While the modern side of Roger Dubuis is unmistakably all about bold high horology (what the brand names Hyper Horology), there’s one collection that might even make a greater impact with watches infused with Medieval mythology and, in particular, by the legendary knights of the fellowship of King Arthur. Ever since the first Knights of the Round Table timepiece was unveiled in 2013, this theme has been central to Roger Dubuis, which today unveils the latest version of this distinctive watch.
Anti-conformist, bold, unique in this field of horology… The whole concept behind the Roger Dubuis Knights of the Round Table collection is certainly powerful. Not a ‘consensual’ watch by any stretch of the imagination. With the latest version that’s just been presented, the brand is again demonstrating its capacity to combine strong design cues and impressive craftsmanship. Despite a design that won’t be unanimously accepted, we can’t overlook the level of detail to be found in the new fire and ice version of the Knights of the Round Table.
It all starts with the case, which uses the signature modern and architectural shape of most RD watches, including the triple lug element. For this latest edition, the 45mm case consists of a central element made from Titanium Damascus, which can be seen as both a modern take on this collection but also a tribute to an ancestral technique of forging steel. Here, titanium is used for its mechanical and lightweight properties. The Damascus approach sets it apart, as the blacksmith stacks a series of Grade 2 and Grade 5 titanium plates together. Then, they are driven into a red-hot furnace and then hammered so that the initial layers form one solid block. The block is heated and crushed over and over again to stretch and shape it. Finally, the metal is dipped into an acid bath, revealing a wave pattern. This textured middle case is combined with traditional brushed and polished titanium elements for the crown guards and the classic notched RD bezel.
There’s more to the case of the latest Roger Dubuis Knights of the Round Table… The bezel is, as you can see, raised from the middle case and sandwiches a sapphire ring, opening the side to reveal the 12 knights. The crown is also a complex element made partially from ice-blue Murano glass… A material that is found on many other parts of the watch. Worn on a structured dark blue leather strap, this watch features a quick-release system and a triple-folding clasp.
The dial has always been the most powerful and distinctive element of the Knights of the Round Table watches. As you’d expect, the main element remains the 12 knights circling the dial, which are micro-engraved in 18k rose gold. Dynamic in their movement and individual in their posture, each is unique, creating a scene frozen in time… And talking about frozen, the dial replicates the colour and texture of an iced-over lake. The dial is framed by transparent ice-blue glass, crafted following the Murano method. This same ice-blue glass is used for the main disc, as well as the large blocks of ice that float on the lake. To obtain a powdered snow effect, these blocks are coated with biscuit Limoges porcelain. Time, with only hours and minutes, is displayed thanks to a pair of 18k pink gold hands with luminous tips.
The back reveals the same visual complexity. The oscillating weight in blue is inspired by the stained-glass windows of medieval churches and castles. The tilted pyramid shapes are static and follow the triangular notches around the edges of the timepiece. At the centre, the skeletonised weight spins revealing a classic movement for the brand, the in-house calibre RD821, an automatic movement certified by the Poinçon de Genève and accordingly decorated.
Released as a limited edition of 28 pieces, the latest Roger Dubuis Knights of the Round Table will be priced at CHF 300,000 (excl. taxes). For more details, please visit www.rogerdubuis.com.