Searching for inspiration in the most unexpected places is in Roger Dubuis’ DNA. This includes uniting with world-famous urban culture artists who share its values to break the rules, showcase radical expertise, and obsess daily over the design of the future. Continuing on a journey to create boundary-breaking masterpieces, Roger Dubuis is announcing the third timepiece from its Urban Culture Tribe with the Excalibur Sorayama Monobalancier (MB).
Pioneer in his art, the world-famous Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama has been inspiring his peers for decades. By inventing his super-realist feminine “Sexy Robots”, he broke conventions and shook traditions. His talent has been rewarded by multiple awards and his genius led him to work with the biggest names across high fashion, technology, and music. Knowing he chooses to pursue opportunities that force him to push the boundaries of his art, Roger Dubuis invited him to the Manufacture to take on the creative challenge: to reinterpret the Maison’s astral signature.
Embracing this opportunity to infuse his realistic and expressive signature design, the innovative artist co-created a timepiece that merges one radical world with another. Hyper performing, hyper inspiring, and hyper hypnotic, the result is modern art for the wrist.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Roger Dubuis made the decision to recraft and reshape its own work of art – the Excalibur Monobalancier – earlier this year. Clean cut lines on both case and movement create a heightened sense of depth, while the signature star now levitates freely above the barrel. An evolution that not only raises the timepiece to an even higher standard but also makes it an exciting and versatile canvas for Sorayama to express himself.
Reinterpreting the Excalibur MB with hyper expressivity and sophistication, the artist chose to be provocative by breaking the Maison’s design codes. Curvy lines and a full shine finish blur the sharp design and contrasted finishes Roger Dubuis usually signs its masterpieces with. Sorayama borrowed further cues from his own iconic creations by echoing his 3D sculptures within the polished titanium finish. This striking aesthetics required the Maison’s hyper-skilled watchmakers to develop unusual processes to replicate the desired shiny effect.
A first for the Maison and a highly challenging task especially when it came to polish fully the titanium case and bracelet. Determined to bring even more play with light to the timepiece, Sorayama also reimagined Roger Dubuis’ micro-rotor to create a hypnotizing moiré optical illusion triggered by the natural fluid movements of the wearer’s wrist. This captivating and endless rippling effect – another first for both the artist and Maison – required months of in-house prototyping seeking the right combination of materials, decorations, and finishes. The final execution associates an extremely precise and optimal distance between each line of the stamped décor, with a traditional three-hour-long guilloché technique on specific parts of the micro-rotor and an innovative assembly process placing a stamped sapphire dial above the reimagined micro-rotor.
As described by Sorayama, the result is the optimal harmony of two artists coming together: “The Excalibur Sorayama MB is a perfect blend of two worlds, with Roger Dubuis’ and my signature both recognizable at first sight. I’m thrilled we were able to bring such a hyper-expressive timepiece to life. By pushing our limits, we’ve created a distinctive moiré and a singular masterpiece.”
As artistically inspiring as technically impressive, the Excalibur Sorayama MB houses an automatic calibre recently enhanced with a series of mechanical and aesthetic improvements.
Motivated by a desire for hyper performance, Roger Dubuis’ engineers increased the power reserve of the RD720SQ to 72 hours. They also optimized the micro-rotor to minimize vibrations and doubled the balance wheel inertia to improve stability and make it less sensitive to shocks. Better efficiency and energy transmission was further increased through the use of a new lube and by optimizing the shape of the escapement wheel, pairing it with adjustable pallet stones, and constructing both elements from diamond-coated silicon.
The hyper-sophisticated masterpiece is also the first Roger Dubuis titanium grade 5 bracelet to feature its Quick Release System for ease and versatility. Housed in a 42 mm case crafted from titanium grade 5 as well, this exclusive artwork is limited to just 28 pieces and at first available in Japan only.
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