Excalibur Diabolus in Machina | © Roger Dubuis

Excalibur Diabolus in Machina: the devil is in the detail

Roger Dubuis just revealed a timepiece at Watches & Wonders that is set to astound even the boldest and the excessive! The Excalibur Diabolus in Machina – a watch that combines technical prowess with daring aesthetic. Not one element of this de-structured neo-star is positioned on the same level, creating an even more complex but far more exciting watchmaking feat.

A unique calibre

The difference lies in Roger Dubuis’ application of a futuristic approach to the minute repeater concept. The wearer can check the time using a pushpiece that activates a ring tone with a low pitch for the hours, a high pitch for the minutes, and two tones for the quarter hours.

  • Excalibur Diabolus in Machina | © Roger Dubuis
  • Excalibur Diabolus in Machina | © Roger Dubuis

First, perched high at 11 o’clock is a disc that has been skilfully blended with a Roman numeral. Marked with the words Hours, Quarters and Minutes, the disc starts to turn as soon as the minute repeater is activated, visually illustrating the time intervals being chimed. To achieve this, the watchmakers have enriched this second visual indication with the minute repeater’s main feeler-spindle system, which requires mechanically seeking information on the time before striking it.

Furthermore, a second functional indicator – in the form of a lever placed between 3 o’clock and 4 o’clock – instantly lets the wearer know whether the watch is in “manual winding” or “time setting” position. This visual safety feature is important as adjusting the watch while the minute repeater is playing can damage the movement.

In addition is the minute repeater’s pushpiece, which has been embellished with a mechanism called “all or nothing”. Only allowing the minute repeater to be triggered if the pusher has been fully and completely pressed, this second safety feature prevents the mechanism from being triggered or providing merely a partial indication of time.

Finally, for Excalibur Diabolus in Machina, Roger Dubuis combines this complication with its flying tourbillon. Designed to compensate for gravitational effects on the accuracy of a watch movement and the hands it drives, the tourbillon is a mechanical device enabling a watch to communicate with the great “master clock” of the universe.

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