Roger Dubuis unveils a grand complications of sorts, with a minute repeater with flying tourbillon – introducing the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus in Machina.
Paraphrased Press Release with commentary in italics
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus in Machina
The new Roger Dubuis tourbillon minute repeater with some twists which make it unmistakable as a Roger Dubuis watch. As is normal for a minute repeater, the wearer can check the time using a push piece that activates a ring tone with a low pitch for the hours, a high pitch for the minutes, and two tones for the quarter hours. A sapphire disc at 11 o’clock marked in Hours, Quarters and Minutes start to turn when the minute repeater is activated, providing a visual cue to the mechanism’s feeler spindle mechanically seeking out the information to make the correct number of strikes.
The disc is somewhat hidden behind the huge Roman numeral 11, and being in sapphire glass, is difficult to spot, though we imagine when it is moving, will make itself easier to see.
A second function indicator is placed between the 3 and 4 o’clock markers, to show the mode the watch is in – whether “manual winding” or “time setting” position. This is similar to the function indicators first seen in Renaud Papi movements used in Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet watches, as well as in some Grönefelds – the Parallax Tourbillon and the One Hertz.
The flying tourbillon is an integral part of the brand’s identity and occupies prime real estate at about 6 o’clock on the dial.
The minute repeater push piece is equipped with an “all or nothing” mechanism, which only allows the repeater to be triggered if the pusher is fully and completely engaged. This feature prevents the mechanism from being triggered or providing a partial time indication when not completely engaged. This feature is also a common feature in many minute repeaters in the market.
Roger Dubuis has chosen to tune its minute repeater to the sound of the tri tone, the famous “Diabolus in Musica” (Latin term for “The Devil in Music” or tritone) chord outlawed in medieval religious music, and found, for example, in Camille Saint-Saëns’s symphonic poem, Danse Macabre.
The gongs are tuned here to C and G flat.
We have not had the opportunity to hear the repeater yet, and as RD have not made video or audio recordings that we have access to. But we will be keen to do a fuller evaluation of the aesthetics as well as the sonic character of this new watch. But the watch, being a piece unique, we are not holding our breath while waiting for this to happen.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus in Machina Specifications
Case: Skeletonized, Ø45 mm, case, bezel and crown CarTech Micro-Melt BioDur CCMTM (® in the USA). Case back CarTech Micro-Melt BioDur CCMTM (® in the USA) with sapphire crystal and anti-reflective treatment. Thickness: 16.8 mm
Dial: Double surface flange with engraved minute track, transfered texts. Polished hour markers filled with SLN. Water resistance: 3 BAR (30 m) Strap: Interchangeable 3D calf leather strap
Buckle: Interchangeable titanium cover with titanium triple folding buckle
Calibre: RD0107 caliber, minute repeater and single flying tourbillon
Production: Unique series 1 of 1
RD0107 Calibre: Mechanical automatic with minute repeater and single flying tourbillon
Features: Minute repeater and single flying tourbillon
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Minute repeater, function indicator, chiming indicator
Decorations: circular-grained or trued-up or shot-blasted or Cotes de Genève and NAC coated bridges and plate
Number of parts: 558 components
Jewels: 54 rubies
Diameter: 14 ¾’’’
Thickness: 10 mm
Frequency: 3 Hz (21’600 vph)
Power-reserve: 60 hours