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Roger Dubuis Hommage Millésime pocket watch

Marina Milojević | 06.23.15 | 05:40 AM

Introducing the Roger Dubuis Millésime project

To mark its 20th anniversary, the house of Roger Dubuis introduces a unique restoration concept entirely dedicated to its Hommage collection – the Millésime. As the name of the project name suggests, Roger Dubuis will be presenting a special one-of-a-kind vintage model each year. The Millésime is announced as a unique series of 21st century timepieces based on a set of antique movement blanks. These special models, all perfect examples of restoration work, will be available exclusively from Roger Dubuis boutiques, and related to boutique openings around the world.

Mr. Roger Dubuis

A series of vintage movement blanks will be restored using the traditional crafts, and further improved to meet the modern Poinçon de Genève requirements. You may already know that the house of Roger Dubuis is the only watchmaking Manufacture to be 100% Poinçon de Genève certified. As announced, each of the new timepieces will be equipped with perpetual calendar, either alone or accompanied by one or more of the other three grand complications - minute repeater, tourbillon or chronograph.

Roger Dubuis Hommage Millésime pocket watch

As Mr. Roger Dubuis explains: “My character has been forged through restoration. What could be more moving and uplifting than to walk in the footsteps of these watchmakers from another era? I have always felt immense admiration and profound respect for their work, their conscientious discipline and their superior intelligence. The overriding purpose has always been to ensure that all of us who are true devotees of fine mechanisms may continue to enjoy these masterpieces – whether new or historical creations – and to pass them on in our turn.”

Roger Dubuis Hommage Millésime pocket watch

The Millésime concept is actually a re-launched restoration project, which started back in 2011, when Mr. Roger Dubuis purchased several ébauches (movement blanks) with the intention of improving them to meet the contemporary Poinçon de Genève requirements. Unlike the restoration of paintings, where the missing elements may require reconstruction, the movement blanks need to be restored through entirely artisanal means, sometimes requiring the complete recreation of missing parts.

Roger Dubuis RD181 caliber

First in the new Millésime series is dedicated to the new Roger Dubuis Geneva boutique that will open in July 2015. The movement blank used for this project is the late 19th or early 20th century movement RD181 caliber. The mechanism comprises a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar and a chronograph. The caliber is nestled in a 60mm-diameter pocket watch made of pink gold. Mr. Roger Dubuis’ signature is hand-engraved on the case-back, while the wearer can personalize the pink gold chain by replacing several links with a series of 5N pink gold plaques that may be engraved with messages.

Roger Dubuis Hommage Millésime pocket watch

The restoration of the timepiece required no less than 1,950 hours of work including 700 hours of restoration on the calibre alone. During the process, the perpetual calendar was modified in the spirit of the first perpetual calendar models developed by the Manufacture to accommodate two retrograde displays. The damaged mainplate, crown and strike wheel were carefully repaired, while one of the components was remodeled to form the lucky number 8 that appears in all Roger Dubuis limited editions.

The sapphire crystal dial is adorned with pink gold counters with guilloché finishes. Its moon phase indicator, with representation of the Moon in pink gold, is made from lapis lazuli stone. The retrograde date appears at 12 o’clock position, the small seconds are placed at 3 o’clock, retrograde days of the week indicator is set at 6 o’clock, while months and years appear at 9 o’clock position.

Roger Dubuis Hommage Millésime pocket watch

The rest of the function includes astronomical moon at 3 o’clock, and audible indications on demand for hours, quarters and minutes. The repeater function is activated using the slide at 3 o’clock, while the slide at 9 o’clock position triggers, stops, or resets the chronograph.

The mechanical hand-winding 2.5Hz movement is assembled from 558 components and 28 jewels, before it was carefully decorated with rhodium plating, Côtes de Genève, and Poinçon de Genève finishes.

Roger Dubuis Hommage Millésime pocket watch is available as a piece unique dedicated to the opening of the new Geneva boutique. The price is $892,500.

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