Skeleton Racers: Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli Limited Editions

Roger Dubuis began its partnership with Italian tire maker Pirelli, exclusive supplier to auto racing’s Formula One championship, this year, as part of the Geneva-based brand’s new emphasis on unconventional materials and motorsports-inspired design. This week, Roger Dubuis brought its Excalibur Spider Pirelli collection, first unveiled at SIHH 2017, to the U.S. for the first time, including two new models not seen at the Geneva watch salon.

The two new Excalibur Spider Automatic Skeleton models feature highlights in yellow and red, the primary colors in Pirelli’s iconic logo. Red or yellow is used on the watch’s skeletonized flange, on the overmoulded crown made of black DLC-coated titanium, and on the contrast stitching on the straps. The straps themselves are special, in fact, with their exterior surface constructed of rubber from actual Pirelli tire rubber from race-winning cars and an interior made of a different, softer rubber enhanced with a Pirelli tire tread pattern.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli - yellow - front
Above and below: Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli Yellow

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli - yellow - angle

As with the other timepieces in Roger Dubuis’s Excalibur Spider series, both the case, measuring 45 mm in diameter and made of black DLC titanium; and the movement, Roger Dubuis Caliber RD820SQ, self-wound by a micro-rotor, have been skeletonized. In addition to the Pirelli-inspired aesthetics, the watches retain the familiar Excalibur look — round, with a fluted bezel and crown, triple lugs, and Dauphine hands sweeping over the openworked dial. Like all of Roger Dubuis’s skeleton movements, Caliber RD820SQ is designed from scratch (as opposed to being an existing movement that has been skeletonized after the fact) and incorporates the brand’s now-familiar “star” motif, with the tips of the five-pointed star also serving as hour pointers. The micro-rotor delivers winding power equivalent to that of a larger central winding rotor despite its reduced weight and openworked structure. Composed of 167 meticulously hand-finished components,the movement has been awarded the prestigious Geneva quality hallmark, the Poinçon de Genève — a distinction shared by all Roger Dubuis movements.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli - red - front
Above and below: Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli Red
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli - red - angle

The Excalibur Spider Pirelli Yellow and Red editions join the models with blue highlights that were introduced at SIHH, one of them another Skeleton Automatic, the other an Excalibur Spider Pirelli Double Tourbillon, outfitted with the skeletonized-from-scratch, manual-winding Caliber RD105SQ, with two flying tourbillon carriages positioned side-by-side at 5 o’clock and 8 o’clock. The movement includes 365 parts, including 28 jewels, and stores a 50-hour power reserve. Like the movements in the skeleton automatics,  it boasts Dubuis’s hallmark star-shaped bridges, with several tips lining up with the hour markers, and has been openworked to the absolute minimum to allow a full view through the timepiece. Its large 47-mm case is made of black DLC-coated titanium with Pirelli blue highlights and is mounted on the same bi-material strap, topped off by Pirelli tire rubber, as the automatics. This watch also features another fun highlight: a power-reserve indicator that resembles a dashboard fuel gauge.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli Automatic Skeleton - blue - front
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli Blue
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli Double Flying Tourbillon
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli Double Flying Tourbillon Blue

The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli Automatic Skeleton models are limited to 88 pieces each and priced at around $66,500, while the Excalibur Spider Pirelli Double Flying Tourbillon is limited to only eight pieces and priced at around $287,000. At the launch event at New York City’s Classic Car Club, Roger Dubuis CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué announced that the brand — which has already partnered with Italian prototype car maker Italdesign in addition to Pirelli — will announce another high-profile automobile partnership in September. Stay tuned.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur_Front_2_Pirelli_Classic_Car_Club_2017
A live shot of the Excalibur Spider Pirelli Blue taken at the launch event
l-r: Roger Dubuis marketing director Nicolas Fermont and CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué at the Classic Car Club
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  1. Albert Kotzé

    There probably is a market for these things and good luck to the folks who buy them. There is no dial, which to me basically makes or breaks the design of a watch, together with the hands. The movement is also of cardinal importance. When I look at these watches I see a hole with confusing bits of details inside. Reading the time is guess work. These are definitely not tools, but toys, very expensive toys.

  2. Bill Ball

    The real question I have is this. The design an beauty of this watch is outstanding. But how does this company come up with a cost that is so out of reach of MOST buys?. Do they sell some or many or ?. Thanks

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