spider Carbon, limited to 28 pieces, features a crown, caseback and container all made from titanium; the striking red and black model also features carbon prominently in the design and movement.
“The case is in carbon, and inside the movement plate, and the bridges and tourbillon upper cage are all made it carbon – it makes for a much lighter watch, and we use it for the cage because it makes it possible to increase the power reserve by 50 per cent. We use the carbon wherever it’s useful. The watch is very shockproof, too.” With a beautiful Excalibur Spider Automatic Skeleton and 36mm ladies’ Excalibur with sapphire-set bezel completing the Roger Dubuis offering this year, it seems that usefulness is just one of several attributes appealing to clients this year: take your pick from jaw-dropping lightness, technical innovation, beauty and sheer ambition, and the stage is set for a ramped up, high-paced year for visionary watchmaking.
EXCALIBUR SPIDER PIRELLI – DOUBLE FLYING TOURBILLON MOVEMENT
Hand-wound calibre, RD105SQ. Poinçon de Genève.
Skeleton case, 47 mm, black DLC titanium case, bezel and case back, titanium DLC crown
cover vulcanized with blue rubber, titanium container vulcanized with blue rubber.
Black rubber strap mixed with rubber from a set of winning Pirelli tyres.
EXCALIBUR QUATUOR COBALT MICROMELT ® MOVEMENT
Hand-wound calibre, RD101; Poinçon de Genève.
48mm, Cobalt Chrome case, bezel, case back and crown, MicroMelt® process. Crystal sapphire case back.
Blue alligator strap with red stitches.Titanium grade 5 folding clasp.