Showing Rare Restraint, New Roger Dubuis Skeleton Soars on Simplicity

Roger Dubuis Excaliber Automatic Skeleton. Source: Roger Dubuis

At first glance it seems that there's nothing simple about the new Excaliber Automatic Skeleton, but it's actually the most basic skeleton Roger Dubuis has produced to date. Gone are the twin tourbillons and the Zsa Zsa Gabor-worthy diamond bezels. Instead it's a rare exercise in restraint -- and a welcome one. Roger Dubuis's technical prowess is often clouded by a more-is-more design sensibility, but this watch is a great example of what a little editing can do.

First Thoughts: This watch is so stripped down that it's become complicated again. The simple pink gold case houses an extremely open skeletonized movement that is decorated on every surface -- you might even miss those pink gold hour and minute hands if you're not looking closely. Without obstructing the view of the caliber, a skeletonzied micro-rotor at 11 o'clock means you don't have to remember to wind the watch. You can really see every gear turn and every beat of the balance wheel, and, forgiving the dramatic starburst bridge, it's a beauty.

Cocktail Party Fact: Roger Dubuis is the only watchmaker whose production is 100 percent certified with the Poinçon de Genève, or Geneva Seal. This certification dates back to 1886 and received a major update in June 2012 when it was expanded to cover the entire watch, not just the movement inside. To qualify, a watch must be made in the Canton of Geneva, must meet a set of stringent manufacturing criteria, must be aesthetically finished to particular standards, and must pass stress tests once fully assembled. The seal is then stamped on both the case and the movement, so you know you're getting the real deal. It's a great measure of craftsmanship, even if some of the criteria are a little fusty.

The Basics

  • Case Diameter: 42mm
  • Case Thickness: 11.44mm
  • Case Materials: Pink gold
  • Dial: None. The skeletonized movement serves as the dial.
  • Strap: Brown alligator with pink gold folding clasp
  • Complications: None
  • Reference Number: RDDBEX0422

205850284

The Movement

  • Caliber: RD820SQ in-house movement
  • Parts: 167
  • Power Reserve: 60 hours
  • Winding: Automatic, with micro-rotor
  • Finishing: Charcoal grey rhodium-plating, perlage on tops of open-worked bridges and outer movement ring, beveled and polished edges, skeletonized micro-rotor, circular grained mainplate

205850032

Getting One

  • Availability: Fall 2015
  • Price: Not yet announced

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