ROGER DUBUIS Excalibur Aventador S
That avant-garde yellow line between Généve and Sant'Agata Bolognese
Thanks to an agreement signed in September in S. Agata Bolognese, Lamborghini and ROGER DUBUIS have laid the foundations for a future collaboration that, at least for the next five years, will see the two companies’ research and development departments working together on common goals. I didn’t specifically name the watch-making field that is obviously one of the main goals of this collaboration project, but from what I gained during my conversation with Dorothee Henrio (Marketing Director for ROGER DUBUIS) we can expect much more than a series of timepieces for potential and current customer of the Italian supercars.
These thoughts are the result of a week-end spent in Imola, when the last stage of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo was taking place; a two-day competition that gathers together professional drivers and gentlemen drivers alike, those who grew up following the Accademia’s programme created by the brand and that allows its car owners to improve their driving skills; an experience that I could also take part in both inside and outside the paddock (as a driver rather than as a passenger). It was an experience that I will never forget; the first Italian racing week-end entirely devoted to this new Italian-Swiss partnership that led me to formulate new thoughts about the already existing contact points between the two manufacturers and the future vision of one of the biggest sports cars brand in the world and its sports haute-horlogerie alter-ego, whose creative genius sadly passed away a short time ago.
Both brands can be classified as “disruptive”, despite, time-wise, becoming like that in different eras. Ferruccio’s personality was so strong that it allowed him to challenge the famous Enzo Ferrari and his cars. ROGER DUBUIS was born as a “disruptive” brand from a technical point of view, to then become one also from an aesthetical point of view under the protective and creative wing of Richemont through the search and use of new materials, new crafting technologies and techniques that are usually exclusive to very few brands, who, like in ROGER DUBUIS’s case, are very often unique too. Today, ROGER DUBUIS and Lamborghini have clearly focused on a similar image, target and company philosophy; the first hyper-SUV in history echoes the only timepiece with a tilting double sprung balance; it is the Aventador S that is discovering the new development path that the Excalibur collection originally embarked on.
The common ground between the Aventador S (the latest version of the most famous central engine 12-cylinder-vehicle) and the ROGER DUBUIS Excalibur Aventador S are the use of carbon fibre and a hyper light built; the first result of this newly-launched common project. From the outside, it might be difficult to grab what this collaboration will be able to achieve in the short run (the next Aventador that will be released in two years’ time might be equipped with a ROGER DUBUIS on the dashboard?) and it will be quite interesting to understand who will benefit the most from this merging of skills and technologies. If you are fascinated by these two worlds and you are able to access them both, truth is that this is a perfect combination, from an aesthetical side also; the neat, geometrical and razor sharp style of Lamborghini meets the vaguely Gothic and roundly symmetrical style of a ROGER DUBUIS Excalibur.
The ROGER DUBUIS Excalibur Aventador S represents a first hybridization of the base concept of the Excalibur, as it puts together all the elements that have made the collection easily recognizable with the more familiar characteristics of the cars from Bologna; the dial replicates the double reinforcement bars of the chassis made of carbon fibre located on top of the engine whereas the power reserve indicator of the manual calibre imitates the honeycombed grid of a Lamborghini and the two sprung balance wheels placed at 90 degrees personally remind me of the throttle air-inlets of the engine; a tribute to the calibre presented in Geneva almost a year ago. Back then it was the Quatuor, while today the new patented double balance wheel with a differential is the Duotuor; ROGER DUBUIS’s original alternative to the tourbillon that the brand is famous also for, like on the Excalibur Double Tourbillon for example.
The structure is quite complicated and hard to interpret at first glance, but it becomes quite exceptional if you consider that such a complex configuration has been awarded the Geneva Seal; an avant-garde style that can still adhere to the rigid criteria of a particular type of haute-horlogerie. The RD103SQ calibre is equipped with two sprung balance wheels that oscillate at a frequency of 4Hz and that control, through a differential, a jumping seconds complication; a rarity in the world of watch-making and, if you are familiar with the history of this complication, yet again the confirmation of ROGER DUBUIS’s faithfulness to tradition.
The skeletonized calibre of the ROGER DUBUIS Excalibur Aventador S features plate and bridges treated with an anthracite coloured NAC film. Outside the 45mm case is a complex structure made of C-SMC (Carbon Fiber Sheet Molded Composite) that debuted in the automotive sector in 2003 on a sports car (not a Lamborghini one though) and then spread, in a smaller size, to other fields. Moreover, these ultralight materials with their structural function need to abide by the appeal and aesthetical finishing criteria that are not required in other fields.
The ROGER DUBUIS Excalibur Aventador S is the beginning of a new experience or, if we want to quote Dorothee, it is the new chapter of a new Customer Experience expression, yet another small brick that links together the mission of the two brands. If you craft exceptional and niche products, the experience that you give your customers has to be as exceptional as that of the products that you sell. ROGER DUBUIS will release only 88 pieces of this version of the ROGER DUBUIS Excalibur Aventador S and what you can see in this picture (inside the cockpit of an Aventador S) is one of the very first prototypes of a complicated watch retailing at 208000 dollars; the price of an advanced research and development programme and of more than one unique element in the international haute-horlogerie panorama.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®