The Roger Dubuis Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon
The first timepiece from the Hommage collection dates back to 1995, the year Roger Dubuis and Carlos Dias founded Roger Dubuis in Geneva. While paying homage to generations of fine watchmakers and above all fine watchmaking this manufacture represents: the “Hommage” collection is the fifth element in the brand’s “Incredible Elements”, around which orbit “The Incredible Player”, “The Incredible Warrior”, “The Incredible Venturer” and “The Incredible Diva”, elements that are a source of inspiration to the Excalibur, La Monegasque, Pulsion and Velvet collections.
This year Roger Dubuis has debuted the new Roger Dubuis Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon following up the collection’s revamp that has led to the manufacture of two new calibers: the RD100 and the RD102. They are both manual wind and made with 452 parts, hand assembled and finished, with 52 jewels and resulting from nearly 1200 hours of work, 355 of which dedicated to meet the severe criteria set by the Hallmark of Geneva, the most important certification in haute horlogerie.
It is relevant to underline that the Hallmark of Geneva is a pillar in Roger Dubuis’ watchmaking philosophy since its inception in 1995, as it is the only manufacturer to mark its entire production with this prestigious seal. The Roger Dubuis Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon is a complicated watch with a double flying tourbillon with differential and a 50 hours power reserve.
In detail, I think it is very important to specify that the maison has gone for a technical design as prestigious as rare by choosing a double flying tourbillon with differential. The difference between making a traditional tourbillon and a flying one is mostly esthetical: with the first one the cage is locked on both sides, dial side and movement side, while on the second one, invented by the saxon watchmaker Alfred Helwig, the cage is just secured to the lowest bridge so that you can fully appreciate its beauty through the dial. Roger Dubuis makes just flying tourbillons. Since we’re discussing about a double tourbillon, the maison’s watchmakers have equipped it with a differential that, as it is with a car, fine tunes the two tourbillons performance rates.
The main aesthetic feature in the Roger Dubuis Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon is the dial’s Guilloché decoration that is made directly on the main plate’s front and back sides. This decoration is being made by engraving tiny intermingled hollows, by adopting manual techniques that require very expert watchmakers: the hollows must have a 0,5mm to a 0,10mm depth which calls for an engraver’s super precision.
Since they’re hand-made, each engraving is anyway different one from the other, this results in each timepiece being unique. Following up the Guillochè decoration, the part should usually undergo what is referred to as the “crèmage” process to hide scratches usually generated by the engraving process that results into a satin finish, a process that is here avoided as, according to what Roger Dubuis declares, would have diminished the dial’s shine. The inner rehaut is engraved with the letters “Poinçon de Genève” and “Swiss Made” at 6 and “Roger Dubuis” at 12.
The caliber is enclosed in a 45mm wide satin finished case featuring a sapphire crystal back and the founder’s signature. The founder himself, Roger Dubuis has been awarded, last 22 May in Bucharest, with a double prize at the “Temporis Awards” gala: one to his amazing career, that has seen him enter the “Temporis Hall of Fame”, a gallery that celebrates the most important watchmakers, inventors and designers in haute horlogerie, the other to the Roger Dubuis Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon that has won the “Temporis Watch of the Year 2014” prize.
The new collection comes with different models, two of them being outstanding as they are being made in very limited edition versions: the Roger Dubuis Hommage Boutique Edition, featuring the RD100 movement, made in just 28 pieces with a rose gold case fully covered with baguette cut diamonds for a total 18,44 carats and a hand stitched alligator strap...
...and the Roger Dubuis Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon with movement in rose gold, the only one in the collection to adopt caliber RD102, will be made in 88 pieces with a rose gold case, same color dial, and black alligator leather strap. It is, by the way, the only model in the range that lets you appreciate the Hallmark of Geneva from the back side. The Roger Dubuis Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon comes also with a rose gold case, anthracite grey dial and brown alligator leather strap or white gold case and anthracite grey dial with black alligator leather strap.
The Roger Dubuis Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon is an example of the finest watchmaking, easily recognizable thanks to the original double tourbillon displacement placed at 6, the brand’s choice to adopt just a flying tourbillon and the bold, baroque, vaguely dandy design. If you’re looking for a classic tourbillon, perhaps you should opt for a Breguet Double Tourbillon, a superb timepiece, that is what the traditionalist, the purist is about to choose (we are talking about the maker who invented this complication nearly two centuries ago). Roger Dubuis has no benchmark to be honest as they are creating a niche, made by those enthusiasts who love highly complicated watches, that are out of the ordinary aesthetically and technically. This is but a preview since we’re already working hard on a hands on review of the Roger Dubuis Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon that will help us give you a complete evaluation, price tag included, of this fine collection.
(Photo: courtesy of Roger Dubuis)
Marco Chisari @Horbiter®