Roger Dubuis Hommage Automatic in white gold

Angus Davies reviews the new Roger Dubuis Hommage Automatic in white gold, a watch recently launched at SIHH 2014.

This detailed review of the Roger Dubuis Hommage Automatic in white gold includes live images, specification details and pricing.

Roger Dubuis Hommage Automatic in white gold

Roger Dubuis is a company which has always produced timepieces that divide opinion. Some appreciate the bold styling while, conversely, others don’t. With only a few exceptions, I personally like the adventurous and brave design language employed by the Genevan brand. The aesthetics of its timepieces provide a welcome departure from some mainstream and, at times, mundane offerings from other watch companies.

At SIHH this year, Roger Dubuis launched arguably one of its most conservatively styled collections for some time, the Hommage line. The collection is less avant-garde in character than, say, the Excalibur collection but, in my opinion, is no less appealing.

The “Hommage” name was first employed by Roger Dubuis back in 1995 for its inaugural collection. It was chosen by Mr Dubuis, at the time, in order to pay tribute to the “watchmaking know-how” he had long admired.

The new Hommage collection of 2014 was created by the brand, now belonging to Richemont Group, to effectively doff its hat to the founder of the company, Roger Dubuis.

Last year, the brand released the Hommage Flying Tourbillon with large date, but no hint was provided that this was the precursor to a whole new family of watches. The new Hommage collection, is the fifth collection to be created by the maison and is said to be the last step in the reorganisation of its product portfolio.

There are 10 different references within the Hommage collection with haute hologerie creations such as the double flying tourbillons, vintage models and lastly its more accessible chronograph and automatic models.

For the purposes of this review, I have chosen to focus on one of the entry-level models, the Roger Dubuis Hommage Automatic in white gold. While this is one of the more affordable models within the range, the £29,700 asking price still places this timepiece firmly in the high-end, luxury watch segment.

The dial

Elongated Roman numerals have been part of the design DNA of the Excalibur and now feature on the new Hommage. The appliques are charcoal grey and they confer a wonderful depth to the dial. This manipulation of depth is further accentuated by the guilloché motif centre stage.The dial surface is subject to five or six “passings” of the cutter, creating deep grooves. The approach adopted by Roger Dubuis delivers a superior result when compared to cheaper stamped dials. The outcome is a dial that sublimely interfaces with light, creating beguiling areas of brightness and shade.

Roger Dubuis Hommage Automatic in white gold

Roger Dubuis Hommage Automatic in white gold

Leaf-shaped hour and minute hands elegantly express time, with the latter hand reaching outwards to a charcoal coloured flange.

A small seconds display is located at 9 o’clock, its snailed centre provides contrast with the adjacent guilloché motif. The two juxtaposed textures do not fight each other but deliver a harmonious blend of detail which is magnificent to behold.

At 6 o’clock, beneath text stating the place of origin, are the magical words, “Poinçon de Genève”. Roger Dubuis proudly proclaim that they are the only Manufacture to be 100% Poinçon de Genève certified. This is no mean feat when one looks at the onerous requirements the Geneva seal dictates.

The case

The Hommage is available in a choice of pink or white gold. My preference is for the latter model as it is slightly more restrained and delivers an alluring mixture of grey hues.

The 42 mm case diameter is very wearable and should prove appealing to the majority of potential customers. At first glance, the case appears simple in its presentation. However, subtle details enhance the ownership proposition. Close examination of the bezel reveals a concave profile which interfaces with light wonderfully. Polished and satin-brushed surfaces are expertly combined.

Roger Dubuis Hommage Automatic in white gold

An exhibition caseback reveals the Manufacture RD620 movement. The sapphire crystal features Mr Roger Dubuis’s signature, delivered in “metallised” form and effectively floating above the movement.

The movement 

In 2012, I toured the production facilities of Roger Dubuis in Meyrin, a suburb of Geneva. I can still vividly recall the impressive competence of the artisans who work at the modern atelier. Each component was produced to a remarkably high standard. Pinions were polished to a blemish free result. Black polishing was practised with components being carefully passed over diamantine paper, in a figure of eight, until a mirror-like finish was achieved. visiting Roger Dubuis left me feeling a sense of immense admiration for the work they undertake.

Roger Dubuis Hommage Automatic in white gold

The RD620 movement incorporates all of the craftsmanship a purist could wish for. The bridges are decorated with Côtes de Genève motif, jewel sinks are polished and perlage is visible adjacent the micro-rotor. Even the jewels are of a special specification, required to conform to the Poinçon de Genève criteria.

Conclusion

The Roger Dubuis Hommage Automatic in white gold is a more accessible timepiece than some of Roger Dubuis’s haute horlogerie creations, such as the Double Flying Tourbillons. Neverthless, this should be placed in context, this is not a cheap watch.

The RD620 shares the premium finishing of its costlier siblings with interior angles hand beveled to a supreme standard. This does partly explain the premium pricing the brand commands for its products.

In the Hommage Automatic, the brand has created a highly wearable watch imbued with much craftsmanship. The pricing is a tad expensive for a watch that merely displays hours, minutes and small seconds but, I suspect with its profoundly impressive specification, there will be no shortage of customers for this handsome timepiece.

Technical Specification

  • Model: Roger Dubuis Hommage Automatic in white gold
  • Reference: RDDBHO0564
  • Case: 18-carat white gold; diameter 42 mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds.
  • Movement: RD620 Movement, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz), 35 jewels; power reserve 52 hours; 184 components
  • Strap: Black alligator leather strap supplied with a white gold pin buckle

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