Excalibur, the iconic and deliberately extravagant Roger Dubuis collection – with its signature blend of technical mastery and powerful design – is set to rock the watchmaking world as never before at SIHH 2017. And like any upcoming quake, premonitory tremors are rippling across the landscape. Here is a sneak peek at two of them.
EXCALIBUR QUATUOR COBALT MICROMELT
When it comes to progressive complications, the hand-wound 590-part RD101 Quatuor movement — beating at a frequency of 16 Hz (115,200 vph) with its four sprung balances and five differentials — is as progressive as they get. Outstandingly fast and efficient, 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. This year will see the Quatuor watch welcome its very own disruptive material: cobalt chrome.
This high-performance cobalt chrome alloy clothing the 48 mm-diameter case, bezel, caseback and crown is produced using the extremely exclusive MicroMelt® technology that represents just 0.1% of worldwide metallurgy. Widely associated with aeronautics and astronomy, this process involves melting and atomizing the alloy into a fine powder by introducing the molten metal to a high-pressure stream of gas using a dedicated, vacuum-induction-melting gas atomization unit. This powder is then blended and screened to a controlled diameter, poured into canisters that are sealed and subjected to hot isosatic pressing to achieve full denseness, before being hot-worked to produce hot-rolled bars and then processed to finished size.
In addition to the material’s improved chemical homogeneity, Roger Dubuis appreciates that it enables the creation of specific alloys (such as metal and non-metal) that other techniques do not permit, as well as resulting in controlled porosity that in turn ensures stabilized alloy quality. However, as always in making such technical and aesthetic choices, the manufacture adopts this state-of-the-art material with watch wearers firmly in mind, since it is 100 percent biocompatible, extremely corrosion-resistant thanks to the spontaneous formation of a passive protective film, as well as outstandingly durable thanks to its multiphase structure and the precipitation of carbides.
In this bold, fresh interpretation of the Excalibur Quatuor, the 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 SuperLumiNova-filled red tips, and the red strap stitching. Learn more about the new Quatuor in the video below.
EXCALIBUR SPIDER SKELETON AUTOMATIC
In the spirit of the contemporary outdoor, automobile-inspired vibe embodied in the Roger Dubuis “Technical Skeletons,” the Excalibur Spider Skeleton Automatic is a fresh blue/black/red 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.
Leveraging the expertise the brand has acquired over the years through the creation of its avant-garde movements, the generous 45-mm titanium case is interpreted according to the Spider concept — which extends skeletonization beyond the movement to include the watch’s case, flange, and hands. Enhancing visibility and promoting transparency, this principle forms powerful architectural and sculptural effects that highlight the beauty of these sophisticated mechanisms. The original case construction and the use of “disruptive materials” such as titanium also serve to ensure a super-light and pleasing feel on the wrist.
In this new model, cool color contrasts are the keynote, achieved by DLC treatment of the case and crown; vulcanized rubber details on the bezel, crown and container; and red accents provided by the ring, crown, hand tips, and strap stitching. The theme of contrasts is also expressed through finishing textures, notably including polished chamfers and satin-brushed sides. To ensure optimal readability throughout the 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 multi-material strap, with its black rubber base and blue calf leather inlay, is secured by a DLC-treated titanium folding buckle.
The watch is driven by Calibre RD820SQ, which in 2015 became the first Roger Dubuis automatic skeleton movement. It typifies all that is bold and beautiful about the in-house practice of openworking the parts of the caliber before assembling them, rather than the more common method of skeleton-working a pre-existing movement. All faces of its 167 components are meticulously hand-crafted in accordance with the stringent quality criteria and prestigious finishing necessary for the Poinçon de Genève certification. The design and height of the famous Roger Dubuis micro-rotor — a first in a skeletonized automatic Roger Dubuis movement — effectively enhance the spectacular 3D effect favored by the manufacture, as does the raised position of the signature Astral Skeleton decor. It offers a fresh interpretation of the distinctive multi-layer approach to watchmaking. Also typifying the brand’s blend of formal aesthetics and useful functionality, the instantly recognizable star shape features tips pointing to hour markers, thereby enhancing both clarity and legibility.
Issued in an 88-piece limited edition, the Excalibur Spider Skeleton Automatic is a vibrant microcosm of the traditions, innovation and expertise cultivated and perpetually enriched by the Roger Dubuis brand. Discover it in the video below.