April 25, 2020
by David Bredan
A brand that never had to go to the neighbors, i.e., fellow Richemont Group brands, for a bit of inspiration or watchmaking prowess is Roger Dubuis. Their latest devilish machine is the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus In Machina, and it packs a minute repeater, a flying tourbillon, and a host of other mechanical and design quirks.
Brand: Roger Dubuis
Model: Excalibur Diabolus In Machina
Dimensions: 45mm-wide, 16.8mm-thick
Water Resistance: 3 bar (30 meters)
Case Material: CarTech Micro-Melt BioDur CCMTM (® in the USA) — yes, that is the full name of the material
Crystal/Lens: Mineral crys… Just kidding, it’s sapphire
Movement: RD107 double-micro-rotor automatic caliber with 558 components, Geneva Hallmark
Functions: Minute repeater, flying tourbillon, function indicator, chiming indicator
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Interchangeable 3D calf leather strap with titanium triple-folding buckle
Price & Availability: $571,000 USD
Cutting straight to the underlying diabolic madness that defines the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus In Machina, we’ll say that the brand has chosen to tune its minute repeater to the sound of the famous “Diabolus in Musica” (no, not Slayer’s least-liked studio album), a tritone chord “outlawed in medieval religious music as the secret key to all clever and complex melodic harmony.”
The RD107 has been a defining caliber of Roger Dubuis, a unicorn among ultra-high-end calibers. With its symmetrical layout of two micro-rotors, two hammers, and one massive tourbillon assembly, it is a unicorn movement, for sure. I distinctly remember seeing one being made — actually already on the Witschi machine — in the manufacture a few years ago.
Now, however, the RD107 is packaged in an ice-cool, ultra-modern watch that is the Excalibur Diabolus in Machina. The dial, or whatever is left of it, anyway, is characterized by concentric spokes for a “destructured architecture,” with a seemingly random assortment of Roman numerals also thrown into the mix.
Although barely visible in all this diabolic madness, the RD107 packs a crown function indicator — “W” for winding and “S” for setting — and somewhere around the 11 o’clock position, there is a chiming indicator that educates the uninformed nouveau riche on the segment of time corresponding with the audible chime, as the minute repeater strikes the hours, quarters, and minutes.
The case is crafted from CarTech Micro-Melt BioDur CCMTM, a non-magnetic cobalt-chromium-molybdenum wrought alloy that, from what I recall from my last hands-on time with a Roger Dubuis in Micro-Melt, makes for one very heavy watch. And the RD107 is one hefty movement, to boot. Thoroughly decorated in line with Poinçon de Genève (Hallmark of Geneva) requirements, the Excalibur Diabolus In Machina looks amazing in real life, I’m sure — too bad all we get to admire it by are these funky-looking but rather sterile renders that certainly don’t do the real piece justice. To learn all you need to know about the Hallmark of Geneva, check out this article from the time we visited the Roger Dubuis manufacture.
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus In Machina would certainly have been a highlight watch to see at Watches & Wonders 2020. Although it is a one-of-a-kind piece that’s bound to be sold soon, I still have high hopes of seeing it in the
metal Micro-Melt soon.
Price for the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus In Machina is $571,000 USD, and you can find other zany Roger Dubuis watches on the brand’s website.