Roger Dubuis Hommage Flying Tourbillon with large date
Roger Dubuis has realised greatness in his professional career and it therefore seems befitting that the company which bears his name pays due reverence to his achievements with a new timepiece, aptly named, Roger Dubuis Hommage Flying Tourbillon with large date.
This detailed review of the Roger Dubuis Hommage Flying Tourbillon with large date includes live images and specification details.
I am a middle-aged father of two. As my hair becomes increasingly grey, I can recognise my perspective on many matters has changed.
A facet of youth is the irreverence shown for traditions, conventions and history. This is not necessarily bad. A slightly iconoclastic temperament can often lead to dissatisfaction with the status quo and produce remarkable innovation. Youth results in the exploration of boundaries and pushing the extremes of performance.
With maturity comes respect. As an acknowledgement of achievement ensues, we learn to admire architecture, history and craftsmanship. Immature eyes have yet to see struggle or experience failure and invariably can’t comprehend the obstacles which have been overcome to deliver excellence.
Roger Dubuis has realised greatness in his professional career and it therefore seems befitting that the company which bears his name pays due reverence to his achievements. The Genevan brand has done this with the recent launch of a new timepiece, aptly named, Roger Dubuis Hommage Flying Tourbillon with large date.
Ironically, whilst the brand is relatively young in watchmaking terms, they exhibit the wisdom of an old master. The products, crafted in Meyrin, a suburb of Geneva, harness much craftsmanship and crystallise all that is wonderful about haute horlogerie. Every watch that carries the Roger Dubuis nomenclature on its dial is Poinçon de Genève certified. This is no mean feat, as the criteria that has to be met to achieve this hallmark is exceptionally exacting.
The silver dial has a slightly mottled finish but still provides an attractive, clean canvas to depict various functions upon.
Hours and minutes are expressed with swallow-shaped hands which appear much softer than the sword-shaped hands we have grown accustomed to seeing on the Roger Dubuis Excalibur models. They are white gold matching the case of this particular version of the Hommage (a gem-set model is available in pink gold).
In some instances, the design language of other Roger Dubuis models has been adopted, not least the use of Arabic numerals on the dial. They are elongated in profile but facilitate user-friendly interpretation.
A brushed grey chapter ring frames the extremities of the dial and provides a pleasing contrast with the silver hue depicted centre-stage.
Below noon resides the large date. It is delivered courtesy of two date discs working in collaboration and imparts information with peerless legibility.
A power reserve indicator is located between 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock. It is large, crescent shaped and features a snailed motif at its centre.
The tourbillon cage is located opposite the power reserve indicator and reminds the wearer of the exalted craftsmanship practised by the artisans at the Manufacture.
Although the case diameter of 45 mm is not small, the Roger Dubuis Hommage Flying Tourbillon with large date does not appear excessively large or conspicuous in its design. Roger Dubuis are known for their avant-garde aesthetics, yet this watch appears conservative when compared with the Excalibur and Pulsion models. Whilst I like the latter models, I do not view the restrained design language of the Hommage as a negative, quite the reverse, as I anticipate it will retain eye-appeal for generations to come and may be less vulnerable to changing tastes.
The caseband is stepped and the horns draw the strap close to the caseband. The crown is partially recessed into the caseband conferring neatness. This appears to be a distinct trait of the watch’s character, it does not unduly boast or shout, but attracts attention by virtue of its innate beauty.
Reversing the watch, the wearer is indulged with an exquisite horological vista, courtesy of the exhibition caseback. Much beauty resides within the case of the watch, distinguishing it as an object of matchless craftsmanship.
The RD540 is a hand-wound movement comprising of 293 components, crafted to an elevated standard. With the exception of the rubies used within the movement, all components, including balance springs, are made in-house, justifying the claim of “Manufacture” status.
I visited the atelier in 2012 and bore witness to adroit hands carefully polishing pinions to an exacting standard. I have seen components skillfully moved over diamantine paper, in a figure of eight, to create a mirror-like appearance.
Expedience is a word that is absent from the lexicon at Roger Dubuis. Their enviable reputation and elevated status within the watchmaking industry has been earned through patiently striving to achieve a no-compromise result.
Close examination of the mainplate reveals perlage and the adjacent gear train wheels feature perfect circular graining. Looking at the movement via the exhibition back, beautifully expressed Côtes de Genève motif is presented on the bridges. Moreover, as you scrutinise the bridges you will see polished jewels sinks and hand drawn edges, further testament to the high standard of finish.
Flying tourbillons are a speciality of the maison and key to their successful operation is their light weight, ensuring they do not consume too much energy. I still recall the sense of amazement I felt at seeing the numerous parts necessary to create the tourbillon complication, but absent of any significant mass. Furthermore, much time and expertise are necessary to bring the whirlwind to life.
I confess I do not know the number of parts used solely for the tourbillon or indeed its mass. However, based on the presence of the big date function, power reserve and tourbillon, the impressive power reserve of 60 hours would suggest that the mass of the tourbillon has feather-like credentials.
Roger Dubuis represents a dichotomy. On one hand the brand is born of embracing innovation and brave styling with youthful invention. Indeed, some would argue this is a result of being a young brand which chose to compete with some historical maisons within the industry from the first day of inception.
By way of contrast, Roger Dubuis have not eschewed traditional watchmaking skills and craftsmanship, quite the opposite. The brand reaffirms its prowess every time a watch leaves the atelier bearing the Poinçon de Genève, a standard which demands independent inspection by the Bureau de contrôle facultatif des montres genevoises.
Mr Dubuis embarked on a brave path with the creation of Roger Dubuis and the resultant watches are a glowing testament to the ambition of a man who challenged convention but equally respected Geneva’s watchmaking history.
The Roger Dubuis Hommage Flying Tourbillon with large date is an elegant timepiece and a worthy tribute to a man who has successfully fused two philosophies and created a world many watch lovers desire to embrace.
- Model: Roger Dubuis Hommage Flying Tourbillon with large date
- Reference: RDDBHO0558
- Case: 18-carat white gold; diameter 45.00 mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; subsidiary seconds on tourbillon cage; large-date; power-reserve indicator; tourbillon.
- Movement: RD540, hand-wound movement; frequency 18,000 vph (3Hz); 28 jewels; power reserve 60 hours; 293 parts
- Strap: Black hand-stitched alligator leather strap presented on a white gold deployant.
- Limited Edition: 88 pieces