So here is something new from Roger Dubuis, and it is not just a very impressive looking pocket watch, but also something that the Swiss luxury watch brand hopes will be a new tradition for them. Known simply as the Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime pocket watch, this item is a one-of-a-kind creation based on a challenging restoration project of a vintage pocket watch movement. In fact, “millesime” in French simply means “vintage.” Roger Dubuis has announced that they will produce one such piece unique “restored vintage” watch each year and that those items will be available for sale exclusively in Roger Dubuis brand boutiques around the world. That sounds like a pretty decent way of getting people in stores, or at least the stores that have these items. Will the second model be called the Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime 2?

This Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime will reside at the upcoming Roger Dubuis brand boutique in Geneva, scheduled to open in July of 2015. As the first of its kind, the Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime needs to garner a lot of attention if Roger Dubuis is to justify the new collection. Even though the price for the Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime will not be what people consider inexpensive, it did require huge amounts of time and effort for just one object.

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According to Roger Dubuis, Mr. Roger Dubuis himself gifted a vintage pocket watch movement to the company for them to restore and turn into the Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime. It would be a bit unfair for the movement in this pocket watch to be identified merely as something that was restored and decorated. Roger Dubuis claims to have added some features to the movement as well. They call the movement the Roger Dubuis caliber RD181, and aren’t particularly open with who created it in the first place or what year the movement was produced. I understand that Roger Dubuis wants to maintain focus on itself and its achievements, but when they mention time and time again that the movement was subject to a thorough restoration project it is almost unfair to those interested parties to neglect mentioning anything related to the history of the movement or its origins.


Roger Dubuis further claims that about 1,950 hours of human time were involved in the restoration and re-engineering of the movement that operates at 18,000 bph and is produced from 558 parts. The movement features the time, a monopusher chronograph, perpetual calendar with some retrograde indicators, a moon phase indicator, and a minute repeater. Given that Roger Dubuis is all about the Seal of Geneva, the RD181 also bears the “Poinçon de Genève.” Part of the seal’s criteria is accuracy over time. With that said, it is interesting to see Roger Dubuis claim the following (ironic as its wrist time is, applied to a pocket watch):

Twenty different professions with their own skill-sets were involved in the decoration and the timepiece was also tested according to the technical criteria of the new Poinçon de Genève, involving a simulation of wear on the wrist for a week, with a one-minute variation of precision. This is a true feat, since the test is even more demanding on an over century-old pocket watch.


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Developed to be skeletonized and open through the dial of the watch, the movement appears very impressive, and I look forward to seeing it in the flesh. Designed in line with the aesthetic of the Hommage watch collection, the Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime takes the look of the wrist watch collection (of the same name) and adds a unique decorative flair that would not be totally out of the question for something from the turn of the 20th century. As a collectible, the Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime has a lovely look to it, but its status as a pocket watch mostly prevents it from being used by anyone on a regular basis – so consider it a “display piece.”


Actually, in my opinion, pocket watches look a lot nicer in a case and “on display” than a wrist watch does. The Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime has a 60mm wide case in 18k pink gold that is 22mm thick (and signed by Mr. Roger Dubuis on the hinged caseback). Actually, I think for the right wrist, someone could pull off the Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime as a wrist watch – at least we know it would be accurate enough.


There are a number of special details on the watch that I like. For example, you’ll find a ruby crystal in one of the pushers (what I believe is for the chronograph), as well as a lapis lazuli background for the moon phase indicator. The dial should also be amazingly three-dimensional in its appearance, and overall quite bold to behold.

Roger Dubuis further says that for the person who purchases the Hommage Millesime watch, they can create custom links for the 18k gold pocket watch chain. These custom links can have special engravings on them or text. Once again, this piece unique Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime will exist as a one-of-a-kind creation produced as the first of its kind in a new series that will exist as a new “vintage restoration project” each year. The Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime pocket watch will further be exclusively available at the Roger Dubuis boutique in Geneva (opening July 2015) and the price is $892,500.

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