Hands-On with Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Skeleton
March 11, 2015
This year at SIHH, Roger Dubuis introduced a brand new time-only Excalibur model, available in three variations, and powered by a new in-house movement. The Excalibur Automatic Skeleton shares the distinctive styling of the collection, namely the famous “star shape” skeletonized movement, but sans the tourbillon (or double tourbillon). And importantly, it is an automatic, not a manual wind. This is achieved without obstructing the view of the movement components thanks to a micro-rotor (located between 10 and 11 o’clock).
The Excalibur Automatic Skeleton in black DLC titanium (which we went hands-on with) is the sportier model in the collection, with a matte black finished case, bezel and crown. Its dimensions are conservative at 42 mm by 11.44 mm, that when combined with the lightweight of the titanium makes for a very comfortable fit on the wrist (the tourbillon models are typically 45 mm or larger in diameter). In addition to titanium, it is available in pink gold, or pink gold with diamonds in the bezel, if the understated look of the matte black titanium is not your style.
A fully open-worked dial with a black flange with white transferred minute track and white gold applied hour markers makes up the background for the polished gold skeletonized, polished gold, dauphine-shaped hour and minute hands.
To achieve the transparent look, everything but the essential materials from the bridges and mainplate have been cut-away. This provides a clear view of all the components. However, it should be noted that the configuration of the components was executed in way that allows you to enjoy the depth of the movement – and the superb finishes – without revealing so much that you are forced to stare through at your wrist.
A new motor, caliber RD820SQ, features charcoal grey rhodium-plating on the manipulate and bridges, which are finished with a circular grained pattern. The watch has Poinçon de Genève certification (Geneva seal), meaning it must be made in Geneva, the movement must adhere to rigorous finishing standards, and the cased-up watch must show optimum chronometric performance. (Editor’s note: the model we tested has the Geneva seal at 3 o’clock but is a carnet piece and has not gone through final finishing and testing. It’s a pre-production timepiece.)
RD820SQ beats at 4Hz (28,800 vph), has 167 total parts, 35 jewels and a 60-hour power reserve. Water-resistance is 30 meters. The titanium model we tested is presented with a black, hand-stitched alligator strap, with a black DLC titanium adjustable folding clasp. The pink gold variations come with a brown alligator strap and matching pink gold folding clasp. There is no limitation on production. The retail price is $60,200.
Excalibur Automatic Skeleton black titanium DLC Striking an excellent balance of aggressiveness and understated elegance, the Excalibur Automatic Skeleton black titanium DLC is for those of you who like the bold look of the Excalibur design. Without the tourbillon or the six-figure price tag.