Last night in one of the hottest up-and-coming districts of Soho, New York, Swiss watch brand Roger Dubuis opened its incredible new concept boutique, complete with Lamborghini super car Huracan STO, an exceptional Icon A5 aircraft in lemon yellow and more – all thanks to TheArsenal “motion” company. Called the Soho Residence, the lifestyle boutique is anything but what one would expect out of a watch store. From the bold red interior with graffiti-like writing on the walls proclaiming the brand’s motto, No Rules. Our Game, this location screams “different.” It is, of course, the underlying theme behind the Hyper Horology brand that was founded 27 years ago in 1995.
“The new boutique, and everything we do at Roger Dubuis, including our relationship with Lamborghini and Pirelli, is always directed to the future,” says Roger Dubuis CEO Nicola Andreatta in a private interview with us. “We are a bit impertinent, and we always want to surprise. We do it with our products and now we want to do it with the experiences our customers have when discovering us, as well. The boutique offers a different way for consumers to connect with the brand.” According to Andreatta, the key to the brand’s success is focusing on excess. “Our client are ones who are used to living life fully; they want the best of the best in life. To that end, we have three values present in all we do, pleasure, madness and freedom.”
These core values have always signified the revolutionary spirit of Roger Dubuis. To that end, the brand entered into a partnership five years ago (in 2017) with Lamborghini – an effort that has had flourishing results. In fact, in its Spyder collection of sporty high-horology watches, some of the most exciting timepieces make their debut –often inspired by the Lamborghini relationship.“It is the perfect combination of two excellences. Connecting the two DNA’s – excellent in their industries – has been rewarding for everyone,” says Andreatta. “We are not a usual watchmaker, and they are not a usual carmaker. We are noisier; they are noisier. We are more colorful, bold and exciting and so are they. Our clients are their clients and sharing ideas and direction makes us stronger.”
In fact, Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini design teams meet regularly to discuss aesthetics, colors, and even high-tech materials, which has led the brand to find new and different interpretations for its watches. “It is fascinating for us to see how they approach things, especially from a performance standpoint. They are using materials that will enhance the performance of the cars and most of the time we see that we can use the same kinds of approach in our watches because we offer such different territories of expression than anyone else.” In fact, as a result of the relationship, Roger Dubuis has pioneered into creating some of the most intriguing materials for watches on the market today. Those range from a unique process for its forged carbon fiber to a new mineral carbon fiber and new alloys that blend carbon and ceramic. The brand has also experimented successfully with brining new material to its movements, particularly when it comes to luminescence.
“In watchmaking, sometimes you don’t get these new ideas and innovations if you stay within the watch world confines. Some of what we are able to do we wouldn’t have had before this relationship. We are trying to open our perspectives and think from different industries and not remain too linked to the watchmaking world where they have been doing the same thing for so long. It’s time to refresh and use the advances in the technology, the processes, the materials to take advantage of the benefits they bring to the watches and customers,” says Andreatta. To that end, and to celebrate the opening of the magnificent store, Andreatta, who flew in from Switzerland, also officially unveiled the exclusive Soho boutique-exclusive Excalibur Monobalancier Soho watch last night. The striking 42mm watch boasts a case made of Mineral Composite Fiber, inspired by materials from the aerospace industry that yield an extra-lightweight case in a pure white color that is engineered predominantly from silica. The material is then created in a Sheet Molding Compound that can be worked using specially developed processes. in the end, the material is two-and-a-half times lighter than ceramic and 13 times lighter than SMC carbon. More importantly, perhaps, is the fact that it is exceptionally durable.
Like everything Roger Dubuis does, it equips this timepiece with a hyper horology movement that consists of hundreds of individually hand-finished parts. The incredible prowess that goes into making its movements has earned Roger Dubuis the Hallmark of Geneva certification (Poinçon de Genève) – a quality seal bestowed on just a handful of manufacturers. Just eight pieces of the high-tech Mineral Fiber Composite Fiber watch will ever be made. “Not everyone can understand the work that goes into creating all of our movements to the Geneva Seal standards,” says Andreatta. “But for us, the Geneva Seal is a given. It is the only way we can manufacture our watches to add a completely different level of craftsmanship and complexity. We are proud of this distinction.” So, what’s next on the drawing board for the incredibly exclusive brand? A new in-house laboratory of ideas that it is in the process of creating. The lab, to be called the Q-Lab in honor of the famed Dr. Q from the James Bond movies who created the gadgets and gizmos the secret agent used to save the world, will bring together the most creative facets of the brand (from designers to watchmakers, materials analysts and more) in one place.