The Run to Monaco 2017 by Roger Dubuis
Attending events and presentations related to the world of motors takes a completely different and a strange turn when you do it from this very special perspective; as a Ducati engineer, I am much more used to working behind the scenes, and seeing things from the inside of a brand that manufactures exceptional motorbikes. “Run to Monaco” is a name that marks a non-professional super-car race for gentleman drivers, a race that, every years, kicks off from a different European city and finishes on a Friday in Monaco - just in time to attend the Formula One Grand Prix!.
This is the kind of perfect occasion for me; cars and watches put together in one single event is the best that could happen, without forgetting that I also love traveling and getting to know new people; something that has always fascinated me. So here we are; Roger Dubuis invited me to Bordeaux for a couple of days; the city from where the “Run To Monaco 2017” race will depart. The idea behind this invite is to attend the event and to familiarize myself with the brand’s product range, in particular with the Excalibur Spider collection that has been linked to the Pirelli brand since January 2017. Although it is already present on the pages of Horbiter® - Roger Dubuis was actually the first brand to appear there during the SIHH days - it is actually a brand that I personally knew little about, mainly because I had never had the opportunity to try on one of their famous watches before. This invite was definitely a very welcome surprise, because the brand has always fascinated me in an absolutely manic way, due to its focus on a topic that I hold very dear; the world of mechanics.
On the first day of the event, Roger Dubuis organized a boat tour in the company of all the models of the Excalibur collection. No location could have been better for our photo shooting session and for enjoying a sunny spring day, as well as for meeting the Excalibur collection face to face for the very first time! All of the Roger Dubuis watches are mechanical ones and they meet all the criteria set by the “Geneva Seal”, in addition to being released in numbered or limited editions, some of these watches have been made available in an eight piece limited release only.
As soon as the ice has been broken with the collection, that special feeling hits me almost immediately; these watches are light in weight, because the manufacturer makes use of technologically advanced materials, they are extremely well-recognizable at first glance, and mechanically unobtrusive. I tried on the Excalibur Spider Single Toubillon Full Carbon; it features a carbon-made case, a movement with a carbon-made and skeletonized Tourbillon like the watch’s dial. The rubber strap is derived from the world of Formula 1; the very first result of this collaboration project between the brand and Pirelli.
The achievements of this partnership are also reflected in the colors of the collection: red, blue, and yellow (like the different tyre types used during a GP). The latter color is definitely my favorite, perhaps because the yellow is less invasive and it gives the Excalibur Spider a touch of soft and delicate tone that just smashes the strong and self-centered personality of this timepiece. The evening eventually comes and with it comes the dinner reception; held in a dream location on the west coast, from where you can enjoy an incredible sunset over the ocean.
The protagonists of the dinner reception are still the brand’s timepieces, though the conversation shifts to the relationship that Roger Dubuis has with the press, with the world of blogs and with the biggest phenomenon we have witnessed in recent years; Instagram. The manufacturing company wants to emphasize its very own nature and what makes it different from other Swiss manufactures; design and technical skills are two of the main pillars that the brand is very proud of. After sipping our cup of coffee and after 21 hours without sleep, it is time to prepare for the next day.
It is the 24th of May, 2017, and it is also the day when the "Run To Monaco" race takes place! As I pointed out before, this is a non-competitive event, but it is a rather a journey that many motor enthusiasts decide to embark on and that ends with the most glamorous GP in history. There are about forty super-cars parked outside a restaurant hidden among the Bordeaux vineyards: McLaren, Porsche, Lamborghini, Mercedes and, of course, Ferrari cars are all there. The bright sun in the sky makes you fully enjoy the fabulous watch-car combination and taking one picture after another comes on so natural. It is now 10:00am and the parade of cars kicks off, they are getting ready to go accompanied by fire flares that are being shot at the sides of the road, the smell of kerosene blends with the exhaust gases of V8, V10 and V12 engines, creating an intense contrast with the surrounding vineyards. The world of motors is a natural ground for Roger Dubuis, and who knows, maybe the next Excalibur could be a tourbillon chronograph! See you all at the next event, in the company of Roger Dubuis, that I would like to thank for the exceptional planning of the “Run To Monaco” race, together with another organizer; Barbara Gianuzzi Comunicazione. It's time for me to hop in the saddle of my Ducati Panigale Superleggera and go back to work!
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Matteo Bulla @Horbiter®