Watches & Wonders 2020: Roger Dubuis Goes Mind Over Matter

Never having been one to play by the rules, Roger Dubuis “virtually” launched its first novelties for the year through the first-ever digital watch fair, Watches & Wonders 2020. A master of expressive and contemporary watchmaking, the brand combines mysterious secrets of the noblest traditions with visionary flashes of genius, and its most recent creation is no exception. All hail the Excalibur Diabolus in Machina, to the sounds of Black Sabbath and Pearl Jam.

A stunning juxtaposition of past artisans’ brilliance and the most inventive modern techniques, the Excalibur Diabolus in Machina timepiece is a testament to the idea that life must be lived intensely, passionately and excessively -because truly, that’s what the present has taught us!

The watch manufacture defies its own codes and makes sense out of disorder, by allowing its famous star to literally implode, in an exciting watchmaking feat where not one element of this de-structured neo-star is positioned on the same level! Chaotic times call for chaotic aligning geometric rigor?

The Excalibur Diabolus in Machina takes on a mischievous futuristic approach to the minute repeater, a horological complication among the most challenging to achieve. The wearer can check the time using a push piece that activates a low pitch ringtone for the hours, a high pitch one for the minutes, and two tones for the quarter hours. Pushing limits even further, the watchmaker added functions that make using the timepiece more fun. Thus, perched high at 11 o’clock, a disc skillfully blended with a Roman numeral and marked with the words Hours, Quarters and Minutes, starts to turn as soon as the minute repeater is activated, visually illustrating the time intervals being chimed.

As entertaining as that might be, the brand didn’t put practicality aside: another function, developed to make life easier for the user, takes the form of the minute repeater’s push piece embellished with a mechanism called “all or nothing”. Only allowing the minute repeater to be triggered if the pusher has been fully and completely pressed, this second safety feature prevents the mechanism from being triggered or providing merely a partial indication of time.

Ever the outlaw, Roger Dubuis toned its minute repeater to the sound of the famous “Diabolus in Musica” chord barred in medieval music, tuned here in C and G, enhanced by the nobility of the materials through which they resound.

A hedonistic invitation to “Carpe Diem” and a poetic reminder of our fleeting condition, this masterpiece is a much-needed marvel and distraction during this “diem” of uncertainty.