SIHH 2015, the Year of the Skeleton Excalibur raises the banner of architectural and technical mechanics
At the SIHH 2015, Roger Dubuis will be presenting two skeleton-work Excalibur creations that each in their own way confirm the unique angle adopted by the Manufacture in its interpretation of this stand-out field of horological excellence.
Excalibur by Roger Dubuis, with its legendary connotations and its memorable design codes including a round case, fluted bezel, triple lugs, dedicated Dauphine hands, has become the emblem of a subtly offbeat, unconventional and unexpected approach to watchmaking traditions. In this world of the Warrior, the battle fought by Roger Dubuis is fierce and yet peaceable: a chivalrous combat to overcome all obstacles and to fly high the banner of architectural and technical mechanics – as well as of the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark borne by all of its creations. Excalibur thus proves the ideal setting in which to showcase its pioneering expertise in the field of contemporary skeleton-work.
In recent years, the Manufacture Roger Dubuis has carved out an undeniable niche for itself in the field of skeleton calibres. Consistently mingling aesthetic and technical factors, they bear the imprint of an approach based on designing these skeleton calibres right from the word go rather than merely skeleton-working existing movements. This gives the designers considerable creative freedom – and keeps the developers busy overcoming the challenges involved in ensuring that the mechanical functions fit the requirements of the design. Epitomising this attitude of merging formal aesthetics with useful functionality, the instantly recognisable star shape of Roger Dubuis contemporary skeleton movements, borrowing from the skeleton-work motifs seen in nature such as in heavenly constellations, frequently involves the tips of said stars pointing to the hour-markers and thus enhancing clarity.
Excalibur Spider Skeleton Flying Tourbillon
For 2015, with the Excalibur Spider collection, the Manufacture takes the skeleton theme beyond the movement alone, now extending it to encompass a skeletonized case, flange and hands. Named after another typical skeleton-work theme seen in nature through the complexities of the spider’s web, this latest collection is entirely in keeping with the typically unconventional twist that Roger Dubuis has given to the principle of skeleton-work. It actively endows the latter with the stature of a true contemporary art form serving a three-fold purpose: improved visibility, intricate sculptural effects and enhanced transparency.
The Excalibur Spider Skeleton Flying Tourbillon picks up the signature features of Roger Dubuis skeleton watches, the star-shaped design, the tourbillon carriage shaped like a Celtic cross and the high-end finishes including a circular-grained plate. Moreover, in keeping with the determination to push boundaries in all directions while fearlessly defending its territory that befits the world of the Warrior, the light yet robust 45 mm titanium case is also openworked. Spurred on by the mechanical hand-wound RD505SQ movement, the Excalibur Spider Skeleton Flying Tourbillon rides out to battle against gravity with a blend of gravitas and exceptional lightness in the saddle…
Excalibur Automatic Skeleton
In addition to its multiple motivations for pursuing its victorious vanguard charges into the skeletonwork kingdom, Manufacture Roger Dubuis finds in these impressive feats of miniaturisation – much like its ground-breaking micro-rotor also featured in this model – a perfect opportunity to reveal the prestigious finishes that earn it 100% Poinçon de Genève certification. All faces of the 167 parts composing the new in-house RD820SQ automatic skeleton calibre are individually finished. Despite the constraints naturally entailed by the automatic movement, the Excalibur Automatic Skeleton maintains its architectural and powerful design.
The 42 mm pink gold case and bezel frame a spectacular 3D effect created by raising the famous skeleton ‘star shape’ and playing with the height of the openworked micro-rotor. The latter embodies a classic paradox of the kind that Roger Dubuis loves to explore, since the weight of a micro-rotor is generally considered a positive aspect and skeletonising it would thus appear counter-intuitive in technical terms. This element alone thereby serves as a powerful token of the degree of maturity achieved by Roger Dubuis, acknowledging no limits and unafraid of apparent ‘heresies’. In 2005, it did away with the central rotor while achieving equivalent winding power; and ten years later, in 2015, it rolls out the first skeletonised automatic Roger Dubuis movement with micro-rotor.
Once again displaying an optimal command of technical and aesthetic parameters, including by lavishing meticulous expertise on the gear wheels and finishes; maintaining the transparency of skeleton-work despite the self-winding train and the micro-rotor, while achieving sufficient winding power: the Excalibur Automatic Skeleton once again display the Warrior mind-set in every sense of the term.
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