Blacker than Black with the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor Carbon
Roger Dubuis have long been one of my favourite modern haute horlogerie manufacturers. They are the archetypal contemporary watchmaker, producing timepieces that verge on insanity, but that still carry with them the quintessential characteristics I liken to a very probably daily wearer. Their latest effort is the Excalibur Quatuor Carbon, a brand new limited-edition iteration of a highly acclaimed timepiece released way back in 2013. Let’s take a look at this highly adventurous, gravity-defying piece.
At 48mm in diameter, the Excalibur-based case is almighty. The multi-layered carbon case-body and fluted carbon bezel make for some pretty cool textural differences, and whilst quality control is of course of the upmost importance with Roger Dubuis (with respect to consistency and the like), I’d assume that as far as the inimitable characteristics that ceramic has, each piece will have a somewhat unique pattern to it.
The openworked, or inverted, movement is definitely the highlight here. On full show is Roger Dubuis’ RD101SQ calibre, made up of four separate sprung balances, each operating at 4Hz, with each pair being linked to each other via a differential. The purpose, aside from being damn cool, is so distribute the effects of gravity, improving the overall consistency of the piece’s timekeeping. When fully wound, the RD101SQ has a power reserve of 40-hours, and all in all, a whopping total of 590-components make up this insane movement.
Now you might be thinking that this is just another “run-of-the-mill” limited-edition piece, but you have to realise that this change of case material is actually about 60% lighter than the previous gold version. And you may also be wondering what the difference between this and a tourbillon is. A tourbillon is engineered the effects of gravity over a certain period of time, for example and typically over the course of a minute, whereas this compensatory approach ensures that gravity’s effects are negated instantly.
Pricing is ambiguous, but if past experiences are anything to go by, we can expect the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor Carbon to be priced well into 7-figure territory. Limited to only 8-pieces and available directly through Roger Dubuis, the Excalibur Quatuor Carbon is an incredible spectacle of the masterful marriage of ultra-contemporary materials and horological innovation.
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