Having forged a partnership with tyre-maker Pirelli, which was announced at SIHH 2017, and a subsequent tie-up with Italdesign Giugiaro, Roger Dubuis continues to deepen its association with motorsport by partnering with one of its most legendary marques, Lamborghini.
“The collaboration came by chance, and it became kind of a love story quite quickly,” explains Edouard Cottin, the watchmaker’s International Sales Director. “We were thinking about associating our brand with other universes, and we wanted to find an interesting angle in terms of product innovation, with regards to mechanics, materials as well as design.”
“We’re not in a fun industry,” says Cottin, “but we have more and more millennials who are out looking for fun. If you can add different dimensions to a one-dimensional product; a disruptive approach to a classical product, they are very receptive.” For its Pirelli collaboration, Roger Dubuis introduced a series of colour coded watches with straps featuring rubber inlays made from tyres used on race-winning Formula 1 cars.
Offering the perfect parallel, Lamborghini’s purposeful positioning as a brand that transcends automobiles is winning over a new generation of consumers, becoming deeply embedded in pop culture – with celebrities from Drake to Kanye West to Justin Bieber owning its aggressively styled cars. In contrast to its more refined and docile rival in Maranello, Lamborghini is the unrelenting wild child of Italian supercars.
But this partnership isn’t just a mere exercise in marketing pageantry; the watches ultimately speak for themselves. Accompanying the announcement are the Excalibur Aventador S limited editions.
Both are powered by the Duotor, a skeletonised calibre inspired by the naturally aspirated V12 that’s been the power plant in every flagship Lamborghini since its first production sports car, the 350 GT of 1964.
“We worked jointly with the engineers and designers of [Lamborghini design studio] Centro Stile to translate the features of the engine into the movement.” The Duotor calibre was derived from the Roger Dubuis Quatuor movement, which featured four inclined balance wheels linked by differentials.
The Duotor, however, has two balance wheels and is distinguished by “engine strut bars”, movement bridges and cocks modelled on the carbon fibre cross brace above the V12 inside the Aventador S. Like the Quatuor, the double balance wheels of the Duotor are inclined, both supported by bridges shaped like a triangular wheel suspension assembly. Also, it features a dead-beat seconds complication and a power reserve indicator.
The Excalibur Aventador S is available in two iterations, both 45mm in diameter. The first is clad in Lamborghini’s unmistakable Giallo Orion, or Orion yellow, with a case made of multi-layered carbon composite.
The second is in Arancio Argos, or Argos orange, and uses a C-SMC composite – short for “carbon sheet moulding compound” for both the case and movement bridges.
“It was a huge challenge to attain the Poinçon de Genève because carbon is a composite, and [the material] is not within the perimeters of the certification,” says Cottin, “The only exception is Roger Dubuis. We started this year with the Excalibur Spider Carbon Flying Tourbillon and we decided to continue using it. With carbon, we are judged by exactly the same standards of finishing.”
The next step in the partnership comes in 2018, when Roger Dubuis becomes one of the main sponsors of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, the racing series formerly sponsored by Blancpain.
Price and Availability
The Excalibur Aventador S Yellow (ref. RDDBEX0613) is priced at S$279,000 (about US$208,000). It is a limited edition of 88 watches.
And limited to just eight watches, the Excalibur Aventador S Orange (ref. RDDBEX0624) with the carbon composite movement is priced at S$387,000 (approximately US$288,000).