Roger Dubuis has released three new watches in anticipation of the SIHH 2017. The most impressive new Excalibur is the Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt, which is a limited edition of just eight pieces. The Quatuor is not a new watch per se (having been first released in 2013) and it has been created in several materials, including one model with a silicon case which debuted at a price of $1.1 million. This year’s watch will feature the same caliber RD101 (made of 590 parts!) with four balances, each set at a 45 degree angle, in the four corners of the movement, but with a new case showing off some new (to the watch industry) manufacturing technology.
The case of the watch measures a massive 48mm in diameter (and 18.38mm thick) and is made of “cobalt chrome,” an alloy that comprises the case, bezel, caseback, and crown. Roger Dubuis isn’t sharing what’s in their particular formulation of this alloy; however, cobalt chromium alloys (which were first discovered in the early 1900s) are extremely strong, as well as very resistant to corrosion and nowadays they’re used for everything from turbines to dental implants to artificial joints.Â
The alloy is, according to Roger Dubuis, produced using “MicroMelt” technology â basically, this involves “atomizing” the molten alloy in a high pressure jet of inert gas. The resulting powder is then subjected to a high-pressure process known as hot isostatic pressing, in which it’s compressed to its final density in a chamber filled with an inert gas at high pressure (isostatic basically means an even, high pressure is achieved around the chamber). The final material is then rolled into bars, before final steps in fabrication.Â
As with many other corrosion-resistant metals, the formation of of a “passive protection film” is what prevents corrosion â this is the formation of a surface layer of oxidized metal (mostly chromium oxide, in this case) which prevents further oxidation of the metal beneath it. This is very tough stuff and we don’t know of any earlier use of it for watch cases.
There’s also a new color scheme to go along with the new case material. The dial (what little of it there is) is PVD-coated blue with red and white printed accents. There are also rhodium-plated indexes, white gold hands with red tips, and a power reserve indicator at nine o’clock. All four of the tourbillons are shown off (at the four corners), each set at a different 45 degree angle. They’re connected with a set of five differential gears. The basic idea behind the Quatuor is that by linking the four balances, they average out the rate errors each has in its particular position â in other words, to solve the same problem a tourbillon is intended to solve.
All of this of course comes at a price â in this case, that’s a cool 390,000 CHF (approximately $395,100 at time of publishing). And, as mentioned above, only eight of these will ever be made.Â
Roger Dubuis has also introduced two other new watches to its Excalibur collection in anticipation of SIHH 2017. The Excalibur line is the manufacture’s most notable, and, according to the brand, the best selling group of watches in its line-up. So in conjunction with everything we know about Richemont’s current state of affairs, it only makes sense that Roger Dubuis expand the Excalibur to try and drive sales. Let’s see what’s new.
Here we have the Excalibur Spider Skeleton Automatic and the Excalibur 36. Both models currently exist in the collection, but have received small updates. The Spider Skeleton, made of DLC-treated titanium, measures 45mm in diameter and is now available in a vibrant blue color with red accents. The watch is powered by the caliber RD820SQ (which was released in 2015 and was the first Roger Dubuis Automatic Skeleton movement). This piece is limited to a series of 88 pieces and retails for 67,000 CHF (approximately $67,875 at time of publishing).
The Excalibur 36 is the latest addition to the ladies’ collection. The update to this piece has a DLC-coated titanium case with 48 blue sapphires set into the bezel. The watch is powered by the automatic (yay!) caliber RD830 movement. This model is limited to 28 pieces and retails for 17,000 CHF (approximately $17,200 at time of publishing).Â
These three pieces will be released with the remainder of the SIHH 2017 novelties in January. For more information, visit on Roger Dubuis, visit Roger Dubuis online.Â