Founded as recently as 1995 by designer Carlos Dias and watchmaker Roger Dubuis, Roger Dubuis produces luxury watches and jewellery for an international market.
Dubuis originally set up his own atelier in 1980 – having spent more than a decade producing complications for the Swiss watch manufacturer Patek Philippe and Co. – whereupon he took major commissions to design new complications for well-known brands. After designing for Franck Muller, Dais joined Dubuis in the early 1990s to create the current company. Innovative for their inclusion of an artistic director, formally a fashion designer, Roger Dubuis see their brand as a combination of precision and impassioned design, which as a rubric has allowed them the freedom to think more radically.
Central to their collection is the skeleton watch, which is based on the principle of revealing the internal organs of the timepiece as an object of curiosity. The incredible ingenuity of layering components one on top of the other is here laid bare. At once a feat of technological daring and an object of immeasurable beauty, the watch is a master stoke of modern engineering.
“It took us a lot of time to design such a rare and unique skeletonised movement,” says regional brand director Jean-Sebastien Berland, “because usually in the watch industry the skeletonised movement is a normal movement with a crystal dial, whereas here we had to completely streamline the movement in order to make it graphically unique and appealing.”
The transparency had to be achieved in such a way that it didn’t compromise the self-winding train, within which a star-shaped astral skeleton principle is raised to create a three-dimensional effect, further enhanced by the specific design of the micro-rotor. The overall aesthetic of coloured elements is as significant to the timepiece’s action and accuracy as to the character of the watch itself.
“Instead of releasing the energy instantaneously, you have to store it and redistribute it over a certain period of time, 24 hours, sometimes 48 hours later, depending on how long you can store the energy for,” explains Berland. “So you have kind of a heart here, the spiral that redistributes the energy to the hands and minutes.”