As the 2016 Super GT racing season pulls into the starting blocks, luxury Swiss watchmaker Roger Dubuis has just announced its sponsorship of the FFF Racing Team, led by Italian racing driver Andrea Caldarelli, and is commemorating the fresh partnership with a super-limited 8-piece Excalibur Quatuor. Obviously, if any of Roger Dubuis’ daring creations are any indicator, you can rest assured that when it comes to sponsoring a professional racing team, it’ll be more than just a sticker on the quarter panel.
Rather, the bold Swiss designer and engineer will be assuming title sponsorship of the team, outfitting its Lamborghini and McLaren livery in Dubuis orange and black, and finishing each with an oversized wireframe drawing of the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor FFF Racing Team watch on the roof and sides of the car. For many brands, auto racing and watch manufacturing go pretty naturally hand-in-hand – they both exemplify extremely technical mechanics, meticulous engineering, and the machining of exotic composites. Plus, they both seem to share a much larger fan base in Europe and Asia where most of the world’s circuits exist. But a partnership on this level seems to hint at a slightly bigger deal – especially with the special Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor FFF Racing Team watch itself.
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor is not only a pretty impressive feat by Dubuis, its RD101 movement introduced in 2013 is also a world-first, built around not one, not two, but four escapements linked together with five regulating differentials – a engineering marvel that took over seven years of research and development before its completion. Dubuis calls it “one of the most innovative manufactures of the 21st century,” a lofty claim, for sure, but not entirely too far from the truth when you consider the movement essentially does what a tourbillon does – countering the detrimental effects of gravity by compensating for the variability in the position of the wrist to yield better overall accuracy. But a tourbillon generally needs an entire minute to perform its micro-adjusting averages – and the RD101’s escapements work in pairs to do it instantly, in “real time,” if you will.
The watch nonetheless maintains the coveted Poinçon de Genève certification, or the Hallmark of Geneva — an ultra-exclusive certification of excellence in timekeeping and finishing that fewer than 0.01% all Swiss watch exports have the privilege of bearing.It remains to be seen who’ll be bringing home these ultra-exclusive editions — the team owners, owners, or its GT superfans. Whatever the case, the cost for the item will be439,500. “Quatuor” is a name that I can barely pronounce but signifies a parcel of pleasure from Roger Dubuis that’s superbly and most exquisitely deranged. Day at SIHH 2013 is finished and I am trying to wrap my head around all the folks I watched and faces I accidentally forgot. I’d like to eliminate the “how are you?” Question as a considerate follow-up to “hello” during small talk conversations. It is all too generic. A waste of time compared to a social ritual that is useful. How about something more interesting such as “was it difficult to choose exactly what pants to wear now?” Or maybe “are you unhappy with your nation’s present leadership?” Yes, my head was on all of those things save for timepieces. “The series begins like a mimic of all the others. Virtually all that is new is inside the booths. Roger Dubuis is among those few areas whose booth is as worth watching as the watches. This year’s booth looks like some kind of shrub root-filled forest floor with a giant golden eagle in the middle. Yes, the eagle produced specially for Roger Dubuis with a business that produces stuff for film collections.
Given its complexity, RD101’s near-600 components demand a much larger case – 48mm by 18.2mm in a DLC-coated titanium to be exact, which is no trembling flower. But it’s also relatively easy to forgive – the impressive symmetry and the symphony of all four escapements humming along at a cool 28,800vph each is a sight to behold, and one that demands as big a skeletonized stage as the wrist will allow. Beyond the movement itself, technically speaking, there’s little to the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor FFF Racing Team edition that’s new to the Excalubur line – save for the sinister black finish which contrasts all the 18k pink gold in the movement, and the FFF badge at 12:00 on the dial. The watch still maintains the coveted Poinçon de Genève certificate, or the Hallmark of Geneva – an ultra-exclusive certification of excellence in timekeeping and finishing that fewer than 0.01% all Swiss watch exports have the privilege of bearing.
It remains to be seen who’ll be bringing home these ultra-exclusive editions – the team owners, drivers, or its own GT superfans. In any case, the price for the piece will be $439,500. rogerdubuis.com