earching for inspiration in the most unexpected places is in Roger Dubuis’ DNA. This is the reason the brand united with the Urban Art Tribe, world-famous urban culture artists who share its common values to break the rules, showcase radical expertise and obsess daily over the design of the future.
Now they have been granted access to Roger Dubuis’ most important room, home to the bold and extravagant: the manufacture itself, where they were tasked with reinterpreting the astral signature of the iconic Excalibur Monotourbillon.
Dr. Woo, renowned tattoo artist and rulebreaker in his own domain, is the first of three friends of the brand to take on this new creative challenge. Bringing his imagination to life, Roger Dubuis’ watchmakers and the visionary artist unveil the signature Excalibur Monotourbillon reborn in his image.
Clean cut lines on both case and movement create its strong visual identity. Meanwhile, rebuilding the calibre from bottom to top not only heightens its sense of transparency and 3D depth, but also sees the Roger Dubuis star levitate freely above the barrel. A signature two-line pattern between the notch on the crown and bezel, the star’s arms, the tourbillon’s cage, the hour’s marking on the flange and the hands, all cleverly appear as though they will meet but never do.
One of the greatest expressions of the watchmaker’s art, the RD512SQ calibre is stunning in its technical prowess. With a non-magnetic Titanium lower tourbillon cage – twice lighter than stainless steel – and a mirror-polished non-magnetic Cobalt Chrome upper tourbillon cage, the weight of the piece is reduced by 16% to optimum effect.
As a result, the calibre shows a better resistance to magnetic fields and the power reserve is radically optimised to 72 hours, providing the option of leaving the watch unworn over weekends. Such excellence is not without reward; this dynamic aesthetic is amplified by the Poinçon de Genève, one of the most demanding signature in fine watchmaking that requires the manual decoration of each and every component of the watch, as well as unexpected and antinomic decorations in fine watchmaking, such as sandblasted top surfaces and polished angles that demonstrate Roger Dubuis’ visionary approach.
Creating hyper-realist needle designs, Dr. Woo has carved a name for himself in the tattoo industry with his signature style; minimalist, monochrome, single needle. Known for having an exceptionally steady hand, his flawless geometric shapes and ultra-fine lines have earned him respect among the international elite, designing for the biggest names in the world of celebrity and beyond.
Learning that the star was a symbol just as important to Dr. Woo as to Roger Dubuis, it became the guiding force throughout the collaboration. Speaking on the project and the work of art created, Dr. Woo says:“Roger Dubuis lent me its signature star to unleash my creativity and merge our two worlds into one unique masterpiece.”
In his re-interpretation, Dr. Woo takes the Excalibur Monotourbillon’s astral signature as his launchpad and imagines it anew. Envisioning a rocket ship that keeps pushing forward, the star’s arms represent its travel through time. Yet more than this, it represents the evolution of this work of art and the various paths the partners have taken.
A special connection with space drove many other aspects of Dr. Woo’s design. Acting as a guide throughout his life, the geometric codes and planets peppered across the dial represent his mental cosmic map. From his world he brings other minimalist graphic symbols too: the moon as an energy source, triangles that bounce forth from the ground, and full circles that represent the infinite connections we all have. By placing them next to each other, Dr. Woo comes up with a new language open to interpretation.
Indeed, the deep and detailed design unveils more layers and secrets every time it is looked at. The spider is one such detail for Dr. Woo. Symbolising strength and protection, it is moved to a new position on the dial of each of the eight limited edition timepieces, making every single one a unique creation.
Other details that can only be enjoyed by the wearer include the time traveller pattern on the case-back, enabling a deeper connection between this extraordinary timepiece and its lucky owner.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, craftsmanship was taken to new heights when the horological artisans had to adopt exceptional methods to fulfil the artist’s aspirations. Inspired by Dr. Woo’s needle work, gold had to be metalized to be etched onto the sapphire glass and recreate the star on the dial, unveiling a fine and meticulous, yet striking design.
What’s more, ultra-fine lines were laser engraved directly onto a black PVD plate underneath the calibre to reveal the artist’ s cosmic design. A similar process was used on the 18K EON GOLDTM* case-back to embed the artist’s intricate hand-drawn decoration.
A remarkable embossed strap adorned with Dr. Woo’s sacred symbols also required boundaries to be pushed. Utilising its technical mastery for aesthetic purposes, Roger Dubuis used hot stamping to engrave the black calf leather with a very finely detailed design.
An expression of non-conformity and extravagance, the fruit of Dr. Woo’s creativity is housed in a 42 mm case. Taking watchmaking to a new dimension, a dimension where time is reinvented, Dr. Woo says creating the timepiece allowed him to see time in a new light: “Time is the most valuable currency we have. It’s up to us to decide how to use it.”