STYLE AND SUB­STANCE

An an­ti­dote to con­ser­vatism in the watch in­dus­try, Roger Dubuis of­fers an un­apolo­get­i­cally bold col­lec­tion of time­pieces, writes Selina Den­man

The National - News - Luxury - - CONTENTS -

En­vis­aged as an an­ti­dote to con­ser­vatism, Roger Dubuis watches are un­apolo­get­i­cally bold

Unashamedly bold, provoca­tive and po­lar­is­ing, Roger Dubuis watches are not for ev­ery­one. But they are not meant to be. Launched in 1995, Roger Dubuis is a young, dis­rup­tive brand that ex­ists as an an­ti­dote to con­ser­vatism in the watch in­dus­try. And with its sig­na­ture Ex­cal­ibur range, it of­fers an open chal­lenge to its cus­tomers: dare to be rare.

While its de­signs may be au­da­cious, they also push tech­ni­cal bound­aries – the brand’s many in­no­va­tive move­ments are all pro­duced in-house. “We do not sub­mit to rigid con­straints in our ap­proach to de­sign, in terms of ma­te­ri­als, shape, colours or even com­po­nents – we have an un­con­ven­tional ap­proach to watch­mak­ing,” ex­plains Jean-Se­bastien Ber­land, Roger Dubuis’s re­gional brand di­rec­tor for the Mid­dle East, In­dia and Africa.

“The an­nual un­veil­ing of world premieres rep­re­sents the al­most or­ganic re­sult of the man­u­fac­ture’s on­go­ing in­vest­ment in re­search and de­vel­op­ment. How­ever, our quest for ex­cel­lence drove us to get the Hall­mark of Geneva, a tra­di­tional and ex­clu­sive stamp of high­watch­mak­ing,” he adds.

Take, for ex­am­ple, the Ex­cal­ibur Qu­atuor Cobalt Mi­cromelt, which con­tains the hand-wound 590-part RD101 Qu­atuor move­ment, with four sprung bal­ances that work to­gether to in­stantly ad­just the ef­fects of grav­ity – some­thing that would take a tour­bil­lon one minute to achieve. “Roger Dubuis is still the only mai­son to be able to mas­ter such a com­pli­cated cal­i­bre,” Ber­land points out.

This is also the first watch in the world to fea­ture a case con­structed en­tirely out of cobalt chrome, which has been pro­duced us­ing the trade­marked Mi­cro-Melt tech­nol­ogy. More com­monly used in the aero­nau­tics and as­tron­omy in­dus­tries, this process in­volves melt­ing and atom­is­ing the al­loy into a fine pow­der, by in­tro­duc­ing the molten metal to a high­pres­sure stream of gas. The end re­sult is 100 per cent bio­com­pat­i­ble, com­pletely cor­ro­sion-re­sis­tant and ex­tremely durable.

An­other world first: the Ex­cal­ibur Spi­der Pirelli, which has a rub­ber strap crafted from the tires of win­ning For­mula One cars, with an un­der­side that bears the tread pat­tern of a Pirelli Cin­tu­rato tyre. The watch comes as an au­to­matic skele­ton, and a sin­gle and dou­ble fly­ing tour­bil­lon – the lat­ter is pro­duced in a lim­ited edi­tion of eight and of­fers the per­fect com­bi­na­tion of rugged­ness and re­li­a­bil­ity.

A sturdy, 47-mil­lime­tre, black DLC ti­ta­nium skele­ton case fea­tures vul­can­ised blue or red rub­ber ac­cents, which high­light a ti­ta­nium crown. The fly­ing tour­bil­lons at 5 and 7 o’clock are rimmed by speedome­ter-like sec­onds coun­ters, com­plete with au­to­mo­bile-in­spired point­ers. But, per­haps best of all, ev­ery watch comes with a “money-can’t-buy high­a­drenaline ex­pe­ri­ence: a two-day VIP pro­gramme or­gan­ised by Pirelli at a motorsport event”.

This is an ac­knowl­edge­ment from both par­ties that to­day’s lux­ury con­sumer de­mands ex­clu­sive ser­vices and one-off ex­pe­ri­ences as well as pre­mium prod­ucts. As the sole sup­plier of tyres to the world’s big­gest mo­tor­sports com­pe­ti­tions, with ac­cess to all of the most pres­ti­gious teams and driv­ers, Pirelli is well placed to of­fer such ex­pe­ri­ences.

Roger Dubuis is forg­ing in­creas­ingly strong ties with the world of mo­tor­sports, build­ing on ob­vi­ous shared val­ues. “There is an ir­re­sistible mu­tual at­trac­tion,” claims Ber­land. They are talk­ing to the same cus­tomers, ex­ist within the same price bracket with­out be­ing in di­rect com­pe­ti­tion, and are driven by the same adren­a­line-fu­elled ethos of dis­rup­tive de­sign and en­gi­neer­ing ex­cel­lence.

In ad­di­tion to its tie-up with Pirelli, Roger Dubuis has en­tered into a part­ner­ship with Lam­borgh­ini Squadra Corse, which has made the watch brand one of the main spon­sors of the Lam­borgh­ini Su­per Tro­feo, an in­ter­na­tional, Lam­borgh­ini-only rac­ing series that made its Mid­dle East de­but last year.

Joined by a shared “de­ter­mi­na­tion to place tech­nique in the ser­vice of beauty”, the com­pa­nies launched the part­ner­ship by un­veil­ing the Ex­cal­ibur Aven­ta­dor S,

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