Roger Dubuis La Monégasque Club
« La Monegasque » is a new collection created under Georges Kern’s leadership. It is Kern’s first accomplishment since he became CEO of the brand, in 2010. The collection was presented during the SIHH2011, in order to promote the renewal while remaining in the aesthetic path of Roger Dubuis. A great function took place in Monaco on Thursday, October 20, with « stars » attending, especially the creator Christian Louboutin, Daphne Guiness, Tomer Sisley and Richard Berry…
Logically, with such a panel of ambassadors, the « La Monegasque » storytelling refers to the universe of game and luxury casinos. In fact, the eight watches of the collection remain quite discreet. The references and winks to the universe of casinos, such as the « Roulette numbers » indexes, are almost unnoticeable to the untrained eye. Only exceptions, the two superb limited edition chronographs, the « Big Numbers » and the « Club », which is somewhat slumming. The collection is divided into four series of two pieces:
-The automatic « three hands », available in stainless steel or rose gold.
-the automatic Bicompax chronographs with micro-rotor, in rose gold or stainless steel.
Thanks to the stainless steel, this is one of the most affordable « Poincon de Genève » chronos on the market! For that matter, you can admire the caliber RD680 finishes on these snapshots (obviously, it is the same on both versions), bevelings, thin Cotes de Genève, no blued screws, column-wheel, in short it is beautiful, it is sober despite the overall relative complexity.
-The Great complications, with the platinum flying Tourbillon, limited to 28 copies, and the superb QP featuring a magnificent enameled Moon phase.
-Finally, the limited edition chronographs that show the attention to detail from Roger Dubuis, since they feature a different caliber. Paradoxically, the most emblematic piece of this collection is also the most conspicuous; it is the «Club».
The « Monegasque » is the watch that best symbolizes the style shift initiated at Roger Dubuis by Kern; it synthesizes quite a lot of past and future trends at RD. But first and foremost, it is beautiful. Besides the Tourbillon, it the most limited among the «La Monegasque»editions, with 88 copies. It is unfortunate, as it is one of the most attractive watches at Roger Dubuis since the fabulous «Bulletins d’Observatoire».
The «Bulletins d’Observatoire»constituted a collection of very high-end classic watches, produced at the beginning of the Roger Dubuis adventure, between 1995 and the beginning of the 2000’s.
This collection was hunting on the lands of Patek, Vacheron and Lange. In order to hunt without any hang-ups, Roger Dubuis is one of the rare Houses to have integrated the major part of its production tool on its Meyrin site and to have many homemade calibers.
One of the «Bulletins d’Observatoire»lines was based on the very original «Sympathie»cushion case, which looks like a «tonneau case»thanks to highly integrated lugs. If the finishes, the calibers and the styling of the «Sympathie Bulletins d’Observatoire»did not age, one has to admit that the size, generally 37-38mm, is somewhat dated. Nowadays, the «La Monegasque»collection revisits the «Sympathie»case’s design, but with updated size and style.
The « Monegasque Club » is a rose gold 44mm cushion watch, featuring a Bicompax chronograph and a shimmering dial.
When you wear it, the square case-back is less comfortable than some of the rounded backs featured on other cushion cases; however, the short lugs enable the watch to fit any wrist.
This case shape for this « after crisis » collection is a wise choice; it refers as much to fashionable shapes (cushion, tonneau) as to previous RD cases, and as a result asserts a marked identity.
Another strong point of the fitting, the wristband: as a good Paneristi, OEM wristbands usually bore me; however, the one fitted on this watch is to die for;
The cambered calfskin is studded akin to the Chesterfield sofas; the effect is terrific and adds to the cozy feeling conveyed by the piece.
In the watch creator’s words, about thirty prototypes have been discarded before reaching this result; it was worth it, as it is an exotic wristband made from common hide!
Visually, the watch looks like it is 42mm, because of the relatively wide bezel and the series of concentric layers on the dial.
On the other hand, this « concentric » effect slightly diminishes the «cross-eyed»look of the chrono’s secondary dials.
A few years ago, Roger Dubuis presented a « King Square » featuring a magnificent orange tinted dial.
This idea did not sink into oblivion as one finds the same kind of color on the «La Monegasque Club»central inset.
This amber colored inset makes the dial lively, reinforces the overall luxurious feel and brings even more originality to this SL.
With regards to the movement, it is a manufacture’s caliber, a Micro-rotor chronograph that I could unfortunately not test nor shoot, the watch being inapproachable.
The design of the RD78 is a little more modern than that of the RD680 described earlier; a hollowed bridge covers the overall caliber, and the micro-rotor’s counterweight is decorated like a stylized globe, logically, the overall design is a little more «Jet-Set»and offbeat, resonating with the proclaimed storytelling.
Technically, the caliber is 13 ¼ lines by 5.80mm (it is 2mm thinner than a 7750, thanks to the micro-rotor).
It is set at 28800v/h for a 42-hour power reserve, and features 36 jewels. The jumping minutes counter at 3 o’clock features a 45-minute railway.
Everything in the design of this watch evokes a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, reminiscent of the private game clubs, the wristband matches the sofas of the nearby smoking-room and the dial’s amber inset would perfectly suit your glass of Cognac XO…
This line is a return to the roots for RD, but a return that does not disavow the previous period.
Because if the collection is fundamentally reasonable, it retains a playful and trendy spirit that enables it to throw a wide net, by attracting collectors from all backgrounds. Overall, it is a successful synthesis.