Fashion

Not your grandfather's polite timekeepers

Bent bezels, triple lugs, double tourbillon! Meet the makers of unconventional luxury timepieces, Roger Dubuis.
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Here’s how Olivier Gudin, Roger Dubuis' commercial director for Southeast Asia and Australia, describes the men who wear their timepieces: “They are confident, daring, and fashionable, and enjoy the finest things in life.” Also, they are young—young, successful entrepreneurs, he adds, who, aside from having no appetite for the strict tastes of the establishment, also know “about [watch] techniques, because we’re a very technical brand, and it shows.”

Roger Dubuis occupies a sweet spot in world of watches. Its strong visual language, assembled from highly recognizable features, results in luxury timepieces that are far from the ordinary. There is the bent bezel (its version is more robust ridge than delicate indentation) and the triple lugs (sorry, your watch only has two), but the high points, the features men go crazy about, are Dubuis' confident use of the double tourbillon and full skeletonization.

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If the tourbillon, a mesmerizing set of rotating gears, speaks of exceptional skill, then including two in a single watch is a confident declaration of mastery. And when you add open-working, the lace-like finishing that creates a naked or see-through effect, on top of all that spinning, well, that's just walking into the realm of the fantastic. “We are the inventor of the architectural skeletonized tourbillon,” points out Gudin. “It's very skeletonized because we want to show people the amount of work that was done on the finishing of the movement.” And you will see it. What makes Dubuis' skeletonization even more special is how it achieves a graceful airiness, wherein all the different parts seem to float in generous, negative space and every tick or wiggle of the watch's movement is evident.

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THAT MACHINERY. The Excalibur Automatic Carbon takes Roger Dubuis' avante-garde appeal even further with its use of sheet moulding compound (SMC), a lightweight material that gives the watch a super technical look.

One more thing: Just like their clients, Roger Dubuis is a young watch company—extremely young, in fact, having been founded 1995, making it 21 years old, a millennial in the watchmaking world. But even if it is but a bud among gilded blooms, especially when compared to the venerable houses of Patek Philippe (177 years old) or Vacheron Constantin (261 years old), Dubuis has already received a prestigious certification, the Geneva Seal, which is awarded only to watches with flawless finishing and materials.

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“Most of the brands have been established for a hundred years, and they have a long history from which they can search and take ideas from. We have to be very creative and very innovative in order to match these standards,” says Gudin. “But this was set from the very beginning by Mr. Roger Dubuis himself. He’s an outstanding watchmaker and he wanted nothing but the best.”

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Clifford Olanday
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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