What happens when a watchmaker, a carmaker and a tyre maker jump in bed
The three-way between Roger Dubuis, Lamborghini and Pirelli has yielded the Excalibur One-Off, a unique piece that boasts design elements inspired by both the supercar maker and the king of race tyres.
In 2017, Roger Dubuis announced that they would be teaming up with a motoring company based in Modena, Italy. The most obvious manufacture housed there is Ferrari, but they’re already in a happy marriage with Hublot. Maserati at the time was having a little fling with Bulgari, leaving Roger Dubuis with two marques: Independent hyper car-maker Pagani and Lamborghini.
Pagani’s small production numbers and avant-garde approach to making obscenely fast cars match the Roger Dubuis spirit in a way. But Roger Dubuis went for Lamborghini instead. And while at first we were disappointed it wasn’t the former, after seeing what the partnership has grown to become over the last two years, we’re now convinced that it was a match made in heaven.
The angular design of the car fits the Excalibur case perfectly and in many ways, we can see the same traits in those who would strap a Roger Dubuis on their wrists as those who would put down good money on a Lamborghini.
That same year, the watchmaker also proclaimed that it would be jumping in bed with the king of race tyres – Pirelli – hinting that it would all make sense in time to come.
ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL
Fast forward to 2019, and that time has come. The highlight of the year, presented at SIHH, is what Roger Dubuis is calling a tripartite exclusive. A watch that represents the combination of three spirits – Roger Dubuis, Lamborghini and Pirelli – resulting in a piece unique called the Excalibur One-Off.
This magnificent beast was inspired by the recently unveiled Lamborghini SC18 Alston supercar, which was also a one-off creation. It represented the first time ever that the Lamborghini motorsport division worked with a client to create a singular hyper car for that client’s use on the track.
Being a tribute to the car that Lamborghini Squadra Corse built, the muscular 47mm case of the One-Off is crafted with Carbon SMC in the case, flange and bridge, while the middle of the case is woven carbon.
In order to really do the car justice, Roger Dubuis created a purpose-built RD106SQ calibre to be used within the watch. This movement emulates the V-shape geometry of the Lamborghini engines, offering not just a double flying tourbillon but also inclined it at a 90° angle. Furthermore, the watch also comes with a double disc jumping hours indicator at the 12 o’clock position leaving a single hand (much like the tachometer and speedometer of a car) to indicate the minutes.
Where the Pirelli DNA comes in is on the strap. Racetracks tend to get a little heated with all those engines cylinders firing at their limits so the rubber strap paired with this watch offers large air intakes to release at least some of that heat emanating from, well, your pores (what with the heatwave we’ve been experiencing and all). Interestingly enough, the nylon fibres that mesh these gaps in the straps are the exact kind that line the inner structure of Pirelli tyres.
Unfortunately, though, the Excalibur One-Off has already been sold. The buyer’s identity is not known; all Roger Dubuis could reveal is that it isn’t the owner of the Lamborghini SC18 Alston. Shame.