“Hyper Horology™ in overdrive.” “Trailblazing mechanics.” “Hyper-tech materials.” “Maximum performance.” “Super-Charged Chronograph.” The way Roger Dubuis presents its latest creation, the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph watch, will either get your heart pumping 100-Octane super-unleaded or have you rolling your eyes. Either way, it’s a bold new watch from the official watch brand partner of Lamborghini Squadra Corse, Pirelli, and Goodwood Festival of Speed, with a promising movement, so let’s see the timepiece that lies behind all the superlatives.

Inspired by all those automotive connections, Roger Dubuis developed its new RD780 caliber, an integrated flyback chronograph with two patents, one linked to the seconds hand of the chronograph and the other to the 120° rotating minute counter. The former is called an SBS or Second Brake System, installed on one of the two arms that operate the vertical clutch. When the chronograph is stopped, the brake prevents the seconds hand from moving even a little bit — this hardly was an issue with vertical clutch chronographs of the past, but who if not a boutique watchmaker would we expect to chase down the last 0.001% in such nuances?

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The chronograph minutes display at 3 o’clock is crafted with a radical isotoxal shape where a tripartite hand carries the 0, 1, and 2 next to the 0-9 digits, making this a 30-minute chronograph.  As we have come to expect from Roger Dubuis, much of what makes a movement interesting is on display on the dial side. This includes the column wheel that, frankly, is fun to see being pushed and pulled as the chronograph pushers are pressed, and the tilted balance wheel with variable inertia and a vertical coupling clutch. The RD780 caliber comprises 333 components, 39 jewels, and matches a 4Hz operating frequency to a 72-hour power reserve. These specs are on par with modern chronographs from major brands. The escapement wheel and pallet-stones are in diamond-coated silicon which is impressive but is also something that others, like Ulysse Nardin, have been using for over a decade because it requires no lubrication, is resistant to magnetic fields, and can be crafted with outstanding intricacy and precision for greater efficiency.

The 45mm-case — notably, Roger Dubuis watches tend to wear larger than their officially quoted figure — is crafted from multi-layered carbon while the bezel is in virtually scratchproof ceramic, and water resistance is rated at 10 bar (equivalent to 100 meters). The pushers are openworked, as are the lugs, in an effort to make the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph watch as light as possible. It’s still a large watch with a complex movement, so don’t expect it to be as featherweight as some of the brand’s fully openworked Excalibur watches, such as this “lit” version.

The overall impression is that of a very busy watch, but then again, this is what it takes for a watch not to get lost inside many of today’s tacky outlandish supercar interiors. Having a wonky tachymeter scale that is of varying distance from the hand stack probably doesn’t help much, nor do all the strips of metal bursting from the center of the dial like hands normally do. And yet, there is something inexplicably “wow” about this watch and the fact that a lot of that comes to the detriment of real-world functionality subconsciously enforces its link to the world of supercars even more. Although what we are looking at here are computer-rendered images from the brand, the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph watch is certainly a culmination of beautifully made and hand-finished parts (all done in accordance with the requirements of the Poinçon de Genève certification) that are fun to interact with.

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The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph watch is priced at $101,500 USD. For more information, please visit Roger Dubuis’ website.

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