Roger Dubuis’ new Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli is the first watch to offer not just quick-change straps, but quick-change crown and bezel as well.
Watchmakers are usually more concerned with ensuring crowns and bezels stay fixed to their watches but Roger Dubuis’ new system, inspired by the pit stops in motorsport, allows the elements to be swapped out, with a single, positive click offering a reassuring signal that the new part is securely locked in place.
The Quick Release System, which is engineered with precision alignment of the elements in mind, sees the brand offer unrivaled levels of customization within high-end watchmaking.
The watch uses a 45mm all-black DLC titanium case which can be changed using one of three kits, offered in Pirelli’s Red, White and Blue shades, which are available in limited runs of 88 in each color. The straps are still made using the rubber from race-winning Pirelli tyres.
Inside is an RD820SQ 4Hz skeleton automatic movement with microrotor and a 60-hour power reserve.
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli is housed in a 45mm titanium case, suffused with black DLC. It features interchangeable straps that include ‘rubber inlays from certified race-winning Pirelli tyres’. In addition, this latest model allows the wearer to swap the strap, bezel and crown in seconds, ingeniously changing the appearance of the watch. However, disciples of Roger Dubuis can relax, while some details are new, several of the brand’s much-loved attributes remain in evidence.
Cars and watches go together like strawberries and cream. Quite often petrolheads are horophiles and vice versa. This fact has not escaped car companies and watch brands. For decades Formula One cars have been adorned with numerous brand names and logos, some of which pertain to watches. When a watch brand associates itself with a race team, it does so to heighten brand awareness, but it also shares some of the favourable glow granted by podium glory.
For most watch brands this is where the story ends. However, Roger Dubuis, the wonderfully unconventional Manufacture, has associated its brand with a prestigious car marque, but employed an ingenious take on the concept.
In 2017, the Genevan Maison announced a partnership with Lamborghini. This surpassed mere bodywork decals stuck to the body panels of race cars. Indeed, the two companies introduced each other’s clients to one another. Roger Dubuis has also released various models inspired by the Italian marque’s Aventador and Huracán supercars.
Surprisingly, in the same year Roger Dubuis cosied up with Lamborghini, it also joined forces with Pirelli. In the world of Formula One, all competing cars are shod with Pirelli tyres. This effectively validates the tyre firm’s technical prowess and heightens awareness of the Pirelli brand. The implication is Pirelli is a leader in its field, a reputation, by default, that casts Roger Dubuis in a favourable light.
However, Roger Dubuis has taken its partnership with Pirelli further than other watch companies participating in motorsport. The Swiss Manufacture has fitted the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli with interchangeable straps that feature ‘rubber inlays from certified race-winning Pirelli tyres’. The resultant straps brim with excitement and provide a physical reminder of motorsport and, most importantly, podium success.
The new Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli model also features another clever feature. Inspired by frenetic pit lane activity where tyres are swapped within the blink of an eye, this latest model allows the wearer to swap the strap, bezel and crown in seconds. Ingenious engineering obviates the need for tools. With breathtaking alacrity, this high-end watch can be transformed from a cool blue number to a fiery red ensemble. This capacity to transition from one shade to the next is made possible courtesy of the Maison’s clever ‘lock technology’. Roger Dubuis’ system securely holds the strap, bezel and crown in place while allowing the wearer to simply add/remove parts without the need for tools.
While some aspects of this watch are new, other elements are typically Roger Dubuis. The model eschews a conventional dial, thereby revealing an openworked movement, a speciality of the Manufacture. A micro-rotor obviates the need for manual winding, yet allows the wearer to admire the numerous movement components in full. And finally, while Roger Dubuis makes avant-garde, bold timepieces and isn’t afraid to innovate and challenge convention, it still adheres to the strict requirements of the Poinçon de Genève, creating watches worthy of the description ‘Haute Horlogerie’.