If you count yourself a watch connoisseur, you would’ve heard the words “Excalibur”, “skeletonised watches” and Roger Dubuis’ name come up in the same conversation before. After all, the Geneva-based watchmaker isn’t a lightweight in the industry. His credentials count 14 years at Patek Philippe developing some of its most complicated watches, before leaving to start his own workshop in 1995 with Franck Muller designer Carlos Dias. The rest, as you know, is history.
Last Saturday, however, marked the passing of one of the giants of watchmaking. In its statement, the company said “Roger Dubuis, our company founder, has passed away today at the age of 80. His renowned expertise in haute horlogerie, his disruptive vision, his human values will remain close to our heart. We are all committed to keep his unique spirit within our brand. Roger’s passing is a grievous loss for all of us and the entire watch community. Our sympathies are with his family and close relatives.”
Distinguished by an aesthetic seldom ventured by others, and fine movement that could’ve only come from a wealth of experience, Dubuis’ eponymous label made a solid mark on the haute horological world. His watches all bear the Seal of Geneva, a stringent classification that insists the producer decorate and polish every component of a timepiece, including screws — amongst many other things. Of course, Dubuis wouldn’t have settled for anything less than the best.
By 2004, he retired from his company, only to come out of retirement shortly after to reassume an active role at the firm — out of pure passion, we’re certain. In commemoration of the entrepreneur, designer, watchmaker, and visionary, we look back at some of Roger Dubuis’ best creations thus far.