In my opinion, the Roger Dubuis Excalibur watch collection is going to receive a lot more attention from collectors over the next few years. These are current underdogs of value and style, and run the gamut from micro-rotor-based automatic movements to complex double tourbillons. Somewhere in the middle is this single flying tourbillon Excalibur reference DBEX0838 that comes in an interesting cobalt alloy metal case. I got to check out this Roger Dubuis watch when meeting with Mr. Porter, an authorized Roger Dubuis dealer.
As wild as some people find Excalibur styling, this is really a watch you could wear every single day when it comes to comfort, style, and overall durability. I also happen to particularly like this 42mm-wide case size for the Excalibur, which just happens to be really comfortable on my wrist and I think offers nice proportions to the longstanding Excalibur, case which is typified by the particular notched bezel and center element between the lugs. The case is also water-resistant and sandwiched with two AR-coated sapphire crystals.
For this particular limited edition (of 88 pieces) Excalibur Tourbillon watch, Roger Dubuis decided to use an interesting industrial alloy from mostly the automotive industry known as “CarTech® Micro-Melt® BioDur® CCM®.” That’s a lot of trademarks! In essence, it is a highly durable and corrosion-resistant cobalt-chromium-molybdenum metal alloy that benefits from powder metallurgy and vacuum induction melting, which means it can be formed with a lot of flexibility into precise shapes — sort of perfect for a watch case material. The shine of the steel-like surface is attractive, and the weight of the case is more than steel. I don’t know that Roger Dubuis is solving any age-old horological questions by using this alloy as a case material, but it sure makes for good storytelling and will likely prove to be much more durable over time than, say, a carbon case.
Cobalt mixed with blue is a lovely combination of colors and exactly what Roger Dubuis did with the theme of this watch. The wonderful custom blue, soft calf-leather strap is interesting-looking and also very comfortable. I make it a point to shoot the spring-loaded deployant buckle here because I felt it was both ergonomic and slim. The strap, indeed, needs to be custom for Roger Dubuis because of the “split” where the lug middle-piece is meant to go between the strap ends.
Inside the watch is a movement that represents Roger Dubuis’ current “star theme.” You can see the rough star shape in the movement bridges whose arms have their focal point right over the center of the mainspring barrel. The in-house-made and -designed Roger Dubuis caliber RD512SQ is also given the prestigious Seal of Geneva marking, which has to do with where the watch is made, as well as how it looks and performs. This skeletonized movement features the hours and minutes with the spinning tourbillon window functioning as the subsidiary seconds dial. The movement operates at 3Hz with 72 hours of power reserve. Manually wound, the movement is actually rather practical for daily wear, and the display is very legible thanks to prominent hands and hour markers that are painted with luminant material.
I get excited about very high-end watches like this because they check off a lot of things I value in status symbols of this nature. First and foremost, the Excalibur Tourbillon is a serious piece of horology from a really respected watch manufacturer (read about aBlogtoWatch’s Roger Dubuis Geneva visit here). Second, the watch is comfortable to wear and easy to read. Third, the watch has a lot of personality and stories to tell aside from “it was very expensive and hard to get.” That said, this is still a $100,000+ luxury item, and that comes with a sense of “wealth pride” for many wearers. This isn’t the only 42mm Excalibur Tourbillon in Roger Dubuis’ collection, but I found it particularly lovely and look forward to seeing more like this from the brand. Price for the limited edition of 88 pieces Roger Dubuis Excalibur Tourbillon Cobalt DBEX0838 watch is $146,500 USD. Learn more at the Roger Dubuis website here.