24 Hours Later: The New Excalibur Monobalancier Titanium from Roger Dubuis
Today, Watchonista talks to Roger Dubuis’ Chief Marketing Officer, Sadry Keiser, to delve deeper into the brand and discover the motivation behind its newest masterpiece: the Excalibur Monobalancier Titanium.
What’s thrilling about Watches & Wonders is that the show gives you exclusive opportunities to interview frontline actors in the watch industry and even discover timepieces the brands are set to launch in only a few weeks or months after the event.
That was precisely the case when, a month ago, we sat down with the Sadry Keiser, Chief Marketing Officer of Roger Dubuis, to learn more about the brand’s updated take on its approach to products and its new and surprising Excalibur Monobalancier (MB) Titanium.
The Excalibur collection has always been known for its bold, daring designs, and the 42mm Excalibur MB Titanium released yesterday is no exception. It’s a watch that defies convention, playing with the brand’s own codes while introducing new elements that push the boundaries of luxury watchmaking.
With this novelty, Roger Dubuis taps into one of the most important trends of today’s watch-demanding public: For the first time, the Richemont-owned brand went for the full titanium look that invites you to discover the freeing power of lightness. And with its Grade 5 titanium bezel, case, and bracelet, it’s incredibly lightweight (33% lighter, to be exact) and comfortable to wear, making the Excalibur MB Titanium the perfect watch for everyday wear.
For me, the game changer is definitely this watch’s bracelet. The Excalibur MB Titanium’s bracelet has been reworked to feature expertly shortened links, and its subtle articulation has a big impact, resulting in better adhesion to the wrist. This evolution in design vastly improves how the bracelet rests and moves when worn. But it would not be complete without the signature quick-release system, which ensures both comfort and versatility for the owner whenever they choose to wear it.
For anyone who has ever written about the brand, you know how difficult it is to explain to a watch world newbie or outsider the quintessence of Roger Dubuis’ approach to watchmaking.
Luckily, Roger Dubuis’ CMO, Sadry Keiser, has landed on a great explanation: “I am going to try to do it as simple as possible: It is fine watchmaking, expressive and contemporary. And to be even simpler, when we talk about ‘expressive,’ I mean the skeleton approach, skeleton making. And by ‘contemporary,’ I mean straight lines. So, the three main ingredients are traditional complications, skeletonization, and finally, a very straightforward and minimalistic aesthetics.”
Indeed, the Excalibur MB Titanium features a skeleton dial and the company's trademark star-shaped bridge, proving its expressive approach. And powered by the self-winding micro-rotor calibre RD720SQ (72-hour power reserve) introduced last year, Roger Dubuis puts its best foot forward with a movement featuring a micro-rotor designed to minimize vibrations. Plus, the remarkable inertia of its balance wheel maximizes stability and reduces its sensitivity to shocks.
“With this kind of product, we refocus on our core price range starting at CHF 45,000 up to CHF 200,000. And this is where we can express ourselves. Having plain, flat dials priced at CHF 12,000 doesn’t make any sense for us,” added Keiser.
Poinçon de Genève
Moreover, Roger Dubuis is one of only six watch brands that conserves the precious Poinçon de Genève stamp, and the latest Excalibur MB is no exception.
“There is actually a culture of great respect for tradition and not only aesthetics [at Roger Dubuis]. As you may know, Roger Dubuis, [the man], was obsessed with watchmaking and would probably kill us if we abandoned the Poinçon de Genève,” explained Keiser. “So, we are cultivating our own expertise in fine watchmaking using modern materials and a modern approach. It is one of the tools we use to keep up the expressivity of the maison and its contemporary spirit.”
Fun Fact: The other Poinçon de Genève watch maisons are Ateliers DeMonaco, Cartier, Chopard, Louis Vuitton, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron Constantin.
The New Roger Dubuis Era
In many ways, the Excalibur Monobalancier Titanium represents a new chapter in the history of Roger Dubuis because it takes the brand’s iconic design language and adds new elements that make it more ergonomic, more comfortable, and more wearable than ever before.
And as a relatively young brand, Sadry Keiser explained: “We made some mistakes in the past, but we’ve now cleared the way for the three most important messages: performance, innovation, and craftsmanship. We may be young [as a brand], but we know what kind of added value we can bring to the end client and watchmaking overall. That is why we are focusing on those three axes and cultivating our own expertise.”