Roger Dubuis introduces the new Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph. Influenced by the cutting-edge technology of supercar engineering, this ultra-inventive timepiece, with two pending patents, is fuelled by a new flyback chronograph calibre, featuring the seamless fusion of traditional craftsmanship with contemporary innovation.
Following the Monovortex™ Split-Seconds Chronograph, which introduced the future of the Roger Dubuis chronograph at Watches and Wonders earlier this year, the Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph signals the long-awaited comeback of this complication to the Maison’s collections. It encapsulates that history of know-how, while making a rapid step forward, as identified by the advanced development of some of the most complex techniques.
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The Maison’s obsession with motorsport has also energised the chronograph return. Since picking up the keys to this high-octane sport in 2017, Roger Dubuis has unleashed a torrent of creativity and audacious timepiece design, borrowing elements of supercar design to elevate its watchmaking. That passion has been backed by collaborations with some of the industry’s leading names, including a partnership with the Goodwood Festival of Speed, at which the Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph will make its debut this year.
As a Flyback, this chronograph is already at a more sophisticated standard of savoir-faire, enabling the instantaneous restarting of the timer function while the chronograph is running. This is only the start of the speed-inspired design. Rather than taking a rationalized, modular approach, the Maison has fully integrated the chronograph complication into the movement, building it from scratch and placing it at the heart of its surroundings.
The feature at 6 o’clock is another fine example of this spirit, the famous column wheel. For connoisseurs and collectors, this legendary and intricate component is the unmistakable mark of technical value. From a functional perspective, this appreciated piece has the extra advantage of making the pushers much smoother to operate. A small yet noticeable detail when attempting to reach perfection.
Further proof of the calibre’s extraordinary craftsmanship is its vertical clutch. Compared to a horizontal design, the vertical clutch is known to be more precise when starting the chronograph, improving accuracy at the moment that matters. Viewed from the caseback, it also recalls the gear system of supercar design, yet again making a valid connection to the world of motorsport.
But Roger Dubuis has not stopped there. The clutch is also equipped with an innovative Second Braking System (SBS), a component that drastically decreases flicker and brings extra stability to the chronograph seconds hand. Sharp. Reliable. Incredibly reactive. A patent-pending for Roger Dubuis’ version of the chronograph braking concept that will be clearly noticeable for wearers.
Precision then combines with playfulness, as the movement reveals its unexpected 120° Rotating Minute Counter (RMC) at 3 o’clock, crafted with a radical isotoxal shape. Just like the Monovortex™ concept watch, the minute counter includes a patent-pending tripartite hand that carries the 0, 1, and 2, accurately rotating past the 0–9 digits on the right. Activate the chronograph so you can watch the RMC move in time. Unconventional and joyful, yet so easy to read.
Reaching 72 hours of power reserve, this calibre then changes focus, facing up to the modern challenges of shock, gravity, and magnetism. Tilted at 12°, the balance wheel at 9 o’clock has raised its level of inertia to the same standard as a tourbillon.
The exterior of this 45 mm timepiece is no less impressive than its stunning calibre. Accelerating to yet another level, the case is crafted in lightweight carbon and reveals a perfect combination of sharp lines and signature notches. This material is hyper-resistant to scratches and less likely to tarnish over time. Together, the carbon and ceramic are a tribute to supercar construction, which often integrates the very same materials into sensitive and vital components such as brakes.