The rare ability to combine creative flair with technical superiority is a talent that Roger Dubuis has mastered. Riding on this skill, it is pulling out all the stops this year by casting the spotlight on the Velvet Collection. Composed of a variety of feminine timepieces, they combine watchmaking with the glamorous universes of jewellery making, haute couture and cinematography, catering to a woman’s inner diva.
The highlight of this scintillating bouquet of gem-set timepieces is the Blossom Velvet Blue, a truly feminine watch design featuring a dial filled with a carpet of blue Grand Feu enamel wild blooms set against an iridescent mother of pearl dial. Held against the light, the eyes are automatically drawn to the sheen of each three-dimensional hand-sculpted petal and the sparkle of the diamond at the centre of each bloom.
Available in only 88 pieces, the 36-mm white gold case is rimmed with two rows of brilliant-cut diamonds adorning the bezel and lugs, transforming the Velvet’s classic central “third lug” into a precious link. Underneath the precious exterior, which is adorned with a total of 154 diamonds weighing almost 2ct, beats the mechanical self-winding Calibre RD821 movement with a 48-hour power reserve. True to Roger Dubuis’s identity, it bears the prestigious Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark.
Roger Dubuis’ might in the world of haute horlogerie is undeniable. At all of 21 years, it is one of the few watchmakers that can lay claim to a fully integrated manufacture. It is also the only watchmaker to ensure that every single one of its timepieces meets the exacting demands of the Poinçon de Genève mark of excellence. While it may not have centuries of watchmaking pedigree, its youth has worked to its advantage: Unbridled by the chains of the past, Roger Dubuis is known for pushing the limits of watchmaking to create audacious portrayals of time. The double flying tourbillon escapements, the skeletonised movements with the “star” style bridge designs and the silicon watch with four sprung balances are just some of its recent expressions of haute horlogerie.
Although Roger Dubuis has clearly demonstrated its prowess in mastering the technical demands of high watchmaking, the brand is also an aesthete when it comes to evocative and artistic timepieces. Such creative displays are best seen in its ladies timepieces, such as in the Excalibur Creative Skeleton Brocéliande series (2015), with its diamond-set gold vines and carved gemstone ivy leaves, and the Velvet Haute Couture trilogy of watches (2014) that come with intricately decorated watch straps inspired by fashion (think corsets, fish net stockings and luxurious mink fur stoles). Ladies who love their bling were also drawn to the Velvet Haute Joaillerie Bespoke range (2014) composed of glamorous timepieces with dials and cases entirely covered by mixed-cuts diamonds and coloured gemstones.