The Roger Dubuis Velvet diamonds in white gold is the latest haute joaillerie timepiece from the Genevan haute horlogerie brand. Angus Davies reviews this luxurious watch.
The woven fabric with a short, dense pile has often been associated with luxury and aristocracy. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that prestigious horologer, Roger Dubuis, selected, “Velvet” as the name for its latest haute joaillerie pieces.
Launched earlier this year at SIHH, the high-end timepieces are available in various finishes, but the Velvet diamonds in white gold is my personal favourite.
I sometimes feel that watch brands patronize ladies by assuming brightly coloured quartz timepieces festooned with gems will appeal with a magpie-like attraction. I am convinced some manufacturers wrongly assume that females do not care whether the movement is mechanical or battery powered. I don’t subscribe to this view and feel ladies are entitled to embrace the allure of an escapement just like any alpha-male.
Clearly Roger Dubuis, shares my predilection for mechanical timepieces and respects potential female purchasers with the finest haute horology has to offer.
The Manufacture, based within the canton of Geneva, has earned a reputation for sublime timepieces since its inception in 1995. The finest finissage, comely complications and unique styling soon came to the attention of collectors and experts around the globe.
The Roger Dubuis Velvet diamonds in white gold is the epitome of elegance with 1.77 carats of diamonds adorning the case and clasp. However, within its glamorous lines, a beautiful, matchless, mechanical movement contributes to its majestic allure.
The dial is silver with a brushed centre and satin sunburst exterior. Black Roman Numerals impart the hours with the exception of the most northerly and southerly locations of the dial which feature white gold Roman numerals.
The hour and minute hands are sword-shaped, gracefully conversing with the wearer like a debutante with perfect diction.
The Roger Dubuis name is located beneath noon, subtly presented, without undue distraction from the adjacent details.
A diameter of 36mm is perfectly judged for evening wear and will nestle comfortably on fortunate wrists.
The bezel, lugs and buckle feature a total of 100 diamonds, 86 on the case and 14 on the clasp.
The selection of the diamonds and their perfect mounting is testament to the skill of the gem setters craft. All stones are perfectly sized as if moulded to fit. They impart a brilliance which will enchant adoring fans like the smile of a Hollywood starlet.
The strap is black-satin and features a white gold folding buckle set with the aforementioned diamonds. The strap provides serene contrast with the bejeweled case.
The RD822 is a self-winding movement. It offers the wearer convenience of a rotor to energise the spring barrel.
The plate is adorned with circular graining, expertly applied by hand.
Côtes de Genève appears on the bridges and bears testimony to the high level of finish found on the RD822.
This movement operates hour and minute hands. I agree with Roger Dubuis electing not to feature a seconds hand on this watch. It would otherwise clutter the elegance of the dial.
The movement includes 172 parts, harnessed within a svelte profile measuring only 3.43 mm high.
The timepiece carries the Poinçon de Genève, the Hallmark of Geneva. In the past the certification conferred by the City of Geneva was restricted specifically to the watch movement. However, in recent times this has been extended to the whole of the watch. The Genevan seal bestows confidence that the timepiece is of the highest horological virtue with independent scrutiny maintaining standards.
I have admired the masterly craftsmanship of Roger Dubuis for some time. I normally restrict my attention to the masculine models which I dream of owning. But, I have looked at several ladies’ models from various brands of late.
Some continue to push the mundane quartz offerings which do little to engender excitement. However, some high-end exponents of haute horology are beginning to engage with ladies who seek watches with mechanical integrity.
Roger Dubuis have created a timepiece with exemplary breeding but with a unique, elegant aesthetic code. The diamonds are feminine, the bold lines assertive and confident. Yet, all aspects harmoniously blend in a sophisticated form to impart pleasure to any charmed wearer.
Model: Roger Dubuis Velvet diamonds in white gold
Case: 18-carat white gold; diameter 36.00 mm; height 9.22 mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback
Functions: Hours; minutes.
Movement: Calibre RD822; Self-winding wind; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); 33 jewels; power reserve 48 hours.
Strap: Black satin-finish fabric strap with white gold adjustable buckle set with diamonds.