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September 25th, 2013, in Watches&Wonders2013

Watches&Wonders World Premiere: Excalibur Quatuor in titanium DLC

A brand-new black cloak for a chivalrous dark knight

To mark the first edition of WATCHES&WONDERS, the unique show featuring the creations and traditions of Fine Watchmaking staged in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center from September 25th to 28th Roger Dubuis is proud to introduce an exclusive titanium DLC version of its acclaimed Excalibur Quatuor.

Initially launched at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2013 in its pink gold and silicon versions, the Excalibur Quatuor now appears in a 188-piece limited edition to be presented at WATCHES&WONDERS. Its brand-new case in full titanium black DLC – a material renowned for modern elegance and impressive durability, along with a blend of lightness and sturdiness – gives a resolutely technical look and feel to this dark knight ready to accomplish great feats.

More than just a numbers game
Born into the Excalibur line, evoking the world of the Warrior and of chivalry pervaded by a sense of bold courage, controlled strength, masterful technique and enduring nobility, the Excalibur Quatuor stunned even the most blasé watch industry observers who have described it as a ‘revolutionary’, ‘groundbreaking’, ‘landmark’ accomplishment. Its stand-out avant-garde design showcases a 590- part RD101 movement comprising four sprung balances and five differentials, along with its new power-reserve mechanism featuring a double 180° display. It quickly proved that it is far more than just a game of numbers, but instead the embodiment of a whole new drive to enhance accuracy.
Gregory Bruttin, Director of Movement Development at Roger Dubuis, is keen to point out that the Double Tourbillon introduced by Roger Dubuis in 2005 was the key to this new piece, since it proved that using a differential could effectively compensate for the effects of gravity by averaging out the rates of two timekeeping elements. In an extension of this concept, the Excalibur Quatuor actually dispenses with the traditional gravity-defying tourbillon mechanisms altogether, replacing them with four beating sprung balances generating a 16 Hz frequency and jointly contributing to the mean time shown by the hands.
Roger Dubuis’ exceptional in-house production capability for sprung balances proved invaluable in a model where the regulating organ plays such a key role and is thus multiplied by four. The four carefully positioned sprung balances work in pairs to compensate immediately for the rate variations caused by the changes in position. What the tourbillon accomplishes in the course of a minute, the Excalibur Quatuor achieves instantly. Moreover, this model is even audibly different, since each balance oscillates four times per second, the frequency of the timepiece is multiplied by four as the balances do not oscillate simultaneously. The ticking of a classic watch is now replaced by the gentler sound of truly high precision.

Attractive, intuitive, inventive and accurate: the unique Roger Dubuis formula
Calibre RD101 is equipped with five differentials – of which three in the going train, a technical prowess in itself – along with one each for the power-reserve and winding mechanisms. Three of them thus link the balances in the gear train, one on the centre-wheel and the two others on the third wheel, providing an average of the positions for uncompromising accuracy. The fourth differential controls the power-reserve display, while the fifth connects the rewinding stem to the two parallel barrels.
This spectacular and high-performing movement offers living proof of the principle “less is more” as applied to watch design – a motto vividly epitomised in the daring signature Roger Dubuis skeleton working and the resulting light, airy and spacious aesthetic of this model. Its bridges and plates have been refined to the absolute limit in a resolutely contemporary version of the traditional art of skeletonising. In addition, and representing no small feat, the exact opposite, namely “more is less”, is also clearly true in this calibre, since more mechanical elements mean less rating errors and thus less inaccuracy.

In addition,thanks to its differential gear,the highly distinctive power reserve with its disc bearing two tapering crescents rotates 4.56 times a day – the same speed as the twin barrels – while the pointer moves slightly slower, at its own pace, following the barrels’ rate of discharge and positioning itself precisely on the two moon crescents to indicate the remaining power. This two-speed mechanism (patent pending) represents a brand-new interpretation of this all-important indication that avoids a watch movement running down and stopping. Moreover, its aesthetically pleasing, more intuitive, more inventive and above all more accurate nature single-handedly sums up the entire Roger Dubuis approach to mechanical watchmaking.

Stunning new stage-setting
While the pink gold and silicon initial versions of the Excalibur Quatuor radiate their own unique charm and strength, the new black DLC-coated titanium interpretation unveiled at WATCHES&WONDERS 2013 delivers an equally powerful and entirely distinctive message. The latest variation proudly proclaims its family likeness with the unmistakable Excalibur identity codes – an imposing round curvature, fluted bezel, crown guard and triple-horn strap attachment. Its 48 mm case remains pleasantly light thanks to the use of titanium, while radiating an even more forceful and eminently rugged, outdoor, masculine appeal. It also exudes a mysterious elegance enhanced by the charcoal grey inner bezel ring, circular satin-finish outer bezel ring, Roger Dubuis and Poinçon de Genève inscriptions, along with the rhodium power-reserve indicator and black appliques.

This dark new cloak creates a spectacular contrast with the white minute-circle transfers, white gold hours and minutes hands, while also highlighting and enhancing the immediate visibility of the indication. As on all Roger Dubuis timepieces, the exquisite finishing on this sombrely gleaming model makes it uniquely beautiful and endlessly fascinating. Admirably embodying the Manufacture’s relentless pursuit of supreme quality, this latest interpretation of the Excalibur Quatuor is naturally stamped with the Poinçon de Genève, as in fact are all models created by Roger Dubuis – an outstanding and indeed unique achievement in the world of Fine Watchmaking.