Roger Dubuis: Where Passionate Design Meets Innovation

Jun 23, 2020
Roger Dubuis: Where Passionate Design Meets Innovation

Innovative minds. Quality craftsmanship. Passion for the arts. These are just a few of the things that make Roger Dubuis such an interesting brand to follow. With breathtaking timepieces and outstanding achievements, one must wonder what is the secret behind this luxury watch brand’s success?

Well, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about Roger Dubuis. In this piece, we’ll be covering the brand’s history, its values, its best collections, and everything else that makes it what it is.

About Roger Dubuis

Roger Dubuis holds a great dedication to the careful art of watchmaking. Despite being relatively new to the watchmaking industry, the company values and acknowledges the centuries of knowledge and watchmaking practicea poured into making this craft what it is today. In honour of traditional watchmaking, the company launched a restoration project dedicated to upgrading antique movements to meet the standards of today.

Roger Dubuis' Watchmaking Legacy
Photo from @roger_dubuis Instagram

The amount of commitment Roger Dubuis pours into its timepieces is reflected from its development stages up to the launching of the finished products. What it lacks in years of experience, the company makes up in its extensive research and development. Its investment in this department not only allows it to inherit the centuries-old knowledge behind the craft, but it also enables the company to challenge the current limits of watchmaking and create innovative solutions and advancements.

Roger Dubuis Movement
Photo from @roger_dubuis Instagram

With Roger Dubuis, innovation is found at every step. Its mastery of complications and other technical aspects gives the brand leeway to experiment and produce creative ideas for its movements. This innovative spirit is further represented in its limitless eye for aesthetics. The brand fosters a passionate approach to design that turns timepieces into masterpieces.

History of Roger Dubuis

Roger Dubuis is a fairly young brand, only being established in 1995. In its founding year, Roger Dubuis launched its first collection, and four years later, the company was already designing and producing its own in-house movements. In 2001, Roger Dubuis put up its own manufacturing building in Geneva. Two years later, the brand produced the sprung balance, its first in-house watch regulating organ. Jumping forward yet another two years, Roger Dubuis showcased its innovative capabilities with the launch of the iconic Excalibur collection. In the same year, the company also developed two exclusive calibres: the minute repeater tourbillon and the world premiere double tourbillon skeleton.

Roger Dubuis, the founder of the Roger Dubuis watch brand
Roger Dubuis, the founder of the Roger Dubuis watch brand | Photo from Lifestyle Asia

A new era began for Roger Dubuis in 2008 when the Richemont Group acquired 60% of the company. In the following years, Roger Dubuis continued to put forth innovation after innovation with the launch of several collections and calibres. In 2016, the Richemont Group acquired the remaining 40% of the company, and in the next year, the company saw many great achievements.

Roger Dubuis presented the Excalibur Spider Carbon, which had the first-ever movement plate, bridges, and tourbillon upper-cage made entirely in carbon. It also introduced the Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt Micromelt®, which incorporated exclusive aeronautic and astronomical technologies. In the same year, Roger Dubuis partnered with big names such as Pirelli and Lamborghini to produce the Excalibur Spider Pirelli and the Excalibur Aventador S, respectively.

How Much Is a Roger Dubuis Watch?

As a luxury watch brand, Roger Dubuis watches definitely do not come cheap. Roger Dubuis watches have a wide range when it comes to their prices. The cheapest ones cost a little less than $10,000, while some of their more expensive watches can be over a hundred thousand dollars. Generally, though, Roger Dubuis watches are often priced from around $15,000 to $30,000.

For servicing, the cheapest service, which is the water-resistance renewal, is at roughly $200, while polishing comes next at $450. Complete servicing for quartz is priced at $600, simple complete service at $900, small complications cost $1,500, complication at $2,900, and high complications are priced depending on the estimate by the service provider. 

Roger Dubuis’ Best Collections

In the company’s history, we’ve mentioned briefly a couple of their iconic watches and collections. For this section, we’ll be diving deeper into that by presenting the brand’s current collections and what sets them apart.

1. Roger Dubuis Excalibur

We’re starting off with the most iconic collection, the Excalibur. This collection set the standard for Roger Dubuis watches. It really let the brand’s innovative spirits shine through its magnificent mechanical work and its bold and eye-catching designs. This collection houses a wide range of materials and sizes, giving consumers the opportunity to find the Excalibur watch best fit for them.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur
Photo taken from Roger Dubuis official website

2. Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider

Through the patience, hard work, and innovative minds of highly-trained watchmakers and visionary engineers, the Excalibur Spider collection was born. This collection refused to conform to the traditional and opted to forge its own path filled with intensity and technical complexity. The Excalibur Spider series definitely raised the standard with its striking skeleton designs that are, in themselves, works of art.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider
Photo taken from Roger Dubuis official website

3. Roger Dubuis Velvet

This collection truly showcases the company’s ability to merge technical watchmaking know-how with contemporary aesthetics. Although this series comes off less bold than its Excalibur sibling, it is nothing less than a craftsman’s dream. It is masterful and uncompromising when it comes to design and detail work. 

