Watches: Roger Dubuis Hommage Minute Repeater Tourbillon Automatic (+live pics)
By Thierry Ané on October 10, 2014
This year’s SIHH has provided Swiss luxury watch brand Roger Dubuis with an excellent opportunity to pay tribute to Roger Dubuis, the talented watchmaker at the origin of the brand that has recently joined the high-end Manufacture again as a VIP advisor and iconic ambassador.
The “Hommage” collection developed in his honour bears all the outstanding technical characteristics that have made this brand famous in the Haute Horlogerie circles including the presence of the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva stamped on all movements.
Aesthetically, this new collection stands out by its sleek lines obtained by a thin case with brushed case bands and contrasting highly polished concave bezel. It is attached to the strap thanks to elongated lugs following the shape of the wrist and features a ribbed crown ensuring a better grip as well as Mr Roger Dubuis’ signature metallised on the sapphire crystal of the case back.
The magnificent collection already composed of thirteen gorgeous references including elegant Automatic models, sportier Chronograph versions, a beautiful Minute Repeater Tourbillon and the brand’s iconic Double Flying Tourbillon was of course on display during Watches & Wonders.
The brand, however, could not make the trip to Hong Kong without something special to introduce to its Asian clientele. And with the Hommage Minute Repeater Tourbillon Automatic that counts among the most beautiful and technical timepieces we have seen at the exhibition, Roger Dubuis clearly stated how important the Asian aficionados were for the brand!
Mounted on a black alligator strap and secured by a folding buckle, this 45 mm beauty crafted in pink gold and limited to 20 pieces exhibits all the distinctive traits of the “Hommage” collection. The filiation is evident even on the partly openwork dial presenting the same broad inner flange as the rest of the collection, leaf-shaped hours and minutes hands, stylised applied black Roman numerals and a centre with the magnificent guilloché work that made its debut with the rest of the collection in January.
For this magnificent timepiece, all these elements are crafted in pink gold, a colour also found on the top of the main plate of the movement visible from the dial side and decorated with circular graining. The all pink gold colour (apart from the numerals of course) creates a real harmony while the diversity of treatments and finishes as well as the multi-part construction offer this exceptional model and unprecedented sense of depth.
Mind-blowing as the brand’s unorthodox style may be, the technical achievements of the movement remain the most impressive part of the watch! The RD 104 calibre belongs to the higher spheres of Haute Horlogerie thanks to the presence of a minute repeater mechanism that chimes three different sounds: the hours on a low tone, minutes on a high tone, and quarter hours on alternating high and low tones. On demand, by triggering the lever on the left-hand-side of the case, the owner can hear the time as people used to do in the dark in an era when electric lightning and luminescent markings were yet to be invented!
Technically, the minute repeater showcases new gongs designed to improve the quality of the chime through a combination of new ergonomics and rectangular rather than the usual round-shaped gongs. The watch also features a centrifugal-force striking dissipater system that optimises inertia and effectively controls the speed of the chime so as to ensure a long and crystal clear sound.
The outstanding movement also boasts two other well-known specialties of the brands revisited for this work of mechanical art. First, the watch is equipped with a flying tourbillon escapement completing its rotation in one minute inside a newly designed carriage shaped like a Celtic cross and thought to ensure optimal inertia and equilibrium as well as anti-shock protection. Then this 434-piece mechanism beating at the frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour is kept wound by the presence of two pink gold micro-rotors featuring the same sunray guilloché decoration as the dial centre. Visible through the sapphire crystal on the back, they provide a nice aesthetic contrast to the impeccable Côtes de Genève decorations adorning the back of the main plate.
Needless to say, even the most demanding collectors will appreciate the superlative level of finishing of this Geneva Seal model. From the gold engraved inscriptions to the perfectly bevelled and polished edges, to the beautiful rubies and mirror-polished screw heads, to the circular brushed gear train and circular grained lower level of the plate, everything here screams quality. No wonder 328 of the 1,241 hours of manufacturing involved in the making of this movement are dedicated to meeting the stringent criteria of one of the most famous hallmarks available in Switzerland!
This is undoubtedly a flawless creation for the most discerning collectors…
For more information please visit the Roger Dubuis web site.