A fine-dining experience in a basement car park with supercars roaring in the background augmented by hair-raising operatic interludes was Roger Dubuis’ ingenious idea for introducing its latest watch, the result of a collaboration with Lamborghini. Over two days in Beijing in November, guests were treated to a unique dinner experience and exhilarating laps around a race track in Lamborghinis, including the high-performance Aventador S roadster that inspired the star of the show: the Excalibur Aventador S.
It was an apt way to introduce a watch of such remarkable pedigree. When Roger Dubuis decided to develop a line of car-related timepieces, it went for partnerships with the crème de la crème of motoring brands. Early last year, it teamed up with premiere tyre manufacturer Pirelli, the sole supplier of tyres for the international Formula 1 circuit, and created the Excalibur Spider Pirelli. Revved up by its roaring success, the youthful 22-year-old brand partnered with Lamborghini a few months later, in September.
“In both collaborations—with Pirelli and Lamborghini—all parties were fully committed from day one,” says Gregory Bruttin, product movement director at Roger Dubuis. “Making full use of our respective resources, expertise and decades of experience, we worked towards creating something exceptional. Pirelli supplied us with the rubber they used to make tyres fitted in Formula 1 cars and Lamborghinis, which we then made into watch straps. We also took inspiration from Pirelli’s vibrant colours and used them to introduce colour to our Excalibur line, and it worked beautifully.”
Lamborghini, on the other hand, supplied Roger Dubuis with its superior forged carbon, which was used to make the watch cases of the Excalibur Aventador S. And if you look closely enough, you’ll see that the double-sprung balance of the watch resembles the distinct engine of the Aventador S. “From the beginning, we made it very clear that this watch wasn’t going to be a Lamborghini watch, but a Roger Dubuis watch with Lamborghini references,” says Bruttin. “You’ll also notice that we don’t put the Lamborghini name nor logo on the dial, but people who know and love Lamborghinis will appreciate the subtle references.
“We’ve always prided ourselves on using forged carbon in our watches, but our collaboration with Lamborghini, and access to their technology and know-how that came with it, made us realise that that there was much more to this incredible material. And, boy, they had the best kind of carbon in the market. Just when we thought we knew everything and have seen the best kind of forged carbon, we realised we haven’t. It was a rather humbling experience,” Bruttin says with a grin.
True to form, and much to the delight of fans of Lamborghini and Roger Dubuis, the Excalibur Aventador S is a stunner in both aesthetic and technical respects. Despite the case’s hefty size, with a diameter of 45mm, it’s easy to wear because the middle and back are made of titanium and the multi-layered carbon used in Lamborghinis. The notched bezel is rose gold, as are the hour indicators, adding a touch of elegance to the otherwise sporty piece. The hands are black-coated gold with luminous SLN-filled tips. The crown of rose gold, meanwhile, has a black rubber insert.
At the heart of the timepiece is a 312-part skeletonised movement built around Roger Dubuis’ Dutour (double balance wheels) concept, which takes design cues from an Aventador S engine. The hand-wound movement, in full view through the sapphire crystals on the front and back of the watch, includes 48 jewels and has a 40-hour power reserve. And like all Roger Dubuis movements, this one bears the prestigious Geneva Seal.
The ruggedly handsome watch is fitted with a strap made of black rubber inlaid with Alcantara, the material used in the cockpit seats of Lamborghinis. The strap features a quick-release system that makes changing straps easy. The Aventador S with rose-gold bezel is highly exclusive, with only 28 pieces to be produced.
On the sidelines of the Excalibur Aventador S launch, Roger Dubuis also introduced the latest edition to the Excalibur Pirelli family, the Excalibur Spider Pirelli Automatic Skeleton.
Much like the Roger Dubuis Pirelli models introduced only a few months earlier, which came in red, blue, and yellow Pirelli colours, its design—a black DLC titanium case, white highlights, numerals inscribed on the bezel, and stitching on the strap—evokes a racetrack. Its case features rubber from the tyres of race-winning cars laid over a softer rubber enhanced with a Pirelli tyre tread pattern.
There are many interesting watches inspired by cars and racing on the market. But if you’re looking for a rugged piece with a touch of elegance, and which bears compelling but subtly executed references to the car, Roger Dubuis’ Excalibur Pirelli and Aventador S must definitely make it to the qualifying round.
Learn more at rogerdubuis.com
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