Roger Dubuis Orbis in Machina

A 2024 luxury watch novelty I can’t wait to see hands-on at Watches & Wonders Geneva is the new Roger Dubuis Orbis In Machina, or “Work in the Machine.” Apparently built on the same mechanical foundation as last year’s epic Knights of the Round Table, the overall vibe is arguably almost as medieval — a theme that fits Roger Dubuis and that the brand creatively reinvents time after time.

At the heart of the Roger Dubuis Orbis In Machina watch is Calibre RD115, the same hand-wound movement as in that $580,000 KotRT piece mentioned just above. It is a beast of a caliber at 16 ligne (36mm) wide and 12.2mm thick — basically, it’s a Rolex Datejust 36-sized movement. The literal centerpiece of this 277-part movement is a flying monotourbillon nudged along by a 3Hz balance wheel, driving two rather unique hands which we’ll look at shortly.

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Roger Dubuis proudly submits most of its movements to the Geneva Seal’s scrutiny, a hallmark of quality and origin that we presented in great detail (from the Roger Dubuis manufacture, in fact) back in 2016 here. Long story short, the Geneva Seal, or Poinçon de Genève, used to be a beauty pageant for movements that evolved to consider the qualities of the entire watch head and test movement performance, too. You can expect a Geneva Seal-certified movement to be old-school pretty, with impossibly thin beveled and polished edges, polished screw-heads, and countersinks, refined Côtes de Genève, polished wheel spokes, and select steel parts with mirror polish.

The Roger Dubuis Orbis In Machina watch spices things up by revealing a unique movement layout that looks like a cutting-edge medieval machine more focused on function than form. A massive, golden wheel drives the pinion of the center-mounted tourbillon, delivering what I imagine to be the torque of six Sellita SW200s. The lower tourbillon cage is in “non-magnetic titanium,” which is almost twice as light as stainless steel, while the upper tourbillon cage is in mirror-polished (also non-magnetic) cobalt chrome. We wouldn’t blame you if you missed the equally gigantic mainspring barrel (at what is the 3 o’clock position on the caseback), supplying the 72-hour power reserve. There is no self-winding, peripheral or otherwise, so you’ll be winding this puppy through that massive, crown-shaped crown.

The RD115 displays the seconds through a hand fitted to the one-minute flying tourbillon, the minutes can be read from an H-shaped hand against a disc lifted high up above the movement, while the hour hand peaks out from under this wide disc to point at the hour markers fitted to the flange ring at the very periphery of the face of the Roger Dubuis Orbis In Machina watch. Then there is a wide, scalloped bezel in true Roger Dubuis fashion, complemented by a massive crown and crown guards, and six lugs that are yet more massive still. You wouldn’t wear this lump of 18k pink gold on a flimsy fabric strap, first because the lugs wouldn’t allow you to, and, second, because you’ll want to rely on this beefy black leather strap to keep it more or less atop your wrist.

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A fun exercise that merges medieval style with modern watchmaking, all the while meeting the exacting specifications of the Geneva Seal. Now that’s a niche, if there ever was one. The Roger Dubuis Orbis In Machina watch is priced at $225,000 USD and is limited to just 88 pieces. For more information, please visit the Roger Dubuis website

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