here are more similarities between luxury watch brands and supercar manufacturers than you might first think. Both industries combine the worlds of mechanical craftsmanship with state-of-the-art machinery; both industries dedicate thousands of hours to research and development; and both industries work with the world’s most high-tech materials, including carbon-fibre and titanium.
This is something of which Roger Dubuis' CEO, Nicola Andreatta, is well aware. The Swiss watch brand has recently partnered, once again, with Lamborghini, in one of the most natural collaborations between the two industries. Specially developed for the launch of the Huracán EVO2, the lightweight race car used in Lamborghini’s Super Trofeo GT series, the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Huracán ST EVO 2 is a hypercar for the wrist.
“We tried to match the watch to the quality of Lamborghini and everything it’s known for,” says Andreatta. “We matched the livery of the new Huracán EVO 2, and we played with the same materials Lamborghini used. So we’ve got a carbon-fibre case, and the calibre structure is designed to look like the car’s engine, with strut-bars giving it a distinct look.”
Roger Dubuis is known for its highly intricate, skeletonised watches, which proudly exhibit the minutiae of their inner workings. This watch is no different, with its hard-to-believe-it’s-real, multi-layered mechanical movement whirring away before your eyes. It's like peering into the rear of a Huracán and admiring its V10 heartbeat. Unlike the Lamborghini, however, you need a microscope to fully appreciate Roger Dubuis’ calibre RD630.
“Engineering-wise, when you look at a car, everything is on a bigger scale. Taking what Lamborghini does at that scale and turning it into something much smaller is always a challenge, but we love challenging ourselves. Every time when something is defined as ‘impossible’, that’s the moment when we strive to prove people wrong.”
Chatting to Andreatta, it almost feels as though Roger Dubuis has a chip on its shoulder. Perhaps it’s because the brand was only formed in 1995, making it a relative newcomer in the world of watches, where some brands have existed since the 18th century. Regardless, the company pushes itself to extreme lengths when it comes to detail and craftsmanship. All its watches are Geneva Seal certified – one of the strictest measures of quality control in watchmaking. For context, of the approximate 20 million watches made in Switzerland each year, only around 24,000 of them bear the seal, and Roger Dubuis is the only brand in the world to have its entire range approved.
“We finish every single component by hand. That's something remarkable, which very few brands in the world can say. Unless people come to our manufacture, they don't realise the complexity of what we do, and how we do it. So we keep inviting people to experience how we do things because that's the only way to see it.”
The level of detail of which Andreatta talks is apparent in the new Lamborghini watch. The bold, green-and-orange ‘livery’ matches that of the EVO2 car perfectly, while the overall watch design captures some of the Lamborghini’s track-eating aggression. The car’s angular rear-light clusters are visible on either side of the dial with an automotive-inspired grille-like mesh hiding underneath. The strap is made from ‘alcantara’, a suede-like material Lamborghini uses in its interiors, and even has a rubber lining made from the same Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres that the Italian marque burns through.
“Lamborghini and Roger Dubuis are two masters of their respective industries because of the way we do things”, says Andreatta. “In watchmaking, we challenge ourselves in everything we do. For us, we love to be the superlative of everything. And for Lamborghini it’s the same. When you talk about hypercars, that's exactly what they [Lamborghini] do. And when we talk about hyper-watches, that’s something we’ve become known for. It’s exactly the same concept. It’s this extreme attention to detail that both brands share.”
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Huracán ST EVO 2 costs £52,000 and is limited to 88 pieces, rogerdubuis.com