Enter the Frozen Realm of Roger Dubuis’ New Fire and Ice Knights of the Round Table Watch
Roger Dubuis has long established itself as a bold and disruptive force in the world of high watchmaking, or what the brand fittingly calls “Hyper Horology.” The Geneva-based manufacturer seamlessly fuses modern flair and state-of-the-art materials with classical lines and old-world craftsmanship. This combo powers the creation of sophisticated mechanical timepieces that captivate with their interesting designs and technical prowess. And no collection embodies the Roger Dubuis DNA more than the Knights of the Round Table watch range, better known as the Excalibur Knights of the Round Table.
An Eye-Catching Evolution of a Signature Timepiece
Inspired by legends of medieval valor, the Knights of the Round Table watch range was first unveiled in 2013. A decade later, Roger Dubuis unveils a new iteration that takes the visual drama and intricate details of this watch series to new heights.
The latest treat for fans of the saga comes in a “Fire and Ice” style, with a case exquisitely forged from Titanium Damascus. This is a modern interpretation of an ancient steel-working technique from the Middle East. Bars of titanium are skillfully manipulated through a laborious process of stacking, forge-welding, hammering, folding and dipping in acid to produce the distinctive flowing pattern.
The 45mm case consists of this visually striking Titanium Damascus central component sandwiched between polished titanium bezels. This rugged yet lightweight case construction encapsulates the dial, while an inner sapphire ring beneath the fluted bezel provides a constant window to showcase the dial-side finery.
Micro-Engraved Knights Come to Life in an Icy Realm
The starring attraction on the dial remains the 12 noble knights meticulously engraved in solid 18K rose gold. In previous editions, the knights appeared in static poses, but the new models are brimming with energy and dynamism. Each tiny sculpture, measuring about 6 mm tall, has its own unique identity – from the armor to the minutely detailed weapons they wield.
The micro-sculpted knights are captured mid-action, as if preparing to confront some ghastly threat arising from the icy lake depicted on the dial. This frozen scene is vividly rendered through the elaborate use of transparent blue Murano glass and Limoges porcelain. The icy vista also complements the icy-blue Murano glass crown and protector. This contrasts well with the warmth of the rose gold knights.
Meticulous Artisanal Craftsmanship Across Multiple Mediums
The knights on the dial are far more than decorative figures. They demonstrate Roger Dubuis’ extraordinary capacity for marrying advanced technological know-how with rare traditional crafts.
Each knight begins as a hand-drawn sketch before being translated into a 3D model. This design then undergoes a battery of processes including 3D printing, molding, casting, machining and meticulous hand-engraving to achieve the remarkable detail seen in the final micro-sculptures.
The knights’ quest takes them to a hostile, frozen wasteland vividly evoked by various artistic techniques. The cracked ice effect requires another multi-step process of carefully cutting, stacking, adhesion, lacquering, and assembly.
The talented artisans also employ their consummate skills on the RD821 calibre powering the Knights of the Round Table watch. The sapphire caseback proudly displays the in-house movement with Poinçon de Genève hallmarks and meticulous hand-finishing.
An outer ring on the caseback features medieval stained-glass window motifs that rotate with the semi-skeletonized oscillator weight, adding another mesmerizing dimension to the visual orchestration.
The Self-Winding RD821 Movement Powering Precise Timekeeping
Within the visually arresting case ticks Roger Dubuis’ self-winding RD821 calibre, delivering the modern reliability expected from a contemporary Swiss timepiece.
This in-house movement packs 172 components into a compact diameter of 25.6 mm to drive the essential timekeeping functions. It beats at a rapid 4 Hz frequency while amassing an ample 48 hours of autonomous power reserve. The inserted double Pare-Chute shock protection system helps make the calibre more resistant to impact damage.
As mentioned, Roger Dubuis submits every Knight of the Round Table watch to the testing bench of the Poinçon de Genève. Each movement must pass stringent performance benchmarks before expert artisans meticulously hand-finish the components to Geneva Seal standards.
Considering the watch’s extroverted design, Roger Dubuis exercises admirable restraint in displaying only the hours and minutes on a small sector at 9 o’clock. Form underscore function, with information delivering in a neat and legible manner.
Design Details Echoing Tales of Valor and Quests
While the Excalibur Knights of the Round Table models undeniably lead with artistic flair, the different design touches also reference the noble virtues and knightly codes embodied in legends of Camelot.
The Roger Dubuis designers equip the newest iteration with a crown and protector shaped like a sword guard, alluding to King Arthur’s magical sword Excalibur. This symbolism connects to the core DNA of fearlessness and courage associated with epic quests.
The watch comes fitted on a smart quick-release strap system for convenient changing options. Collectors can easily tailor the straps to suit their personal style or the situation at hand. Once again, ingenious adaptability triumphs, echoing the knights’ resourcefulness in tackling unpredictable challenges.
An inscription engraved on the caseback crystal captures the essence of the chivalric values modeled by Arthur’s legendary fellowship:
“Around this table, the bravest knights will gather as equals. They will set forth in search of adventure, righting wrongs, protecting the weak and humbling the proud.”
These timeless words perfectly reflect the maverick spirit of Roger Dubuis in breaking conventions to create spellbinding timepieces imbued with meaning.
A New Chapter in a Legendary Collection
The Excalibur Knights of the Round Table has spawned many memorable editions over the past decade. But Roger Dubuis keeps finding ways to refresh the legend and take it to bolder creative heights.
Staying true to the tradition of capping production numbers for most Excalibur releases, the remarkable new Fire and Ice model comes in a 28-piece limited edition. This boutique-exclusive watch perfectly blends cutting-edge techniques with rare handcrafts. Forming another future collector’s item for connoisseurs of Roger Dubuis’ unique approach to hyper-horology.
In summary, the newest Excalibur Knights of the Round Table creation beautifully distills what makes Roger Dubuis such an intriguing presence in fine watchmaking today. Innovation and craftsmanship come together to deliver an experience that arouses emotions and shared connections on a deeper metaphoric level.
This watch crystallizes Roger Dubuis’ proud nonconformity, boundary-pushing horology, and commitment to artistry. Like Arthur’s legendary fellowship, expectations are sky-high for the next chapter in this compelling high watchmaking quest.