Roger Dubuis and Pirelli – Delivering "Money Can’t Buy" Experiences

Roger Dubuis and Pirelli – Delivering "Money Can’t Buy" Experiences

Vidas Rach

In the diverse world of luxury brands, new winds are blowing in a fundamental trend that consumers are more and more interested not only in the products themselves, but also in the unique experiences that they create, and the new and increasingly widespread strategy being used is focused on luxury brand collaborations and partnerships. A WGSN report reveals that in 2020, when the global luxury market is expected to reach EUR 295 billion, 78% of luxury brands will be linked by various partnerships.

Numerous watch and car brands have also taken this route. The simplest attempts are watches featuring the logos and names of famous car makers. There are dozens of examples like this in the middle and lower segments of the market. The next step up is the creation of co-branded product, such as "A for B". This is where we can see more interesting and high-level co-branded products, when two brands acknowledge the same or similar values and try to carry them over into a common product.

In this respect, exciting examples can be found in the top segment of the watch hierarchy – Haute Horlogerie. However, if we slow down for a moment and think about it, we will have to admit that transferring the unique experiences of another brand into a watch and combining them harmoniously is an extremely difficult task. Yet some innovative Swiss watch manufacturers are exploring these new territories creatively and are engaging with consumers in new and exciting ways.

One of this season's most interesting tandems is that of the Geneva-based Manufacture Roger Dubuis and the tyre manufacturer Pirelli. What do they have in common? In 2017, the Swiss have been living with their new "Dare to be Rare" concept, which perfectly describes the watch manufacturer's attitude towards modern horology. The Excalibur – the iconic model from the watchmaker's flagship collection and one of the most recognisable watches on the market – was selected for the partnership between the two brands. This is the DNA of the Maison that the "disruptive materials and progressive complications" mantra describes.

Pirelli is a leader in technological innovation and a top-class tyre supplier. Drivers and fans of the fastest production cars around are more than familiar with the P Zero range, and Pirelli also supplies tyres for the world's most famous motorsport competitions, including Formula One.

Pirelli tyres
Pirelli tyres
Pirelli is a pioneer in technical and industrial innovations and is the sole supplier of premium tyres to the world’s flagship motorsports competitions
© Pirelli
Pirelli tyres
Pirelli is a pioneer in technical and industrial innovations and is the sole supplier of premium tyres to the world’s flagship motorsports competitions
© Pirelli

And this is where we come to the emotion that the watch buyer expects. A tyre and a watch... One of the potential solutions is a rubber watch strap, perhaps with the pattern of a certain tread and a logo. But that's neither interesting nor original, since there are numerous examples like that already on the market. However, the two brands found an original way to carry the authentic spirit and emotion of Formula One racing over into a wristwatch.

Pirelli tyres
Pirelli tyres
© Pirelli
Pirelli tyres
Pirelli tyres
© Pirelli

Pirelli is the official Formula One tyre supplier. Before every race, each team gets a certain number of different tyres. In order to protect the secrets of technological innovation, all of the tyres are collected as soon as the race is over. All of them have barcodes, so the tyre supplier knows exactly which team raced with each specific set of tyres. The strap of each Excalibur Spider Pirelli – Double Flying Tourbillon watch features a real piece of a winning car. The four Pirelli Cinturato intermediate green F1 tyres that won the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix were set aside and recycled for this project, and the rubber was used to produce the watch straps.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur
Roger Dubuis Excalibur line once more proves that watches don't need diamonds or platinum to garner an impressive price tag
© Vidas Rach

One glance is enough for you to understand that this is a firm and reliable horology machine, with two tourbillons symbolising its power. Its sturdy 47mm diameter black DLC titanium skeleton case flaunts vulcanised blue rubber accents highlighting its titanium crown and ‘container’. Fans of fine mechanics can enjoy an incredible transparent view of the new RD105SQ hand-wound calibre with its signature blue Astral Skeleton – matching the unique abovementioned ‘Pirelli’ design features.

The flying tourbillons at 5 and 7 o’clock are rimmed by speedometer-like seconds counters complete with automobile-inspired pointers, while the multi-coloured power-reserve indicator represents a cool nod to racing-car cockpit fuel gauges.

