News and photos of watches debuting at next week’s SIHH watch fair continue to roll in. In this article from my blog, Watch-Insider.com, I cover new the first new models from Roger Dubuis, a brand known for its rather eccentric style but is focusing more on classical design values this year. Here is a teaser of what to expect.
The Hommage Tribute to Mr. Roger Dubuis is inspired by a particularly sophisticated model the brand’s founder and namesake launched in 2003 and features the same combination of functions: a flying tourbillon, the most sophisticated and fascinating variation of the device, which was designed to combat the effects of gravity and enhance movement regularity; a large date display for ideal readability; and a power-reserve display providing its always useful indication of the watch’s state of wind.
The RD 540 movement, with its 293 hand-finished components, called for a full 750 hours of manufacturing, of which 220 are dedicated to meeting the strict demands of the Poinçon de Genève (Geneva Hallmark), followed by four weeks of equally stringent controls. As a sign of respect for Dubuis’s distinguished career, which began with his training at the Geneva Watchmaking School, this vintage-style timepiece with a modern twist is issued in a limited edition of 208, which was Dubuis’s student registration number during his time at that venerable institution. Its limited series number appears proudly on the case band.
Roger Dubuis also reinterprets the codes of classicism with a strikingly handsome chronograph watch, the Roger Dubuis Hommage Chronograph. Among the range of horological complications, the chronograph falls squarely into the “useful” category and is currently more popular than ever in this age of celebrating high performance and sporting accomplishments.
This rose-gold chronograph watch is powered by the RD680 movement, which is equipped with a micro-rotor, a signature of the Manufacture Roger Dubuis movement expertise. The back of the case is engraved with the signature of Roger Dubuis. The distinctive shapes of the bridges, springs and levers are all hallmarks of Roger Dubuis movements, and the 261 parts are all individually hand-finished to the standards of uncompromising excellence demanded by the Poinçon de Genève.
Excalibur Quatuor is the name chosen for the world’s first timepiece incorporating four sprung balances. An exceptional achievement in the history of fine watchmaking also includes five differentials and presents the ultimate challenge to gravity. After an initial spring 2013 introduction, in rose-gold and full-silicon versions (click here for my report on the brand’s 2013 watches), the Excalibur Quatuor will debut at SIHH 2014 in a brand-new, full-titanium-black DLC interpretation.
The Roger Dubuis Velvet ladies’ watch collection sports a very distinctive design. With highly graphic dials in relief on two levels, elongated Roman numerals, and symbolic attachments that allow the bracelet to flow naturally from the 36-mm case, these timepieces offer a new interpretation of the established Roger Dubuis design codes. The rounded, barrel-shaped trompe l’oeil case has sophisticated, wrist-caressing curves, and inside it beats a strong mechanical heart.
Roger Dubuis has fitted this line with the new RD821 mechanical movement. Designed, developed and perfected in-house, it has automatic winding and is decorated with côtes de Genève. It comprises 172 hand-finished components, runs at a frequency of 28,800 vph (4 Hz) and has a 48-hour power reserve. Roger Dubuis submits each of its finished movements and watches to a leading independent control authority. As a result, every model in the Velvet collection, like all models in the Roger Dubuis men’s watch collections, is stamped with the Poinçon de Genève.