SIHH 2019: Roger Dubuis Excalibur One-Off
Representing a new phase in its mission to challenge itself, Roger Dubuis has innovated in recent years by drawing inspiration from other industry fields. This has led to the cementing of partnerships with two other iconic names equally committed to delivering standout customer experiences – and the ensuing launch of a series of spectacular, emotion-fuelling, Geneva-hallmarked models that have clearly illustrated what happens when visionary engineers meet with incredible watchmakers.
In 2019, Roger Dubuis combines the best of everything it has with that of its partner industries, chosen for their reputations of being at the forefront of technology and equally determined to shatter existing R&D boundaries. The result is a one off – and totally unique – timepiece based on the Maison’s favourite platform of expression: Excalibur.
Inspired by partners Lamborghini Squadra Corse and Pirelli, the highly complicated Excalibur One-Off timepiece is inspired by the recently unveiled Lamborghini SC18 Alston supercar. This is the first ever one-off hypercar created by the Lamborghini motorsport division exclusively developed for a client’s recreational use on the track. The futuristic Excalibur One-off timepiece features a design at the crossroads of modern art and innovative architecture and a calibre worthy of the most complex engine. Composed of an amazing variety of materials, this unique superlative-packed timepiece is truly representative of what Fine Watchmaking, a supercar manufacturer and an iconic tyre king can do.
Following the same design philosophy as Lamborghini Squadra Corse, Roger Dubuis engineers have thus created a timepiece inspired by the supercar manufacturer’s aesthetic codes and aggressive allure, namely clean, precise lines, great depth and an eye-catching show of lights. The compact calibre has been developed around a single frame like the tubular structure of a supercar.
Since 1963, tyre king Pirelli has equipped every Lamborghini produced and currently manufactures bespoke tyres designed for the best performance, handling and safety of specific car models. Marked with an “L”, they are designed with the purpose of enhancing the car’s performance while ensuring a unique driving experience, both on and off the track. The Excalibur One-off timepiece features this distinctive L-branded strap with distinctive large air intakes and shaped to maximise breathability and resistance. The design and colours of this complex three-dimensional creation were also inspired by the interior of its supercar alter-ego. In addition, the mesh of this strap consists of nylon fibres that are exactly like those embedded in the inner structure of Pirelli tyres. The expertise of the Pirelli engineers thus helped Roger Dubuis enhance the quality of its strap by endowing it with very good torsional and traction resistance. This in turn makes it possible to achieve an authentic skeleton effect through extensive openworking.
Technical excellence: from hyper car to hyper watch
The Excalibur One-off timepiece is powered by the third calibre to be produced within the framework of this iconic three-way partnership in the form of the purpose-built RD106SQ movement, mechanical double flying tourbillon inclined 90°. Built like a supercar engine, it emulates the V-shape geometry of the Lamborghini engines.
A master of the complexity of regulating organs in mechanical movements in this timepiece, Roger Dubuis plays with three dimensions (thus positioning each piece on a different level and crossing it over the others) by inclining the heart of the watch. Directly derived from the gravity compensation concept embodied by the tourbillon, the disruptive double flying tourbillon is assembled on two planes, creating a 90° angle between them and linked with a differential. At 12 o’clock the Excalibur One-off timepiece features a double disc jumping hour with one hand for the minutes and a jumping hours counter (like on a Lamborghini, in which a single hand gives the number of revolutions and a counter shows the speed).
The movement is framed by two sapphire components symbolizing the rev counters of a car. Further tribute is paid to the Lamborghini SC18 Alston supercar with a function selector reminiscent of a supercar mode selector which allows the user to choose the watch settings (W = wind the watch, S = set the time) – a brand-new and playful function for a super watch. A construction of this complexity required rethinking and adapting every tool used in the finishing of each piece to comply with the criteria of the Poinçon de Genève.
Lamborghini Squadra Corse is known for its mastery of carbon fiber, a remarkable material used in many of its creations and notably the SC18 Alston supercar which has indeed been referred to as a “one-off carbon fibre monster Lamborghini”. Oozing stylish muscle, the robust 47 mm case of the Excalibur One-off timepiece features carbon SMC in the case, flange and bridge, along with a woven carbon case-middle. This choice reflects the acknowledged mastery achieved by both Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini Squadra Corse in using this remarkable material renowned for its resistance (safety) and lightness (performance) properties. Ceramic, another automotive-related material widely employed for the brakes of supercars, appears in black on the bezel as well as in the red liquid ceramic minute markers.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur One-Off
Case: Spider, 47mm, C-SMC carbon with accents in red varnish, titanium container covered with braided carbon Ceramic bezel with red liquid ceramic minute markers C-SMC carbon and black DLC titanium crown with titanium and red varnish accents, titanium case back with C-SMC inlays and blackened recess, crystal sapphires on top and back of the case
Dial: Skeleton dial with Rhodium coated lower flange and C-SMC carbon upper flange, Rhodium plated indexes filled with white luminous SLN
Water resistance: 5 BAR (50 m)
Strap: Rubber and nylon mesh strap
Buckle: Triple folding and interchangeable
Features: Skeleton double flying tourbillon with 90° angle linked with a differential. Jumping hours.
Functions: jumping hour, minutes, function selector
Decorations: Plate and bridges are circular-grained, shot-blasted or trued-up and anthracite or NAC coated
Number of parts: 385
Diameter: 13 3/4
Frequency: 2 x 3 Hz (2x21’600 Alt/H)
Power-reserve: 60 hours