Roger Dubuis' Excalibur Spider Carbon3 Is Its First Watch Fully Constructed From Carbon Fibre
There are watch brands, and there are innovative watch brands like Roger Dubuis, which constantly breaks conventions, pushes boundaries and achieves horological and technical milestones. Almost for fun, if you will.
This year, the Genevan watchmaker impresses with yet another creation, the Excalibur Spider Carbon3. Watch enthusiasts may see a close resemblance between the watch and the Excalibur Spider Carbon Skeleton Flying Tourbillon, which debuted 2 years ago. While the observation may be correct, what makes the Excalibur Spider Carbon3 special is that it is the first Roger Dubuis timepiece to be fully constructed from multilayered carbon. More commonly known as carbon fibre, multilayered carbon is used to construct the watch’s case, movement and bracelet, hence the name.
“The bracelet is made of carbon fibre, which is a first for the watch industry. The watch is equipped with our Excalibur tourbillon, the only carbon-fibre tourbillon with the Geneva Hallmark, and it weighs only 7.5g,” enthused Roger Dubuis CEO Nicola Andreatta in a recent interview with Swiss horological website WorldTempus. “Carbon fibre isn’t generally eligible for Poinçon de Genève certification, and Roger Dubuis is the first in the world to obtain it. The model is made entirely out of carbon fibre and weighs just 81g—it’s super light and sporty.”
The bracelet is made of carbon fibre, which is a first for the watch industry. The watch is equipped with our Excalibur tourbillon, the only carbon-fibre tourbillon with the Geneva Hallmark, and it weighs only 7.5g
— Nicola Andreatta, CEO of Roger Dubuis
It sounds like a simple concept to construct the watch out of ultralight carbon, but it is not. Like most of the Roger Dubuis brethren, the Excalibur Spider Carbon3 comes with many tiny components with odd angles and sharp edges. Shaping and cutting these parts is not an easy task for the craftsmen at the carbon-fibre manufacture. Constructing the upper cage of the flying tourbillon out of multilayered carbon is yet another challenge.
See also: The Urwerk UR-100 SpaceTime Watch Measures Distance Travelled On Earth - And By Earth
Together with the engineers, the watchmakers have to calculate the optimal weight of the component to guarantee a high level of precision and accuracy in the tourbillon. To make their task even harder, the watchmakers have to skeletonise the movement, removing superfluous parts without compromising its power efficiency and aesthetic beauty.
That the calibre RD509SQ looks aesthetically pleasing and boasts 90 hours of power reserve at the same time is an achievement that the Roger Dubuis team is rightly proud of. Limited to just 28 pieces worldwide, the boutique‑exclusive watch has received rave reviews from the connoisseurs, giving the brand the impetus to invest further into material innovation.
See also: Ming Wins A Grand Prix D’Horlogerie De Geneve Award For Excellence In Watchmaking
“We will continue to use carbon fibre in other creations, as well as explore other innovative materials. We are also setting up an R&D unit that brings together talented individuals with a passion for innovation from a variety of different disciplines,” said Andreatta, hinting that more novelties made out of special materials or alloys will be unveiled at the Watches & Wonders (renamed from Salon International de Haute Horlogerie) watch fair next year.
This story first appeared in Singapore Tatler.