Presented this January at SIHH 2011 trade show, which is reserved for the elite players of the Swiss watchmaking industry, the new Roger Dubuis Excalibur Self-Winding with Micro-Rotor and Flying Tourbillon Limited Edition (Ref. EX45-520-20-00/0ER01/B) wristwatch sports a dial layout, which is ideologically similar to that of the gorgeous Piaget Emperador Coussin Tourbillon Ultra-Thin automatic timekeeper that, too, was presented earlier this year at the same event.
As you can see on the photo below, the new watch comes with two opening on its signature dial with the easily recognizable stylized Roman numerals.
The first one –a flying tourbillon carriage at 7 o’clock– looks quite familiar and even somewhat pestered occupying close to 1/5th of all available real estate and drawing the bulk of attention with its rotating tourbillon carriage that also acts a small seconds indicator (there is even a blacked-out pointer there that plays well with overall styling of the face while making the function more useful.)
The second one –a skeletonized micro-rotor at 11 o’clock– still looks fresh and quite inviting with its beauty. Thankfully, there are still very few watches on the market that show this simple, yet entertaining complication preferring to hind their oscillating weight on the other side of the movement.
The function comes courtesy of the Calibre RD520 automatic movement that was announced at SIHH 2010, but for some reason delayed to be officially presented only last fall when the company introduced its even more expensive Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Tourbillon watch in rose gold.
With its balance wheel being deliberately slowed down to just 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour in order to give you more power reserve (it is officially rated for at least 60 hours of guaranteed, um, continuous power supply,) the way the seconds pointer moves across the tourbillon sub-dial doesn’t look as fascinating as those on more modern movements, but that doesn’t sound like a problem for me: after all, it’s sort of a feature or, if you will, a nod to classic tourbillons that sometimes were even slower than this one.
Being quite large (the movement measures 33.84 mm in diameter and is 6.50 mm thick,) the movement requires a formidable casing, so the watch is offered in a large body 45 mm in diameter, which is equipped with the signature indented bezel and a pair of triple-horn lugs that are also characteristic of the Excalibur range.
The rose gold version of the watch that was also limited to only 88 pieces, was offered at a somewhat disturbing price of $160,000, so, I suppose, this model will also be quite expensive.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Roger Dubuis
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Self-Winding with Micro-Rotor and Flying Tourbillon Limited Edition (Ref. EX45-520-20-00/0ER01/B) automatic watch specification
Price: €126,000 (MSRP, including taxes)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber RD520, micro-rotor, 33.84 mm in diameter, 6.50 mm in height, 227 parts, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 21,600 vph
Movement decoration: Rhodium-plated with Cotes de Geneve motif, polished screws, perlage
Functions: Hours, minutes, flying tourbillon
Power reserve: 60 hours
Case material: White gold, 18-carat
Bezel material: White gold, 18-carat
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round, indented
Case size: 45.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: No data
Dial: Dark grey
Hands: Dauphine, polished
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with an adjustable folding buckle in white gold.
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire