Go to your local butcher on a Sunday morning and you’ll see at least 3 Speedmaster, 2 Subs and a Datejust on your way home. Not saying anything bad about these watches, just an observation.
But what about a Roger Dubuis Excalibur Skeleton Pirelli? There are only 88 pieces in the world, so the odds of you running into one of these on a Sunday morning are pretty low. Except if you go to the same butcher as mister R, who wears this as his daily beater.
I have ran into mister R a few times at GTG’s, and when he told me his story about his Excalibur, I knew I HAD to feature him.
Why/how did you get the Excalibur?
R: In 2017 I visited SIHH for the first time. I had done my research on Roger Dubuis beforehand as I was interested in their skeletonized pieces. I’m more into sports watches than dress watches, and love skeletonized movements, so I was very intrigued.
I had never seen their watches in real life, so I didn’t want to miss their booth when visiting the fair. As it was my first time at SIHH, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the brands and it took some time before getting to RD.
I looked at their novelties and was immediately attracted to the new Excalibur Spider Pirelli 45mm with black and blue details. I wanted to try it on, so I got to see their collection in a private room and tried on all the pieces.
I also liked the 42mm carbon fibre Excalibur, but the motorsport feel of the new Pirelli version appealed to me more. The rubber strap is made from the tires of the winning car of the 2016 F1 Monaco GP, so Hamilton’s Mercedes. For someone who likes watches and cars, this was the ultimate blend of both my passions and I pulled the trigger at the fair the same day.
The production still had to start, so I could choose which number I wanted. I picked 17, my lucky number and my birthday. Now the wait for the delivery could start.
A few months later I got contacted to plan the delivery of my watch. They proposed to do the delivery at the factory at the end of a factory visit. The date was set to the 14th of August (3 days before my birthday).
It was a fantastic day. During the factory tour I met the artisans who do the different styles of polishing by hand, saw the whole process that the watch goes through and got the chance to assemble a training movement myself. After a nice meal it was time to receive the watch and it was delivered by none other than… Mr Roger Dubuis himself!
We took some pictures and had time to chat a bit about his career and passion for watchmaking.
As it was almost my birthday, the RD team planned some extra gifts, like a full size Pirelli F1 tyre on OZ wheel (matching the strap on my watch) and a signed schematic of the Excalibur model by Mr Dubuis. It was an amazing day that I will cherish. Sadly just 3 months later, on the 14th of October, Mr Dubuis passed away at the age of 80.
How did you get into watches?
R: My very first watch was a Flik Flak that I still have, which I recently found in an old toy box while moving. My first ‘real’ watch was a two tone quartz Omega that I inherited from my grandfather. My first mechanical watch, and the one that really started my passion for mechanical watchmaking was a Rolex submariner with black dial, also a family heirloom.
I have worn watches for as long as I remember, and I like the aspect of it being the only real jewel/accessory a man can play with. It’s only when I received my Submariner in my early 30’s that I began researching more about mechanical/luxury watchmaking.
Getting into watches, I mostly knew Rolex models, some Cartier and Breitling models but then I stumbled on… the Royal Oak. I immediately fell in love with its design: the shape of the case, the finishing of the bracelet and the tapisserie dial. Learning about the history of Audemars Piguet and the 1972 Royal Oak Genta design fuelled my passion even more and it still is my favourite watch to this day.
What is your holy grail?
R: My holy grail is/was the AP 15407ST. I was fortunate enough to acquire it this year. At the moment I can’t think of one grail piece that I really want, but I can of course dream of many watches that would be nice in my collection and constantly research possible new additions.
What a nice and honest guy. Some people are into vintage, some are into gold, but mister R is into skeletonized sports watches. Ultimate boss move.