Manufacture Roger Dubuis has brought out a new version of the medieval masterpiece that marries perfectly with its flagship Excalibur collection: the Excalibur Knights of the Round Table. The first interpretation, unveiled in 2013 (and which we covered here), the designers of the Geneva-based manufacture presented a 28-piece limited edition in rose gold with 12 knights made of gold, seated around an enamel-and-decal reproduction of the Tudor-green-and-cream-painted English Oak Round Table made for King Henry VIII and placed in the Grand Hall of his castle at Winchester. For 2015, the stunning new 28-piece Excalibur Knights of the Round Table II takes this historically fueled model from a princely, Camelot-themed aesthetic to a darker, Gothic, more bad-ass one — sort of the horological equivalent of Game of Thrones’s Iron Throne.
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Knights of the Round Table II features 12 meticulously sculpted miniature bronze knights positioned around a precious black jade dial that is masterfully engraved and weighted with symbolism. As you’d expect from such an extraordinary degree of complexity and sophistication, it takes Roger Dubuis’s artisans an entire day to micro-engrave one knight and an entire month to make just two dials. The satin, white-gold circular flange surrounding the center of the dial is engraved and patinated to obtain the cobblestone paving effect for the Knights to stand on.
Each figure represents one of the legendary King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table, with their swords aimed at the dial’s center, representing unity as well as serving as the hour markers. These breathtaking miniaturizations, the work of highly skilled, passionate artisans, comprise 12 completely individual knights, each one only 6.5 mm tall and unique from the rest. Each Knight is formed from a three-dimensional casting in bronze, which is then sculpted and hand-finished and includes three-dimensional micro-engraving. This is the first time the material has been used for micro-engraving, a process that adds additional complexity, but the slight patina of the bronze accentuates the contrasts between each figure and adds to the darker motif.
The artisanal masterpiece is showcased in the traditional 45-mm white gold, notched-bezel, tri-lugged case of the Roger Dubuis Excalibur line. Behind the caseback, which is adorned with a blue-lacquered coat of arms with three crowns, beats the same valiant heart as in the first edition of this timepiece: the mechanical self-winding Caliber RD821, with its solid 48-hour power reserve. Like all Roger Dubuis timepieces, all 172 components of this movement are hand-finished and stamped with the prestigious Poinçon de Genève (Hallmark of Geneva), a horological medal of honor that is entirely worthy of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table.
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Knights of the Round Table II carries a retail price of $268,000. Scroll down to see images of the watch’s painstaking production process and the skilled craftsmen who bring it to life.