Watches: Roger Dubuis Hommage Automatic and Chronograph Collection (+live pics)
By Thierry Ané on February 22, 2014
I recently discussed the Hommage Double Flying TourbillonWatches: Roger Dubuis Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon Hand-Made Guilloché Collection (+live pics) collection that Roger Dubuis introduced earlier this year at the SIHH 2014, as part of its tribute to the first collection Mr Roger Dubuis presented when he founded the company that bears his name back in 1995. Inspired by the first watch he created as a student, namely a round model with simple hours and minutes, this collection represents the most classical offer from a brand used to visionary aesthetics.
With the ten new models unveiled at Palexpo, the manufacture brilliantly proves its ability to combine historic watchmaking techniques with cutting-edge design. For those of us susceptible to the beauty of these creations but who cannot spend six figures for the spectacular Hommage Double Flying TourbillonWatches: Roger Dubuis Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon Hand-Made Guilloché Collection (+live pics) model, this high-end watch manufacturer unveiled the Hommage Automatic and Hommage Chronograph models. They retain most of the striking aesthetics of the Hommage Double Flying TourbillonWatches: Roger Dubuis Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon Hand-Made Guilloché Collection (+live pics) models as well as the demanding finish to meet the criteria for the Hallmark of Geneva but they retail at more affordable prices.
In my SIHH previews, I briefly presented the preview of the Hommage ChronographFlash news: Roger Dubuis Hommage Chronograph but these amazing watches deserve a proper article that also gives me the opportunity to show you live pictures of these beauties.
Let us start with the commonalities of the Automatic and Chronograph versions of these Hommage timepieces. They all share a classic 42 mm round case with a highly polished concave bezel that contrasts nicely with the satin-brushed case band. They also feature long slender lugs and a large fluted crown and all bear Mr Roger Dubuis’s signature metallised on the sapphire exhibition case back. The models in pink gold are fitted with a brown alligator strap while those in white gold are paired with a black alligator strap and they all feature a pin buckle in the same gold as the case.
If you have already looked at the different models and read my article so far, you may think that I have missed the most obvious common characteristic: the dial. In fact, it is so special that I think it deserves at least its own paragraph (or two) in my article!
It indeed features a daring and instantly recognisable design. From the subtly lowered dial centre springs an audacious silver guilloché motif. The directionality of the lines created by the rose engine is echoed by the radiating applied Roman numerals that are cleverly prolonged by the built-up applied five-minute markers on the charcoal grey flange. All the elements harmonize nicely to create a mesmerising impression of depth and multiple layers. Snailed chronograph counters at 3 and 9 o’clock or a snailed small seconds counter at 9 o’clock, depending on the model, and leaf-shaped hands complete this bold reinterpretation of the codes of classicism.
The white gold models play on the tone-on-tone look with charcoal grey flange and appliqués on the silver guilloché while the pink gold versions use contrasting colours: silver guilloché, charcoal grey flange and pink gold appliqués. Whatever the version, these dials are extremely complex to create and take between 20 and 50 minutes to be entirely engraved with this pattern.
The automatic models are powered by the RD620 calibre while the chronograph versions are equipped with the RD680 movement. It goes without saying that they are entirely developed and manufactured in-house in keeping with the stringent demands of the Poinçon de Genève. With characteristically shaped bridges, spring and levers, these self-winding movements feature a micro-rotor, yet another Roger Dubuis’ signature.
The Chronograph collection includes the Hommage Chronograph White Gold and the Hommage Chronograph Pink Gold. The Hommage Automatic Pink Gold and the Hommage Automatic White Gold are the equivalent in the Automatic line that also includes a diamond-set model, the Hommage Automatic Diamonds Pink Gold.
Personally, I prefer the Automatic models as their uncluttered dials offer more room for the splendid guilloché. Then, at first glance, I liked the pink gold version better as the contrasts are really appealing. But after wearing each model for a few minutes, it became clear to me that I want to buy the Hommage Automatic White Gold. The tone-on-tone effect is extremely refined and with time you detect subtle changing shades and an overall harmony that tell me this is a timepiece I would be as pleased to wear in 10 or 20 years from now than I would be to wrap it on my wrist today.
And I kept the live pictures for the end this time, sorted by model.