The first models under the Roger Dubuis brand appeared on the watch market in 1996 and were presented by two collections of complex watches. The Sympathie collection combines square-shaped models with an originally curved case on four sides. The Hommage series includes a classic round watch, distinguished by a restrained strict style. Later released TooMuch, MuchMore, GoldenSquare and FollowMe series impressed the audience with deliberate extravagance and originality of design. Why are only FollowMe ladies watches, the dial of which is made in the form of a cross, borrowed from the Swiss flag.
In the early 2000s, the use of silicon is gaining more and more popularity. Being a lighter material than gold and platinum, silicon is more resistant to corrosion and four times stronger than the notorious titanium. Pursuing a new-fangled trend, Roger Dubuis in 2005 introduced the Excalibur collection, which confirmed the brand’s identity and its right to its own niche in the watch innovation market.
Distinctive features of the new models are the 45-mm case, geometric grooves made along the edge of the bezel, and triple strap mounts. From their predecessors, the watch borrowed a massive crown and an indication of the time using Roman numerals.
Traditions and Modernity
Since its inception, the Roger Dubuis manufactory has established its dissimilarity to other watch brands with the extraversion aesthetics of its collections and the creation of its own mechanisms inspired by the best traditions of Swiss watchmaking. Over the first decade of its existence, more than 20 exclusive calibres will come out of the walls of the manufactory, covering the entire range of complications presented in modern watchmaking.
In 2006, within the framework of the International Salon of High Watchmaking, the company will present 6 manufactory mechanisms, half of which will receive the status of a world premiere. All of them provided the work of new products from the Excalibur collection and were marked with the prestigious Geneva brand.
A year later, the brand organizes an exhibition at the same international watchmaking salon, within the framework of which all 28 mechanisms will be presented, demonstrating the experience accumulated over 12 years of the brand’s existence in creating manufactory calibers.
Constantly searching for new creative tasks, Roger Dubuis will present to the public a linear calendar with instant change of date, a double tourbillon and a whole series of skeletonized tourbillons with a stunning design, as well as a self-winding system based on a microrotor that allows you to admire the finish of the mechanism, the quality of which meets all the criteria of the Geneva brand.
In 2008, Roger Dubuis became a subsidiary of the Richemont Group. Taking a course to strengthen quality control, in the same year, the company will present its eleventh collection under the name KingSquare.
The case of the new models was characterized by the emphasized bulkiness, attracting the attention of many carefully executed details. KingSquare’s innovative concept opened the door to bold design experiments. One of these experiments was the skeletonized mechanism, specially developed for the KingSquare series, and turned the classic standard skeleton into an absolutely modern work of art. The peculiarity of this skeleton was that skeletonization was carried out directly in the process of creating the model, and not after, as is usually done in the production of such mechanisms.
Having become a part of the Richemont Group, the company completely concentrated on two main areas of development: sales control through the distribution network of the holding in the Asia-Pacific region, China, Japan, the Middle East and the USA (with a parallel expansion of the trading network in Europe) and a complete revision of controlled quality standards with toughening tests to verify the quality and reliability of products conducted both within the manufactory and in other organizations.
The quality of Roger Dubuis mechanisms is evidenced by the fact that all models of the brand are marked with the Geneva mark. In fact, watches that claim to receive the Geneva brand certificate undergo a large-scale independent examination consisting of 20 different tests. The Geneva Stigma Commission consists of 7 members and is re-elected every four years. In order for the watch to be entitled to wear the Swiss quality mark, every part of the movement must be approved by an independent high commission. After such “detailed” approval, the watch is assembled and regulated. When assembled, the model passes the final series of tests.
According to the new requirements of the Geneva mark, such characteristics of the mechanism as accuracy and range, water resistance and reliability are also subject to strict control. In 2011, specifically for the 125th anniversary of the Geneva brand, Roger Dubuis launched the exclusive Excalibur Chronograph Single-Pusher Flying Tourbillon. The one-button chronograph with a flying tourbillon is limited to a series of 8 pieces. In addition to the Geneva brand itself, a commemorative inscription “125 ans” is engraved on the platinum model rotor (it is visible at the bottom of the dial).
Since 2010, the Swiss Institute for Timekeeping (COSC) has stood guard over the quality of Roger Dubuis movements. If only separate mechanisms were tested for two years, then by 2012, absolutely all calibres of the manufactory were covered by COSC certification.
Since 2012, Roger Dubuis has been led by Jean-Marc Pontroué. Having vast experience in the luxury industry, this man clearly followed the main rule: a luxury watch brand must have one flagship product. Such a flagship for the company was the model Excalibur Double Tourbillon Skeleton. A double skeletonized tourbillon with an unusual star-shaped bridge became the basis of all the brand’s advertising images and the main element of boutique design. Around it is built a modern collection of the brand, represented by two main lines: Excalibur and Velvet.
2013 was marked by the Excalibur collection. At the international salon of high watchmaking, a real watch sensation was presented – the Excalibur Quatuor model in a silicon case, equipped with four balances. Due to its lightness, silicon has allowed to leave large dimensions characteristic of the brand, reduce the weight of watches and make them as convenient as possible.
Within the framework of the year Excalibur, a special limited edition was released, which became a tribute to the key Roger Dubuis collection. The main idea implemented in the design of the dial was the Round Table of the Winchester Castle, surrounded by miniature sculptures that depict the knights of King Arthur.
Today Roger Dubuis is a young watch brand with huge ambitions, which promises to become one of the largest manufacturers of luxury goods. Whether this watch is addressed to men or women, designed in classic or sporty style, presented in medium or large size, equipped with a simple, complex or extremely complex mechanism, each model released under the Roger Dubuis brand shows a unique personality that can be read from the instantly recognizable features of the corporate brand style. The extravagant watch house, stubbornly going its own way, managed to harmoniously combine the best watch traditions and its own vision of watch innovations.