Another example of these two brands collaboration - “Excalibur Spider Pirelli - Automatic Skeleton“ model. The robust 45mm skeleton case with its black DLC titanium elements and contrasting blue touches provides a perfect frame for Calibre RD820SQ. All faces of its 167 components are meticulously hand-crafted in accordance with the stringent quality criteria and prestigious finishing governing the “Poinçon de Genève” certification.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli
Impressive horological machine on the wrist
© Vidas Rach
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli
The inside of the rubber strap reproduces the mythical pattern of a Pirelli Intermediate tyre famous for its efficiency during races on humid or wet tracks
© Roger Dubuis

The design and height of the famous Roger Dubuis micro-rotor effectively enhance the spectacular 3D effect favoured by the Manufacture, as does the raised position of the Astral Skeleton. Typifying the blend of formal aesthetics and useful functionality adopted by the Maison, the instantly recognisable star shape features tips pointing to hour-markers, thereby enhancing both clarity and legibility. As well as enjoying the key ‘Pirelli’ signature characteristics linking their high-octane timepiece with a landmark motorsports victory, lucky owners of this 88-piece limited edition will enjoy the privilege of being invited to high-end local Pirelli events.

Excalibur Spider Pirelli - Double Flying Tourbillon

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli
Excalibur Spider meaningful collector’s items that will be teamed with equally authentic money-can’t buy experiences
© Roger Dubuis
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli
Hand-wound mechanical RD105SQ Calibre
© Roger Dubuis
Case
Skeleton case, Ø47 mm, black DLC titanium case, bezel and case back, titanium DLC crown cover vulcanized with blue rubber, titanium container vulcanized with blue rubber
Dial
Skeleton upper-flange in black PVD brass, white minute-circle and Roger Dubuis transfers, rhodium plated screws with SLN, skeleton hands in black PVD coated gold with blue tips fi lled with SLN
Water Resistance
5 BAR (50 m)
Strap
Black rubber strap with, on top, an inlay combining RubberTech material, mixed with rubber from a set of the highest performing Pirelli tyres. The latter rubber used comes from a set of tyres which claimed victory at a mythical motorsport event in 2016. The inside of the rubber strap reproduces the mythical pattern of a Pirelli Intermediate tyre famous for its effi ciency during races on humid or wet tracks. Titanium grade 5 adjustable double folding clasp
Calibre
Hand-wound calibre RD105SQ, Skeleton Double Flying Tourbillon, 365 components, 49 jewels, frequency: 3Hz (21,600 vph), power-reserve 50 hours.
Functions
Hours and minutes, power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock
Certification
Poinçon de Genève, limited edition 8 pieces, retail price ~280,000 CHF.

Excalibur Spider Pirelli - Automatic Skeleton

Excalibur Spider Pirelli - Automatic Skeleton
Beauty of Poinçon de Genève certified skeleton movement
© Vidas Rach
Excalibur Spider Pirelli - Automatic Skeleton
All faces of its 167 components are meticulously hand-crafted in accordance with the stringent quality criteria and prestigious finishing governing the “Poinçon de Genève” certification
© Roger Dubuis
Case
Skeleton case, Ø45 mm, black DLC titanium case, black DLC titanium bezel, black DLC titanium case back, black DLC titanium crown cover vulcanized with blue rubber, titanium container vulcanized with blue rubber. Water resistance: 5 BAR (50 m)
Dial
Skeleton upper-fl ange in black PVD brass, white minute-circle and Roger Dubuis transfers, rhodium plated screws with SLN, skeleton black PVD 18K gold hands with blue tips fi lled with SLN
Strap
Black rubber strap with, on top, an inlay combining RubberTech material, mixed with rubber from a set of the highest performing Pirelli tyres. The latter rubber used comes from a set of tyres which claimed victory at a mythical motorsport event in 2016. The inside of the rubber strap reproduces the mythical pattern of a Pirelli Intermediate tyre famous for its effi ciency during races on humid or wet tracks. Black DLC titanium adjustable double folding clasp
Calibre
Self-winding mechanical calibre with skeleted micro-rotor automatic calibre RD820SQ. 167 components, 35 jewels, 4Hz (28’800 vph), power-reserve 60 hours. Functions: Hours and minutes, decorations - skeleton calibre, NAC coated plate and bridges, circular-grained plate and bridges, “Poinçon de Genève” finishing.
Production
88 pieces, Poinçon de Genève certification, retail price ~66 700 EUR.

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