Legends are made of these.
Roger Dubuis’s highlight for SIHH 2019 was a single watch with a customised calibre that will never be produced again. Notably, that watch – the Excalibur One-off – was also sold in the early days of the fair. Despite its limited commercial impact, the Excalibur One-off serves not just as a bellwether to the watch brand’s deepening relationship with the Italian marque, but also testament to the brand’s hyper horology premise: To continually design daring, attitudinal contemporary timepieces powered by fine traditional watchmaking mechanisms for a select group of people seeking bold aesthetics, and unbashedly willing to stand out.
Case in point, the supercar that inspired the Excalibur One-off watch was the SC18 Alston, a unique track-focused Aventador which Lamborghini had customized for a client. The watch takes several cues from the SC18, beginning with a case construction that mixes carbon, ceramics, and titanium for a light yet strong chassis. Lamborghini’s design language is clearly evident on the watch, with how the minute hand and jumping hour display mimics a dashboard, and how the mode selector at six o’clock mirrors the same drive mode selection in a Lamborghini.
The parallels extend to the movement’s architecture. Hexagonal motifs – a Lamborghini signature – are seen in both the case and movement, while the two flying tourbillons are inclined to emulate the V-shape geometry of Lamborghini engines.
Roger Dubuis also roped in Pirelli when creating the watch. The tyre maker’s input is seen in the strap, which has been “skeletonised” for comfort. The thin lines covering the slits running lengthwise along the strap are actually nylon-fibres, which are normally embedded in the inner structure of Pirelli tyres.
Tracks for time, we say.
Speeding back to move forward yet again, Roger Dubuis now presents the Excalibur Knights of the Round Table IV, a significant re-imagination of the mighty legend of King Arthur’s Excalibur.
The legend of King Arthur first provided inspiration for the Excalibur Knights of the Round Table in 2013, where Roger Dubuis presented 28 models featuring 12 knights at an enamel and decal reproduction of a Tudor green and cream painted English Oak Round Table made for Henry VIII. In the 2017 Excalibur Knights of the Round Table collection, 12 engraved and sculpted miniature knights positioned around a precious, masterfully engraved, black jade dial cast in 18k pink gold was introduced.
This year’s edition is powered by a self-winding calibre RD821, where every part of the movement is hand-finished according to the traditional criteria of the Poinçon de Genève. Framed by the solid 45 mm pink gold case, 3D solid enamel or 18 carat pink gold blocks create the new sanctuary paying tribute to the Island of Avalon. Within this space, the 12 legendary figures for every hour are each represented by a new and unique reinterpretation of a knight inspired by Low Poly Art – a state-of-the-art technique in which polygonal facets are used to create sculptures or paintings – bringing contemporary expressiveness to ancient tradition in exactly the type of duality of which Roger Dubuis is so fond of.
Cast in pink gold, these 21st century 3D warriors are 6.5mm high, and entirely sculpted, engraved and finished by hand. Swords drawn, pennants flying, produced as a limited edition of just 28 pieces, the Excalibur Knights of the Round Table IV is the latest must-have in the Roger Dubuis line-up of captivating timepieces for a select group of discerning collectors.
- Case: Skeletonized, 45 mm, fluted18K pink gold bezel, 18K pink gold crown, sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment, 18K pink gold engraved case back, thickness: 14.6mm
- Dial: Black flange with rhodium plated hour markers Water resistance: 3 BAR (30 m)
- RD821SQ Calibre: Automatic, Hours and Minutes
- Power-reserve: 48 hours
- Certification: Poinçon de Genève
- Strap: Charcoal black genuine alligator strap Buckle: Pink gold adjustable folding buckle Calibre: RD821 caliber, automatic self-winding Production: 28 pieces