Angus Davies couldn’t help staring at this timepiece from Roger Dubuis, the Pulsion Chronograph in pink gold.
It is a difficult balance being a parent. On one hand you wish to set boundaries, define acceptable behaviour and encourage seemly etiquette. Conversely, you do not wish to stifle personality, inhibit expression or nuture an automaton.
I recall growing up and the parental mantras; “It’s rude to talk with your mouth full”, “always carry a handkerchief” and “It’s rude to stare”. I am struggling with the latter conduct. I can’t help staring at this gold chronograph from Roger Dubuis.
I was an inquisitive child. I always wanted to know how something worked. I dismantled objects to explore their inner workings. There were many surplus parts post reassembly. I can still visualise several chewed screw heads, bruised with scraped slots, damaged by my naive brute force.
It is probably my tendency for probing which has perpetuated my appetite for haute horology. I crave to know more about the inner workings of a handsome timepiece. A sapphire caseback is a pre-requisite. I quaff every detail of a finely finished movement with an unquenchable thirst.
This model satisfies my horological voyeurism. It not only has a sapphire caseback but an open-worked dial affording a titillating view of the movement.
Gold hands indicate hours and minutes. They are partly skeletonised to enhance the transparent, open nature of the watch. At their extremities, the tips are filled with luminous material, enhancing legibility in restricted light.
Arabic numerals in a narrow font are used to indicate 6 o’clock and noon. They are black and have a stealth-like persona. Gold batons are used to indicate the remaining hours.
A 30-minute chrono counter is located at 3 o’clock. Featuring white text and markings it pleasingly contrasts with the smoked sapphire crystal of the subdial. Finely finished components are visible through the darkened section of sapphire crystal indulging my fetish for seeing a little horological hemline. The gold hand reinforces the feeling of indulgence and luxury.
Symmetry is afforded by a similar sized subdial at 9 o’clock. It is used for subsidiary seconds and repeats the design language of the aforementioned 30-minute chrono counter opposite.
A central chrono seconds hand kisses the tachymeter scale encircling the dial. The tachymeter scale uses white transfers against a black flange conferring excellent clarity. A minute rail resides adjacent.
The key aspect of the dial is the rear view of the mainplate. The central area of the dial is visible through the clear sapphire crystal. Petit perlage engages my eyes and bestows a warm sensation in the pit of my stomach.
The overlapping circles are perfectly presented. The slots on the visible screw heads are brilliantly polished. Wherever you look you are reminded that the watch is created without compromise.
Roger Dubuis are a relatively young company within the watchmaking industry, being formed in 1995. Their ascent to becoming one of the finest haute horology brands has been incredibly quick. However, I toured their production facility earlier this year and was left in no doubt that their elevated status is well-justified.
Initially, I was enraptured by the titanium version. However, it was the warm hue of the pink gold variant of the Pulsion Chronograph which caught my admiring gaze. The gold offers a wonderful contrast with the neoteric black details of the watch. Moreover, the skilful interplay of polished and satin-brushed surfaces is executed to perfection.
The rubber strap joins the case in purposeful union. This is not to say it eschews style, quite the contrary, but rather it proffers a robust quality perfectly suited for those of sporting persuasion.
The sapphire glass overlaps the bezel providing a seamless surface to the front of the watch. Furthermore, I adore the way the gold screws affix the sapphire crystal to the modern case. The design details personify strength and convey honesty, with all aspects being functional as well as handsome.
The push pieces on the caseband are elongated and outclass the usual circular offerings.
The caseback features a sapphire crystal to indulge my horological scopophilia further.
Several brands talk of making watches which seems a little disingenuous when the limited extent of in-house manufacturing is revealed. In the case of Roger Dubuis, the claim is justified. The are a “manufacture”.
With the exception of the jewels in the watch, all aspects of the movement are made in-house including the balance springs.
As you survey their facilities on the outskirts of Geneva you will see anglage, perlage, dressage all executed to an awe inspiring elevated standard.
I can still vividly recall admiring the hand bevelling performed by an artisan’s hands or the accomplished use of diamantine paper to achieve a mirror like polish.
The micro-rotor within the RD 680 provides the convenience of a self-winding watch without obscuring the view of the movement. It is finished to a matchless standard.
All Roger Dubuis movements are Poinçon de Genève certified and as a result are accompanied with COSC certification. This is no mean feat. Every two weeks, independent inspectors check that all criteria are strictly adhered to. There is no room for complacency. Only the finest standards are practised.
There are numerous examples of fine finishing which appeal to my desire for exactitude. If you study the bridges, the execution of the Côtes de Genève motif is peerless. The sinks for the jewels are wonderfully polished. The edges of the bridges are chamfered with brilliantly shiny angles. Circular graining is visible on the wheels of the going train and the balance spring is secured by a sliding stud cap.
These are just a smattering of the distinguished details of the RD680 calibre which delight me.
The aesthetics of Roger Dubuis models are lavish, individual and perhaps not to everyone’s taste. But, I confess I am smitten. Yet, beneath the effervescent personality of their timepieces is a traditionally finished mechanical excellence few can usurp.
The Roger Dubuis Pulsion Chronograph in pink gold is my favourite variant from the range of Pulsion chronographs. In my opinion it blends the luxury of pink gold with the every-day wearability of a sports watch with rubber strap. This is further evidenced by its water resistance of 100 metres which does not preclude use in the gym.
The Pièce de résistance of this watch is that Roger Dubuis have sated my desire to see much of the mechanical prowess that is often hidden from view. My mother once remarked, “It’s rude to stare” but in this instance I think my prolonged gaze is justified.
Model: Roger Dubuis Pulsion Chronograph in pink gold
Case: 18-carat pink gold; diameter 44.00 mm; height 14.65 mm ; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.