Pre-SIHH: Two New Roger Dubuis Timepieces
For its SIHH 2015 offerings, Roger Dubuis is concentrating on the art of skeletonisation, with a focus on executing it in the Excalibur collection. The latter is, of course, one of Roger Dubuis’s mainstay collections, what with its round case, fluted bezel, triple lug design, and Dauphine hands. Rather than applying the technique on existing […]
For its SIHH 2015 offerings, Roger Dubuis is concentrating on the art of skeletonisation, with a focus on executing it in the Excalibur collection. The latter is, of course, one of Roger Dubuis’s mainstay collections, what with its round case, fluted bezel, triple lug design, and Dauphine hands. Rather than applying the technique on existing watches and movements, however, the manufacture has opted to design new ones – both watches and movements – from the ground up. The result? A potent mix that people familiar with the brand will not mistake for anything else.
Although Roger Dubuis will release several new calibres for 2015, they share a common design language with angular star-shaped bridges in lieu of elegantly curved ones. These “stars” are anchored to the inner sides of the case, at the hour marker positions, and as such lack a regular shape. Their resemblance to spider webs is deliberate – the manufacture has cited them as a source of inspiration, given their strength vis-à-vis their minimalist structures. To match these skeletonised movements, Roger Dubuis has extended openworking to the case, inner flange, and hands of each watch.
The Excalibur Spider Skeleton Flying Tourbillon is exactly as its name suggests, from its namesake collection, to the technique in focus, to the highlight complication. The watch features a manual winding RD505SQ movement, with a flying tourbillon at seven o’clock. Its case is a chunky 45mm across and 13.75mm high, but made of titanium with an almost lattice-like structure for its lugs and case middle, which contributes significantly to weight savings. The watch’s contemporary look is matched by a black rubber strap, complete with a titanium deployant clasp.The Excalibur Automatic Skeleton may lack its elder sibling’s tourbillon complication, but its technical achievements are no less impressive. The timepiece’s self-winding RD820SQ calibre necessitates the inclusion of a rotor; a regular design will obscure the view through the case and reduce the perceived airiness, which leaves the option of either a micro-rotor or a peripheral winding system. Roger Dubuis’s choice is the former – but skeletonised as well, in keeping to the theme.The watches above, like the rest of Roger Dubuis’s timepieces, are certified with the Geneva Seal. There aren’t many surfaces left to work on, but a closer look will reveal techniques such as circular graining, perlage, and linear finishing.