It’s proving to be a bumper crop year for dragon-themed watches, and brands from all walks of life are deploying their creativity to create something inspiring for the upcoming Year of the Dragon. While it’s only natural to associate Roger Dubuis‘ Excalibur collection with the wonderfully over-the-top Arthurian-inspired Knights of the Round Table editions, it is also home to flamboyant skeletonised models with complications. The latest skeletonised model with a tourbillon complication is the Excalibur Dragon Monotourbillon, flaunting the figure of a sinuous dragon to mark the dawn of the Chinese Lunar New Year and the ascendance of the mighty dragon.
Introduced in 2005, the Excalibur collection captures the extravagant personality of Roger Dubuis watches. As CEO Nicola Andreatta pointed out in an interview with MONOCHROME, the Excalibur was reshaped in 2021 to make it lighter, more contemporary and refined by eliminating some of the curves. As a fully integrated manufacture based in Geneva, Roger Dubuis has produced over 40 calibres since 1995, many of them with bold contemporary architecture bearing the coveted Poinçon de Genève.
Several skeletonised editions of Roger Dubuis’ flying tourbillon, like this Spider Pirelli model, feature the whirlwind regulator at 7 o’clock and a large openworked star-shaped bridge spanning the upper right half of the dial. The skeletonised Excalibur Dragon Monotourbillon respects the position of the tourbillon but replaces the star-shaped bridge with the figure of an S-shaped dragon. His head is depicted coiling around the barrel as his sinuous body snakes down to the lower dial to slip beneath the flying tourbillon, only to see his tail emerge again at 10 o’clock. The dragon’s body is crafted from 27 pieces of brass and embellished with black lacquer on the sides and a pink gold treatment on the top. In keeping with the brand’s dynamic compositions, the individual pieces are set on 25 different levels at different angles to produce more volume. The dragon also appears on the reverse side, metallised on the inside of the caseback’s sapphire crystal.
The hour markers are applied to the brass flange that is treated with a pink gold galvanic treatment. Matching the V-shaped notches on the bezel, the interiors of the nine V-shaped hour markers are treated with black Super-LumiNova. The pink gold hour and minute hands are openworked and decorated with satin-brushed finishings and black Super-LumiNova inserts in their tips.
Powered by the in-house manual-winding movement – calibre RD512SQ – the skeletonisation results in a light, airy composition with plenty of negative space to exalt the flying tourbillon, the beautifully finished components and the artwork. As a flying tourbillon – the only kind produced by Roger Dubuis – the spectacle is guaranteed since the cage is only mounted on one side with no supporting bridge to tamper the view. To ensure stability and lightness, the lower tourbillon cage is made of non-magnetic titanium and the upper cage in mirror-polished cobalt chrome. In turn, the lightweight carriage also improves the power reserve that delivers 72 hours of autonomy when fully wound. Certified by the coveted Hallmark of Geneva, every component is finished and decorated by hand.
In compliance with the recent design tweaks applied to the Excalibur, the 42mm diameter x 12.6mm thick pink gold case has tauter lines but has not relinquished an iota of its powerful personality. Flanked by guards, the screw-down crown ensures the 100m water-resistance of the case with its prominent notched bezel and three arched lugs at either end with vertically brushed surfaces and wide polished bevels.
A quick-release system means that the black calfskin leather strap provided with the watch can be exchanged in seconds. The strap comes with a pink gold triple-folding buckle.
Availability & Price
The Excalibur Dragon Monotoubillon is a limited edition of 28 pieces and retails for CHF 195,000 (excl. tax). For more information and to locate the nearest Roger Dubuis Boutique or authorised retailer, please consult rogerdubuis.com.