For the SIHH 2016, Roger Dubuis will be focused on women’s with, with most novelties adorned with floral motifs and gems. Just in case men were to feel just a bit neglected, Roger Dubuis has something to provide us with, as usual for the brand, a lot of skeletonization work and a bold design. Based on their entry level skeleton watch introduced in 2015, the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Skeleton, the brands adds some darkness, some robustness and some lightness to the concept with a molded carbon case. Let’s have a look at one of the watches to be introduced at the SIHH 2016, the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Skeleton Carbon.
Skeleton watches are the main specialty of the Manufacture Roger Dubuis – together with the fact that every single watch produced is adorned with the Poinçon de Genève. Until 2015, most skeletonized Roger Dubuis watches were equipped with a tourbillon – or even with two tourbillons. Meaning that enjoying these extra-thin, widely opened bridges required you to have very deep pockets. Not that the Excalibur Automatic Skeleton introduced in 2015 can be call an affordable proposition, but at least, it gets rid off the tourbillon regulator and features a normal escapement and balance but receives a self-winding mechanism via a micro-rotor.
What doesn’t change however is the insane skeletonization work, with superbly finished parts and highly architectural design – easily recognizable with the signature 5-spoke star bridge over the barrel, something that can be found in every Roger Dubuis skeleton watch (see here and here). The RD820SQ automatic skeleton calibre feels terribly light and almost transparent and the thin bridges let appear every single component – which allows you a look at the hand finishing applied on all parts. This 167-component movement is rather simple technically speaking, as it only provides the hours and the minutes but the point isn’t in complexity of the functions but in the exposition of the mechanics here.
If the movement remains untouched compared to the 2015 edition, the new Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Skeleton Carbon features a new material for its 42mm case. It is made in a high-tech composite known as carbon fibre sheet moulding compound (SMC). SMC is produced by compressing carbon fibres with resin and steel moulded at extremely high temperatures, which is then reworked and compounded with resin. Compared to normal carbon fibre (with a fabric-style pattern), this gives a nice aleatory render of the material. The shape of the case remains faithful to the Roger Dubuis tradition, with a large fluted bezel and the signature triple lugs. Finally, this edition features new hands, with red arrow tips, instead of the sword hands of the normal edition.
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Skeleton Carbon will be priced at $63,100, which makes it the “cheapest” edition. The black DLC titanium edition is priced at $64,500 and the gold edition at $78,000. www.rogerdubuis.com.