Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt
Roger Dubuis has pulled out all the stops for SIHH 2017 with three new releases: the Excalibur 36, the Excalibur Spider Skeleton Automatic, and arguably the most impressive, the Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt. This latter model, a limited edition of eight pieces, is very much in keeping with the brand’s tradition of unconventional design and innovation, taking the title as the first watch ever to be constructed from a super durable, high-performance alloy called ‘cobalt chrome’.
The special alloy is incredibly strong and corrosion resistant, and is used in the crown, bezel and case, which measures 48mm-wide and 18.38mm-thick—so definitely not for the shy, retiring type. Roger Dubuis is keeping the secret of exactly what its cobalt chrome is made of close to its chest, but the brand says it’s produced through a process it calls ‘MicroMelt’, which involves melting and atomising the alloy, before compressing it and reforming it into the super strong material.
The Quatuor part of the name comes from the four tourbillon balances the watch uses to help counter the effect of gravity on the watch’s timekeeping. You can see them spinning on the four ‘corners’ of the watch’s dial, surrounding a PVD-coated time display. The colour scheme is an eye-catching blue with red highlights (including red stitching on the watch’s alligator strap), and the dial is partially skeletonised to allow a better view of the tourbillons.
The watch is powered by the in-house, manual-wind RD101 Quatuor movement, which beats at a frequency of 28,800vph for each of the tourbillons, and offers a power reserve of 40 hours—not bad considering it’s powering four balances, as well as the regular time. The movement is Geneva Seal certified, meaning it meets demanding criteria for both quality and craftsmanship, and the watch offers a water resistance rating of 50mm.