Introducing the Roger Dubuis “Knights of the Round Table”By Suan Futt Yeo
It’s one of the most unusual watches money can buy; and that must be the point, since Roger Dubuis, in staking ownership of the concept of “hyper horology”, must by definition make watches intended for the very few. We enlist an excerpt from Roger Dubuis’ press release to explain this present watch, the sixth in its Knights of the Round Table collection:
“The threat is real. The battle is on. In the mysterious depths of a forgotten place, twelve brave knights prepare to defend their kingdom against the power of gravitational force. The ground is fracturing, the broken earth begins to crack. Sensing danger, the knights position themselves against this invisible enemy. Will they triumph?”
The above scene is brought to life with a dial composed of black Murano glass, fashioned to look as if the very ground is rupturing. Feuling the imagery of magma (from hell) is a flange of transparent blood red Mura glass. Then of course there are the 12 knights, one for each hour, and each frozen in a snapshot of their individual poses. Every knight is a highly detailed construct of micro-sculpture in 18 pink gold, complete with medieval armour, shield and helmet, and weapons. According to Roger Dubuis, it took one and a half years to get all this detail right. The fruit of this labour of love is not only viewable through the sapphire crystal over the watch face, there is also a ring of transparent sapphire crystal under the bezel that reveal these figurines from the side.
In 45mm pink gold, the case features the definitive notched bezel and triple lugs common to the Excalibur but the crown and shoulders have been shaped to resemble a sword thrust into stone – an allusion to Arthur’s king-making moment that wearers can now partake it very time they pull the crown – in pink gold and set with red Murano glass – to set the watch.
Turning the watch over reveals the decorated self-winding RD821 calibre, with all parts hand-finished and stamped with the Poinçon de Genève. Framing the movement is the oath (as legend goes) declared by Arthur’s knights, engraved into the case in blackletter type: “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.”
This sixth edition of the Knights of the Round table features a black calf leather strap with Quick Release System – a first for the collection – and is produced in a limited edition of 28 pieces.
It was a very big table that around which King Arthur and his knights sat; anywhere from 100 to 300 seats, though there is some consensus that it was 150, with one seat strictly reserved for the true Grail Knight, a hero who also had the purest heart, and chaste. Twelve to denote the hours does nicely, and it should be plainly obvious that the watch isn’t for everybody. Roger Dubuis made this watch because it can, for the collector who has his eye fixed on the very different and unobtainable, that the word “common sense” does not mean sensible as it is usually intended, but merely “common”.
Movement: Self-winding RD821, 4Hz, 48 hours power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes
Case: 45mm pink gold, 15.15mm thickness, sapphire crystal front and display back, water resistant to 30 meters
Strap: Calf leather strap with quick release
Price: SGD 478,000 (Limited edition of 28 pieces)