Presented Roger Dubuis at the SIHH 2011 trade show reserved for the elite players of the industry, the limited-edition Excalibur Self-Winding with Micro-Rotor and Flying Tourbillon (Ref. EX45-520-20-00/0ER01/B) sports a dial layout that is ideologically similar to that of the gorgeous Piaget Emperador Coussin Tourbillon Ultra-Thin presented in Geneva during the same event.
As you can see in the photo below, the Excalibur features two openings on its signature dial with the easily recognizable stylized Roman numerals.
The first one-a flying tourbillon carriage at 7 o’clock-looks 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 as a small seconds indicator (there is even a blacked-out pointer there that plays well with the 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 even 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 self-winding Calibre RD520 that was announced a year earlier at the 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 that came in 18-karat rose gold alloy.
To give you more power reserve (the watch comes with at least 60 hours of guaranteed, um, continuous power supply,) they have deliberately slowed down the balance wheel to just 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour. The extra power came at a price: the way the seconds pointer moves across the tourbillon sub-dial doesn’t look as fascinating as those on more modern movements. Yet, 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 that, too, was limited to only 88 pieces, arrived at a somewhat disturbing price of $160,000, so, I suppose, this model will also be 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 (Ref. EX45-520-20-00/0ER01/B) 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, circular-graining
Functions: Hours, minutes, flying tourbillon
Power reserve: 60 hours
Case: White gold, 18-karat
Size: 45.00 mm
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