Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt®
The SIHH has officially kicked off and that means four entire days of unconditional passion with an additional day that, for the very first time in the history of the exhibition, will be entirely devoted to the public, who will be given the chance to browse the stalls of the PalaExpo and probably choose their first gift for 2017. The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie has made a very smart move by putting together historic brands pertaining to the Richemont Group and an ever-growing bunch of independent brands, thus increasing the offer of what is rightly known as the “Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie”.
The first article is dedicated this year to Roger Dubuis; time-wise, it is the first brand to satisfy our thirst for new releases – and, indirectly, yours too, the passion for mechanics and, at the same time, it is also one of the manufacturers that still refuses to be labelled as a “conformist”, while standing out as the most “avant-garde” among the Richemont manufactures.
The name Excalibur has been permanently associated to this small and independent manufacturer of dreams that was founded by a great master watchmaker and that was able to carve its niche within this group thanks to its endless creative strength and direct personality; a personality that leaves no room to grey areas when it comes to interpreting and overall consent.
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor is the manufacturer's mission statement that fuses together a "haute-couture" communication style with the best of what the haute-horlogerie world can offer nowadays (the Seal of Geneva for example); it is a clear aesthetic statement, almost an “affront” to a big invention from the past – the tourbillon -.
In 2013, the brand's watch-makers crafted an incredibly original calibre by placing four control elements (balance wheels and balance springs), each one of them running at a frequency of 4Hz, in the four corners of the 48mm-case. The elements are interconnected through a system made up of differential gears so that they counter-balance each other and give back an extremely precise time beat – as declared by Roger Dubuis -. This is an entirely new way to control both the effect of the force of gravity on the running precision of a timepiece and the different position of a timepiece within space.
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt® moves the collection's standard level to new heights. The RD101 calibre is made up of 590 parts and 5 differential gears, it has been designed, built, and regulated according to the Seal of Geneva's strict criteria and it has been coupled with a newly released alloy in the world of watch-making, that confirms the innovative spirit of the Roger Dubuis brand.
The MicroMelt® is a patent of Carpenter Technologies; a US company specializing in creating special alloys and steels that are used within the extremely high tech technology sector, like aeronautics or chemical plants, and also on consumer products, like electronic equipment and bikes. The alloy used by Roger Dubuis is the result of a fusion and atomization process of a chrome-pulverized cobalt powder alloy that is obtained by exposing the fused metal to a high pressure jet.
The powder then undergoes a selective process, where only the particles with a specific diameter are selected, to be then hot-pressed, fused and transformed into small bars. The main characteristic of a chrome-cobalt alloy obtained through the MicroMelt® process are for example a controlled porosity, that is to say a homogeneous structure that guarantees uniform mechanic characteristics.
Roger Dubuis hasn't simply introduced this new alloy into the world of watch-making but the MicroMelt® process perfectly adapts to joining together metals and non-metals that are quite different from each other, thus paving the way for new and interesting scenarios.
It is quite strange that Roger Dubuis hasn't crafted the buckle in the same alloy but has opted for grade 5 Titanium instead. This variation of the Quatuor gives it a completely different energy by transforming it into a high-range sporty timepiece that, spirit-wise and colour-wise, reminds me of the Easy Diver, despite its crafting and technical design being at a far more superior level that find no comparison.
The blue colour of the PVD-treatment that can be found on the dial, the rehaut, the power reserve indicator located at 9 o'clock, and the red accents on the white gold hands, the red ring on the crown and the red top-stitching work of the alligator skin strap give the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt® the type of image that was still missing and that Roger Dubuis was probably looking for.
It is a combination of colours and materials that gives full visibility to an exceptional mechanics and a new luxury and hi-tech accent. The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt® is opulent across the board, and it features a brazen style that is nevertheless bold, only 8 samples of this timepiece will be released and each of them retails at a price of 390,000 Swiss Francs.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®