Roger Dubuis: Enter The Excalibur Dragon Monotourbillon
By: David Ho
February 9, 2024
David Ho looks at Roger Dubuis’ offering for the Year of the Dragon
It’s the Year of the Dragon and there are horological offerings aplenty that take their design cues from the mythical creature of the zodiac. The Excalibur Dragon Monotourbillon is a masterpiece combining complexity, artistry, and symbolism in one magnificent timepiece.
First off, the new offering differs from the previous Excalibur Dragon released in 2020 by taking a more abstract approach. This new Monotourbillon shows off a dragon by using 27 individual pieces of pink gold – each embellished with black lacquer on the sides and a pink gold treatment on the polished top surface. The pieces are then set on 25 different levels to producing a 3D vision that positively pops.
The same dragon can be seen when the watch is flipped over. This time, it is metallised on the inside of the caseback’s sapphire crystal and matching the view from the front. It gives us a stunning view of the dragon from both sides. More time and effort is needed to achieve the skeletonization and to reduce the material inside the calibre. So this means more hours of milling are needed, and more facetted surfaces are therefore produced, leading to even more hours for decoration. The payoff for this is the accompanying Poinçon de Genève certification, one of the most demanding signatures in fine watchmaking.
Of course, Roger Dubuis aims to deliver more than just an aesthetically pleasing piece. The latest timepiece houses the Monotourbillon Calibre RD512SQ, which was invented to compensate for the effects of gravitational force. This particular build is true horological art, with only a few skilled craftsmen able to build its intricate cage, containing the balance, spring, and escapement all inside. A high-performing Flying Tourbillon built from 63 components keeps it going.
The RD512SQ Calibre includes a lower tourbillon cage in non-magnetic titanium, which is two times lighter than even stainless steel. Pushing the boundaries even more, the upper tourbillon cage is produced in a non-magnetic, mirror-polished Cobalt Chrome that enables the weight of the tourbillon to be reduced by 16%. The resulting calibre shows a greater resistance to magnetic fields, while the power reserve is optimised to 72 hours.
The dragon only comes around once every 12 years. What better way to commemorate its arrival than with this piece of collectible art, limited to just 28 pieces.