For the last SIHH 2010 show, the Swiss-based maker of ultra-luxury watches has presented a great number of, well, ultra-luxury products even including a model with a relatively rare “double tourbillon” design (and that one looked spectacular, I’d give them that.) However, it was the splendid Roger Dubuis Excalibur Tourbillon Minute repeater that offered a nice combination of classic complications inside wrapped into a “post art-deco” exterior that looked the most interesting offering for this year.
First revealed in January 2010 at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva (well, technically, it will be revealed later this year, since the model that produced a stunning effect at SIHH 2010 was still a prototype that was powered by a mechanism that still needed some work to be done for everything to be working as it should, but that’s not a problem in a world where just about any new product is offered as a beta these days,) the new watch will be produced in an extremely limited edition of only 28 pieces.
It’s hard to tell whether the number of product is limited due to their limited production capacity or simply because the brand doesn’t see how a market in its current state can swallow so many expensive timekeepers offered by all sort of brands, both upstarts and established players, but the fact that there will be just over two dozens of them will surely keep resale prices higher than usual.
Like the rest of the Excalibur family, the watch comes in a generously sized 45 mm case with its fluted bezel clearly resembling the last year’s Breguet Marine Royale 5847 alarm wrist watch.
Powered by the RD08 automatic mechanical movement with a pair of platinum micro-rotors, flying tourbillon escapement and a minute repeater with centrifugal dissipater, the caliber is partly visible through the open-worked dial. The rhodium-plated movement is beautifully decorated and is a pleasure to look at either through the dial or through the sapphire exhibition case back. Its tourbillon carriage, which is slightly off-centered and located between 6 and 5 o’clock positions, is shaped like a Celtic cross and somehow reminds me of Vacheron Constantin tourbillon watches.
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Tourbillon Minute repeater allows for on demand chime of the hours, quarters and minutes.
Packed with all these complications and stopping just one step short of becoming a grand complication piece, the 415-parts movement is still rather thin staying within the 8.80 mm range. The fact is even more admirable if one remembers that the movement is capable of storing enough energy to power the watch for at least 60 hours without further winding.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: n/a
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Roger Dubuis
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Tourbillon Minute repeater watch specification
Price range: TBD
Movement: Caliber RD08, automatic, platinum double micro-rotor system, 21,600 vph, 42 jewels, 415 parts, 33.27 mm in diameter, 8.80 mm in height, Swiss Made
Complications: Flying tourbillon, minute repeater
Power reserve: 60 hours
Case material: Rose gold
Bezel material: Rose gold
Case shape: Round
Transparent case back: Yes, sapphire display caseback
Case size: 45.00 mm
Case height: No data
Strap: Black alligator leather strap on 18-carat rose gold deployment clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, AR-coated
Water resistance: 100 meters