Roger Dubuis Velvet
Photo taken from Roger Dubuis official website

4. Roger Dubuis Lamborghini Squadra Corse

Partnering with motorsport giant, Lamborghini, Roger Dubuis produces this adrenaline-charged masterpiece series. This collection mirrors its namesake with its technological complexity packaged in sleek and cutting-edge designs.

Roger Dubuis Lamborghini Squadra Corse
Photo taken from Roger Dubuis official website

5. Roger Dubuis Pirelli

This partnership from Roger Dubuis and Pirelli creates a unique collection of uncompromising innovation. Engineers from separate fields put their minds together to highlight the best of each practice and incorporate them in both the technical aspects and aesthetics of this watch series. This particular collection has an exclusive air to it as its straps are specially made from the rubber inlays of Pirelli’s own winning tires. 

Roger Dubuis Pirelli
Photo taken from Roger Dubuis official website

How to Maintain a Roger Dubuis Watch

Knowing how to properly care for your watch is a big factor in preserving its longevity. Although a high-quality watch such as a Roger Dubuis is less prone to quick deterioration, doing a few things from time to time to keep the watch and all its internal mechanisms running smoothly is essential. Here are the watch maintenance habits Roger Dubuis recommends its customers to practice.

Regular Cleaning

If you wear your Roger Dubuis watch on a daily or at least regular basis, then chances are it’ll be collecting dust, dirt, sweat, and other particles that not only make the experience of wearing the watch a bit gross but could also actually destroy the watch movement if completely unaddressed. Watchmakers advise cleaning the watch on a regular basis, depending on the frequency of use. If you own a dive watch with a rubber strap, Roger Dubuis recommends cleaning it after every exposure to seawater and pool water, since salt and chlorine could damage the strap. 

Roger Dubuis Watch
Photo by Max Andrey on Unsplash

For general cleaning, it is important to note that one must never use any harsh chemicals or cleaning products. All you need is some lukewarm water, mild soap, and a soft brush. Always be gentle when handling the watch and use gentle strokes when brushing. After rinsing, do not use any blowers or heat-emitting products to dry the watch. Instead, carefully pat it down with a soft microfiber cloth and let it dry naturally.

Routine Winding

Owning a hand-wound or self-winding watch requires a bit of maintenance to really bring out the best performance. Unlike battery-powered watches, these watches are either powered by your own wrist movements or by regular winding. So if you haven’t really worn your hand-wound or self-winding watch in a while, it would tend to stop. This is easily remedied by winding the crown at least 30 times.

Photo take from @roger_dubuis on Instagram

Generally, you should wind a self-winding or hand-wound watch once a month. This is done so that the oil would not dry out. For manual watches, winding the watch every day at around the same time to optimise the maximum power reserve. As for automatic watches, wearing the watch for at least ten hours a day would make it fully wound.

Water-Resistance Maintenance

Watch water-resistance relies on security gaskets that keep the water out of the watch. Certain factors such as exposure to water pressure higher than recommended or a crown that is not properly pushed back or screwed down can allow water to penetrate the watch. When water gets in the watch mechanism, it can cause condensation under the glass, making it difficult to read the time, among other issues. Roger Dubuis recommends having your watch serviced every two years so that an authorised professional can check the watch’s water-resistance and other issues that may be present.

What to Avoid

There are certain things you should keep away from your watch, and we’re here to tell you what they are. One of the things that disrupt a watch’s movement is magnetic fields. Strong magnetic fields could result in your watch stopping or running too fast. It’s best to keep them away from magnets and avoid placing them too close to electronic devices. 

Photo by Michael Voroshnin on Unsplash

If you’ve got a stainless steel Roger Dubuis watch, make sure it doesn’t clash with your jewellery. And we don’t just mean in terms of fashion. Metal bracelets could be prone to scratching, so if you’re wearing your watch and another piece of jewellery on the same wrist, it could lead to a collection of scratches on your stainless steel watch. It is also important to keep this in mind when storing your watch, making sure it doesn’t come in contact with potentially abrasive materials. 

For alligator and leather straps, there are a couple of things you should avoid. Prolonged exposure to sunlight is a big no when it comes to leather straps since it could result in discoloration and reduced quality. Water and high humidity are other things to avoid since exposure to either can deform the leather. Lastly, make sure your leather watch does not come in contact with oils or cosmetics since these too can cause damage. If you do end up with a deformed leather strap, the best option is to replace it. Trying to salvage it by applying glue would only result in further damage in the lug bars and screws.

How to Spot a Fake Roger Dubuis Watch

Replicas of luxury watch brands are unfortunately abundant. And if you’re not careful, a charming salesperson (read: scammer) could trick you into paying too much for what is essentially a dupe. To avoid that painful mistake, here are a few tips when purchasing a Roger Dubuis watch.

Too Good to Be True

This is often the first indication that something is not right. You might be offered an insanely good deal and be tempted by it, but don’t let it cloud your judgment. Authentic luxury watches will never come cheap. Even pre-owned watches come at a hefty price, albeit discounted. If the price offered to you is one you’d never have expected from a luxury watch brand, then chances are it’s a fake. When something feels fishy, trust your instinct.

