Roger Dubuis is a brand that is proud of not having an ancient heritage. On the contrary, it looks long and hard into the future, intent on discovering themes that will one day be part of our everyday lives, and transferring what it finds into their watches of today. Attention to future trends is part of Creative Director Alvaro Maggini’s work, and it generates images like the startling reworked photo of the Roger Dubuis manufacture, with icy stalactites projecting out from the glass, and fiery fissures in the road outside.
Notwithstanding its pride in not having a long history, Roger Dubuis already has some iconic models, above all Excalibur, with its star-shaped skeletonized movement. The “Spider” part of the name is another Roger Dubuis concept in which openworking is extended beyond the movement to other parts of the watch such as the lugs, case and bezel.
New this year is the agreement with tyre manufacturer Pirelli. How do you showcase a tyre on a watch? The easiest place is on the strap, and the Excalibur Spider Pirelli has inlays of rubber from Pirelli tyres used on the winning car at the Monaco Formula 1 Gran Prix in 2016, and the inside of the strap has the same tread motif used on a Pirelli racing tyre capable of evacuating 25 litres of water per second. Pirelli colour-codes its tyres, with seven colours, and the blue that appears on the two Pirelli watches by Roger Dubuis this year denote tyres used in wet conditions. It is used for the strap stitching, crown, bezel inlays and details on the hands.
Original movement architecture
We have become accustomed to the star-shaped open-worked movement introduced in 2015, but it’s worth remembering that Roger Dubuis’ idea of skeletonization is very different from the classical concept of taking an existing movement and removing as much material from plates and bridges and then decorating what’s left. The designers at Roger Dubuis started from scratch and created a movement in which the star-shape defines gear positions and structural stability. Four of the five star tips correspond to hour markings. At the top of the watch, the winding rotor is surprisingly deep, and is justly highlighted by the label “Winding system” around its lower edge. The RD820SQ self-winding movement has 167 parts, runs at 4 Hertz (28,800 vibrations per hour) and has a power reserve of 60 hours. Its finish is certified by the Poinçon de Genève hallmark. It drives just hour and minute hands, no seconds hand, no date.
The case is 45 mm in diameter, just over 14 mm thick, in black DLC titanium. It is water-resistant to 5 bar, 50 metres.
Price of the Excalibur Spider Pirelli
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli is an 88-piece limited edition, and each watch costs 65,000 Swiss francs. Owners will be invited to Pirelli events in their area. Read more at the Roger Dubuis website.