Roger Dubuis Factory Visit and Many Watches hands on!
So this week was a very exciting and busy one for me, as my good friend from U.S. Jason Sarkoyan came here to Geneva all the way from Beverly Hills, and agreed with Roger Dubuis on a factory visit for the two of us, to see how the famous for being 100% ‘Poincon De Geneve’ certified watch brand is achieving such great results in watchmaking. It was an awesome experience to say the least…
With the sales representative Baptiste and his personal Golden Eagle greeting us at the doors we went to discover the world of Roger Dubuis starting with the factory itself. While some of manufacturers focus only on the assembly of watches and take the movements from other companies RD does everything starting from the balance wheels to the dials itself, and I had an opportunity to see the production and proof of that with my own eyes. All the little components, even the small screws are hand polished and engraved on, and this is one of the criteria for Roger Dubuis’ certification of Poincon de Geneve. For the ones who do not know about it, Poincon de Geneve, is considered to be one of the most prestigious certifications in the world of watchmaking, and there are few companies who have watches certified by it, and even more rare is to have all the watches certified – Roger Dubuis is actually the only company to have that achievement. Getting a little side tracked, why won’t other large brands certify their watches like that? Usually the answer is – it is a pricy procedure, that not everyone wants to go through. It is up to each person separately to decide whether for him/her it’s important that their watch is completely hand made and hand polished or not.
Getting back to Roger Dubuis, after Jason and I have witnessed and discovered the factory world and production of the pieces, we moved to a conference room for guests to discover the actual collection with the watches, some of which Baptiste took from the boutique just for the purpose of presenting to us. First up was my favorite Excalibur collection, the one that made me want to find out about the brand in the beginning, and eventually made me want to own one.
Starting from the most basic Hour, minute and seconds watches, and finishing with the crazy double tourbillon, all of the pieces had one thing in common – their sexy back Many of you who are reading my articles have already realized that I’ve got a bit of a fetish when it comes to skeletons and watch movements, so when I turned the simple looking chronograph and saw the incredible caliber on the back, with the mini rotor and the detailed movement I could not resist but stare at it for a solid 5 minutes.
A watch that really caught my attention in the Excalibur collection though was the special limited edition of a tourbillon made for the 125 years of the Poincon de Geneve, which included a chronograph, and power reserve indicator as well as the famous excalibur tourbillon and the mini rotor.
Then came the next collection, for the ones who are excited about the OnlyWatch auction this would be a good paragraph to read as RD’s unique piece also comes from the Monegasque family that I will be presenting here. I’ve already reviewed the OnlyWatch piece, and now its time to look at the entire collection. Monegasque in translation from French means ‘a citizen of Monaco’ and the design of the collection is inspired by that place. Unlike some casino and Monaco oriented pieces this collection is extremely conservative and for some who don’t want to be seen as gamblers its a good thing. The shape of the casing is neither circular nor squared, which created a very nice balance, like the Nautilus or Octa watches.
Another collection that I was at first very skeptical about turned out to open up to me from a completely different side. I’ve never been a fan of bezels with numbers on them as they immediately get my attention and the watch just turns ugly for me, and that was the main reason why I never was a fan of the Roger Dubuis Diver watches. So my first reaction to the new Pulsion collection was not very promising, I’ve seen the watches from far away and it didn’t make me tick as I thought it would be pretty same as the divers. This time however, I got to see them up close, and it was one of those moments, that change your perception of the brand completely! The bezel is actually part of the sapphire glass on the dial, and the dial itself (here I am talking about the open movement chronograph) is very busy, which in combination with the see through bezel puts more attention to what’s in the watch rather then on the casing and numbers around it. The black DLC version actually became my ‘realistically within a reach’ favorite, as the price doesn’t go as high for it as it does for the tourbillons, and I’d still get the skeleton movement and a badass looking watch 😉
Roger Dubuis also cares about their female customers, and from my conversation with the team I understood that the brand is targeting more confident and powerful women, who value watches not just for the diamonds on the outside but for the movement inside. I’m not a big expert on ladies’ watches but let’s just say – my girlfriend approves
Finally, there were 3 special pieces reserved for the end, and even though the ‘Quatuor’ and ‘King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table’ were not in the country at that point we still saw some very exclusive pieces. I’d start from the least favorite for me to the most. While many people like square watches I am not a big fan, for the simple reason being, my wrist is too small for most of them, and that’s why Jason was ‘modeling’ them for me this entire trip The King Square tourbillon is no exception. It’s a great watch mechanically and it looks very cool on the big wrist.. For me though not so much.
Second piece was one of my favorite Excalibur models, the double tourbillon, but this time all covered in diamonds. And you know how many brands like to cover watches in diamonds, so that when you try to see the time you actually see sun rays in your face? Well RD did a very good job of actually preserving the focus on the watch instead of the flashy diamonds, and as much as I don’t like ‘bling’ I really enjoyed looking and taking photos of the piece.
Finally, my favorite out of them all was the piece from the Homage collection. As much as I like the Excaliburs and Monegasque collections sometimes you just want a traditional looking piece, exactly what they did with the homage series, paying respect to the traditional art of watchmaking. I actually notice quite a trend in the modern horology, with MB&F’s legacy machines, Hublot’s classic fusion, AP’s development of Jules Audemars series, etc. all representing the rather traditional side of watchmaking. I am a big fan of round shapes and classy watches, as much as I am of modern looks and designs, so seeing the Perpetual calendar by Roger Dubuis done in such a classy way just did it for me..
So after making some great memories together we had to call it a day, and left the factory, which actually is located just about 15-20 minutes from Geneva, which made it very convenient to visit. Roger Dubuis was always a brand that I liked, but after the day at the manufacturer it went up by many points on my wall of watchmaking So I am hoping to return there again to see and show you some more of the pieces that unfortunately weren’t there today, but for now I hoped you enjoyed the article, and if you did please Like and Share it on Facebook, and write what you think about Roger Dubuis, and which collection you prefer.
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