Ask Questions

An authentic dealer would be more than capable to answer questions you have about that specific watch. And don’t just stop at general questions like say the water-resistance or how to maintain it. Try asking questions a scammer wouldn’t know the answers to. Ask about the watch movement if you have adequate knowledge about that. Or ask about the other materials involved or the detailing. Ask what collection the watch is part of or when it was released. If the salesperson claims it is a pre-owned item, ask about the watch’s history. If you’re looking at watches online, message the seller if the details that were listed were lacking or if the photos posted were not clear or are too far away. 

Inspect the Watch Thoroughly

Ask to inspect the watch up close. Luxury watch brands pour a good amount of time and effort into each watch. They make sure everything is perfect, down to the small details. And their quality control is, of course, topnotch. So finding a flaw that a luxury brand would not have possibly let slip is a good enough indication that the watch you have on hand is a replica. 

Photo from @roger_dubuis Instagram

Carefully inspect the watch. See if everything is properly aligned or level. People would often only look at the watch face, but try looking at the back and at every screw or stitching you can find. You can also search up an image of the watch on your phone and compare it to the one presented to you. Scrutinise every inch of the watch and don’t simply give it a few glances. It is also important to feel the watch. Replicas are often made with cheap material and that would mean it’ll weigh much less than the actual watch. You should also rub your thumb along the surfaces. The finishing should not feel rough at all and the edges must not be ragged. 

Pay Attention to Where It’s From

You have to ask yourself whether the place or person you are getting it from is reliable. If you’re buying the watch online, check the reviews other customers have left for the seller to have an idea if they are legit or not. If it’s a physical shop, take a look at the surrounding businesses. Does the place feel sketchy? An authentic watch dealer would not put up shop in a neighborhood with high crime rates. How about the shop’s set-up? Is it a well-maintained and organised place or does it seem like it’s not that put-together? Lastly, check for certificates plastered on the walls. Authorised dealers would have certificates or signs saying they are an authorized dealer of said brand. You also have to make sure these certificates aren’t just photoshopped or poorly printed.

The best way to make sure that a Roger Dubuis watch is authentic is to get it from the source. In the next section, we’ll briefly discuss where you can buy genuine Roger Dubuis watches.

Where to Buy Roger Dubuis Watches

Unfortunately, Roger Dubuis watches are hard to find online. A simple Amazon search would yield limited results for the watch brand. The best thing to do when trying to look for an authorised Roger Dubuis dealer is to consult with the brand’s online store locator. It’s very easy to use. You just simply type in your city or zip code on their search box, and the site will show you a map with the nearest boutiques pinned. When you click on the pin, it’ll show you the address of the store and it even has a button that will redirect you to Google Maps if you want to get directions getting there.

Where to buy Roger Dubuis Watches
Screenshot from Roger Dubuis official website

Roger Dubuis’ Best Selling Points

What is the secret behind Roger Dubuis’s success? Well, we can’t give you one definitive answer. However, we can identify three selling points that greatly contribute to the company’s success. These are what the consumers see and appreciate from the brand, knowing well that quality work is hard-earned.

Investment in Research and Development

Many giants of the watchmaking world have established their hold in the industry through years and years of growth, quality, and reliability. A common disadvantage presented to newer brands is their lack of experience. However, Roger Dubuis was able to overcome this initial disadvantage by investing in proper research and development. Before going into watchmaking, it is vital that one understands the craft behind it. Through this investment in knowledge, Roger Dubuis was able to understand the art of watchmaking and even add to it with its own innovations. This cannot be done without the extensive research done behind the scenes by a dedicated research and development department.

Dedication to the Craft

We’ve discussed how it is essential to really understand the craft of watchmaking. This knowledge is incomplete if not put to practice. What’s great about Roger Dubuis is that it really values the craftsmanship behind it all. Despite having more modern looks and complications, the brand does not disregard traditional watchmaking. It knows how its history plays an important part in creating these contemporary watches we have today. Its technical mastery derived from honoring the traditional ways has resulted in the creation of well-crafted timepieces. 

Roger Dubuis Dedication to the Watchmaking Craft
Photo from @roger_dubuis Instagram

Passionate Approach to Design

Roger Dubuis watches are known for their masterful designs that really capture the eye. These amazing aesthetics could not have been created if it were not for the company’s passionate approach to design. This passion urges its designers to really think outside the box and challenge the constraints of watch design. This approach to design allows for more creative freedom and fosters a more nurturing creative atmosphere for its designers.

Final Thoughts

Roger Dubuis incorporates innovation at every step. It honours traditional watchmaking but at the same time does not let it constrain them in delivering the best timepieces they can offer. The brand truly understands where it needs to anchor itself in order to succeed. It is in the value of time, dedication to the craft, and passion for innovation. This is a watch brand that understands its history and creates its own future. Roger Dubuis is definitely a watch brand that’ll keep its competitors on their toes.

 

If you’re interested in reading more awesome watch reviews, check out our article on Maurice Lacroix.

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