Inside Roger Dubuis (Pt.1) – Factory, Watches and Poincon de Geneve
About two weeks ago our team had a chance to visit the headquarters and factory of a very unique and much talked about brand today – Roger Dubuis. What we found interesting and wanted to explore was the fact that Roger Dubuis is one of the very few brands to have their watches be certified with a ‘Poincon de Geneve’ (Geneva Seal) and actually be the only manufacture to have all of their watches pass the test. But before we get into that let’s talk a bit about the production process and the factory itself.
At the factory everything (from the building to the production process itself) makes you think of quality and innovation. Of course we got to see the expensive machines used in the production, but what’s much more interesting was watching the highly skilled watchmakers and specialists do what they do best and show us the base plates and movements of some of the brand’s most complicated models.
Naturally, after seeing the factory at work you’re not wondering how Roger Dubuis achieves their high quality anymore – but in order to understand the Poincon de Geneve better we had a talk with the brand’s watchmakers and did some researching ourselves. The Geneva Seal (or Hallmark of Geneva) was invented back in 1886, when the association of watchmakers in Geneva wanted to raise the standards in Swiss horology and only have the very best brands use the name of their city. Like any certification of a chronometer or a watch in general it requires testing of the movement; various aspects of the performance of the watches are looked at. However what is probably the most important criteria of the Poincon de Geneve is the finishing and polishing requirements. Every little and big part of the movement in all Roger Dubuis watches is hand polished, which gives them a very unique and high quality look.
And speaking of the unique look of the Roger Dubuis watches, their Excalibur collection is probably one of most recognisable model lines in today’s watch world. The aggressive case, lugs and dial design balanced by very elegant finishing and leather straps perfectly reflect the brand identity if we had to narrow it down to one collection. Of course the famous Excalibur tourbillon plays a big role in the uniqueness as well.
Last year’s big piece (literally – it’s very big) Roger Dubuis Quatuor was shown to us at the factory too. It features 4 balances placed in 4 different ‘corners’ of the movement – they work together (in pairs) to balance out the gravity affecting the accuracy of the watch… much like a tourbillon. But the fact that the balance wheels are able to battle the gravity in a ‘team’ and at different positions all at the same time it proves to be more efficient that the traditional complication. Having said that it’s also a very large watch (48mm diameter) and only 88 collectors with fairly large wrists will ever get to wear them
This year, however, Roger Dubuis decides to focus more on their new Hommage collection – the classier side of the brand. As the name suggests – it’s paying homage to the founder of the brand – Mr. Dubuis. Just like with the other collections all of the models pass the Poincon de Geneve certification but we see a lot more decoration on the dial and movements, as well as our favourite complications and designs put into more traditional casings. For now, enjoy a few photos of the Hommage collection, and there will be a lot more to come in the second part of our story on Roger Dubuis.