2015, the Year of the Skeleton

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

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 pink gold 

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.

RD820SQ: Roger Dubuis’ new in-house Automatic Skeleton Calibre

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.

Roger Dubuis offers further proof of its pioneering mastery in the domain of contemporary skeleton-work through two distinctive Excalibur models epitomising the world of the chivalrous warrior.

Reinventing the legendary Roger Dubuis skeleton aesthetic 
For the SIHH 2015, Manufacture Roger Dubuis is to stage another scenographic surprise designed to stun and intrigue visitors to the exclusive annual watch show. Inspired by an eclectic range of sources including fashion, architecture, painting, sculpture and film-making, the Roger Dubuis booth will embody a dreamlike fantasy world powerfully evoking the Manufacture’s primary theme of the year: skeleton-work and its multiple interpretations in nature, art and watchmaking.

Alvaro Maggini, Creative Director of Roger Dubuis

An acknowledged pioneer in the field of contemporary skeleton calibres, notably with its groundbreaking signature Double Tourbillon Skeleton calibre, the Manufacture Roger Dubuis invites visitors to the SIHH 2015 to step into its incredible universe of architectural and technical mechanics. Transposing the ultra-miniaturised scale of its iconic skeleton movement into a monumental structure embodying the quintessence of the Maison is exactly the kind of challenge that its Creative Director Alvaro Maggini thrives on. Ask him how he would best describe the new booth, and this incorrigible enthusiast naturally evokes a variety of vivid metaphors, among which the predominant ones are resolutely celestial. “People entering the Roger Dubuis world at the SIHH 2015 will feel as if they are being drawn into a mesmerising constellation where they will be given a unique opportunity to grasp the mysteries of the Roger Dubuis ‘stars’: its skeleton calibres. They will experience a sense of being allowed to glimpse exceptional secrets with an undeniably cosmic dimension as they witness the opening and closing of an ‘eye’ that at once protects the Manufacture while paradoxically revealing its mechanical enigmas…”

Reaching for the horological stars
This year, embracing the incredible world of Roger Dubuis could also be compared to entering an enchanted, legendary Arthurian forest with spreading branches subtly evoking the world of the Excalibur line which will be firmly in the spotlight in 2015; about discovering an extraordinary tentacular creature as if released from its cage; a UFO that has alighted on the watchmaking planet with a mission to draw the gaze upwards and outwards across the vast expanses of horological space…

Everything about this unique stage-setting is an invitation to revel in the poetry of the senses. The play on shapes and colours, on the materials with a variety of finishes and textures, both reflects and transcends the beauty of mechanical complexity.

Roger Dubuis invites all those wishing to discover this concept to attend the official unveiling of its 2015 SIHH booth on the opening day of the SIHH, January 19th 2015 at 9.00 a.m.

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