Roger Dubuis watches, SIHH 2017: The limited-edition Excalibur Spider Carbon features multi-layered carbon
With the Excalibur Spider Carbon, Roger Dubuis delivers the first watch with a carbon case and movement with Poinçon de Genève certification
Disruptive materials and progressive complications is the new mantra for Roger Dubuis this year, although one could argue that the firm has always had this twin vision. Of course, boldness and extravagance continue to be the brand’s signatures in its challenge to “Dare to be Rare”, set by CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué.
On the rarity front, Roger Dubuis revealed the Excalibur Spider Full Carbon and the Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt earlier this year. As is already known, Excalibur is the iconic Roger Dubuis collection, on which Pontroué wants to focus even more strongly. The Excalibur Spider Carbon in particular made waves on its debut with its daring use of carbon for the case and the movement — a world’s first, in fact. Not for nothing, this will also be the first such watch to earn the Poinçon de Genève certification, marking a significant step forward for the official standard of Geneva watchmaking.
So, what’s the big deal here? Well, Roger Dubuis has dared to venture where no other watchmaker has gone, introducing not only a case (and lugs) but also movement mainplate, bridges and tourbillon upper cage all in multi-layered carbon. It is this multi-layered part that caused some consternation for the Geneva Seal, which does not allow composite materials. As the watchmakers at Roger Dubuis point out though, all the layers are T700 carbon, so the material is not a composite per se. Fans of the brand will know that it has experimented extensively with carbon — for both aesthetic reasons and for improved durability and strength — so news that it will have the first carbon movement to be awarded the Geneva Seal will perhaps seem a little pedestrian. In itself, that is a testament to the capabilities of the Geneva-based manufacture.
In Calibre RD509SQ, the use of multi-layered carbon has allowed it to share the same horizontal lines decorating the case, but more importantly, also shaves some 30 per cent from the weight of the tourbillon upper cage. In turn, this lightweight approach reportedly improves the movement’s power reserve by 10 per cent. Performance concerns also informed the use of titanium here, with the case back and crown in black DLC titanium. There is also a visible (if one looks hard at the piece) inner black DLC titanium case. Roger Dubuis states that titanium was used in these parts to assure that the watch is water resistant to 50 metres, which implies that the usual gaskets that keep things watertight are also present in the watch, as they are in all water-resistant wristwatches.
Back to the movement, the honeycomb section in black PVD and is decorative, while the flying tourbillon is the normal one-minute variety. The 10-degree angled layers applied to the calibre plate and bridges are an example of dedicating technical expertise to aesthetics. The main purpose of this step is to reproduce the same motifs on the movement as those appearing on the case middle. The watch is limited to just 28 pieces worldwide.
Movement Manual-winding Calibre RD509SQ
Power Reserve 70-hour
Case 45-millimetre carbon
Water Resistance Up to 50 metres
Strap Black rubber with red Rubber-Tech fabric-like inlay and red stitching, and double-folding clasp
This article was originally published in WOW.