Watches of Roger Dubuis are talking to me in a clearly receivable and irresistible tone. Like those distant voices in the woods of Brocéliande they originate from, whispers tell me to come closer and give in to temptations… It is their forms, I think, which radiate such strength that has amazed me. The blade-like hands of the Excalibur cut the flow of time implacably to past and future like a laser beam, making no mistakes or shavings. These shapes provide direction but at the same time leave space for personal inventiveness in style.
This is an extremely valid feat in places like Hong Kong, where people seem to have style encoded in their DNA strands. Walking the floors of the Watches and Wonders exhibition as well as the streets of Wan Chai, Kowloon and Central recharged my batteries. Individualism here does have a constant correspondence with taste and balance, and different forms of self-expression are discernible even in the smallest details. With regard to watches, it wasn’t rare to meet gentlewomen wearing testosterone-filled masculine timepieces as an accentual but rakish accessory to their unmistakably feminine outfit. We did share great enthusiasm in our editorial team when spotting them.
Roger Dubuis’ unconventional designs with the embedded technical bravura fit very well into this world, making the calling voices of the watch brand and the surrounding Astral-Brocéliande magic heard not only by me, but many local fine-watch lovers, too.
At the Watches and Wonders 2015 the Astral Skeleton Kingdom of Roger Dubuis was inhabited by spiders and skeletons, entwined throughout by clambering tendrils of ivies and lit by peculiar stars. It was one of the most visited spots of the show.
Observing the visitors proved to be amusing, but we passed the gate-keepers and entered into this enchanting realm. The avant-garde treasures found inside have elementary power on fellow people like me, but will not be dared by others. And that is kind of natural being creations of a brand that produces for a niche market in quantities barely reaching the 5,000 units annually. For those in the first group I strongly suggest experiencing the timepieces live in a Roger Dubuis boutique nearby.
Novelties introduced in Hong Kong came from the Excalibur collection: a new version of the sophisticated ladies model the Excalibur Creative Skeleton Brocéliande, a unique Excalibur Spider Pocket Time Instrument, a shining Excalibur Star of Infinity and a stoned dial version of the Excalibur 42mm.
Excalibur Creative Skeleton Brocéliande
The Excalibur got me ever since we met for the first time. I feel more comfortable with the harsh spider web bridges and the edgy fluted bezel than with many other ladies-targeted pieces around. Perhaps I wasn’t alone, and the company presented these rough lines in a timepiece dedicated to women at SIHH 2015. The Excalibur Creative Skeleton Brocéliande takes the sometimes dark stories of the Astral Skeleton series into an enchanted forest of ivies irradiated by dewdrop-like diamond lustre. It is definitely more feminine, broadening the camp of those bewitched by the shapes of the Excalibur. Yet, you must still have the balls (special ladies’ balls) to wear one of these. For WW2015 Roger Dubuis’ workshops produced a 3-piece limited rhodium pink gold model with matching pink strap. The ivy leaves are made of semi-precious stones and their stems wearing diamond drops crawl around the bridges. Again, space with heights and depths is given to the story to elaborate, alluring the wearer for adventure every time she glimpses the dial. In the depths of the miraculous ivies a good amount of self-discipline is required to look elsewhere and continue your day.
The bezel of the 42mm timepiece is set with 60, the lugs 48 baguette-cut diamonds, summing up to 2.66 cts altogether. RD505SQ, the Skeleton Flying Tourbillon calibre is hiding in the bushes.
Excalibur Creative Skeleton Brocéliande 3-piece limited rhodium pink gold model with matching pink strap
Excalibur 42 mm with stone dial
From the forest of Brocéliande or perhaps from elsewhere finely cut stones made their way to the dials of the classic 42 mm Excalibur automatic timepiece. The signature lengthened Roman numerals of the Excalibur collection are engraved directly in the stone, leaving the observer’s mouth open. Having no difference in material between the numbers and the dial’s background, contrasts are very low and numbers are only visible if light circumstances allow it. If you turn it slightly in the rising sun, numerals will stand out like the blocks of stones in Stonehenge. This makes even such a charismatic watch like the Excalibur 42 a lot more reserved and sophisticated, whose most beloved playgrounds are the wrists of charismatic individuals.
The timepiece, operated by the RD622 self-winding movement, is produced in a 188 piece series.
Excalibur Star of Infinity
The star over the Roger Dubuis booth was definitely the Excalibur Star of Infinity. The 14.93 cts weight of diamonds sparkled through the entire space – the white gemstones on the 45mm white gold case, lugs and on the central signature asymmetric star gave the feeling of frosted metal. The usual bevels on the bezel and the crown enhance the image of a rock solid and cold piece. The setting of the 312 baguette-cut diamonds is truly amazing especially on the lugs and the crown.
Although it gives the impression of the ice-age, it is very much alive. Cages of the double tourbillon make one revolution every minute, regulating the manually wound RD01SQ calibre via a differential mechanism. Just as every piece Roger Dubuis creates, this received the Poinçon de Genève certification, too.
Although it’s called infinity, it is rather limited to 8 pieces.
Photo credits: Roger Dubuis, Loupiosity.com.
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