Cog heads have ample reason to celebrate with the latest declaration from Roger Dubuis watches proclaiming 2015 as the "Year of the Skeleton". And nothing will be left to the imagination as the Swiss watchmaker indulges in a striptease to show us just how alluring and complex skeleton watches can be.
To show us what the brand has in mind, two skeleton watches have been released in the week that the SIHH watch fair takes place: the Excalibur Automatic Skeleton and the Excalibur Spider Flying Tourbillon.
Watches emerging from the Roger Dubuis manufacture in Geneva are not what anybody would label as inconspicuous, and the brand has earned a reputation for its daring, over-the-top designs, often presented in cinematic settings to enhance the mood. The watches are not just bold, they are impeccably crafted also, and each and every watch is endorsed with the Poinçon de Genève seal guaranteeing the finest craftsmanship.
When it comes to skeletonising movements, Roger Dubuis has an upper hand and literally carves all the pieces of the calibre before assembling them, as opposed to skeletonising a pre-existing movement, which is pretty standard procedure with other watch brands.
The Excalibur Spider Skeleton Flying Tourbillon watch takes skeletonisation one step beyond the movement and extends its spidery web to just about everything skeletonisable on the watch: the case, the flange, the hands and the lugs. The large 45mm titanium case, chosen because of its lightweight properties, houses the hand-wound movement, which keeps the flying tourbillon spinning and the hours, minutes and seconds ticking.
The second watch is the Excalibur Automatic Skeleton - a showcase for the prestigious finishes that have earned Roger Dubuis the Poinçon de Genève certification. Housed in a 42mm rose gold Excalibur case, with its hallmark fluted bezel, all faces of the 167 parts that make up the new calibre have been individually finished, including the openworked micro-rotor which supplies energy to the automatic movement.
This year, the brand will be re-enacting its Excalibur theme at the SIHH in an Arthurian forest with "skeleton-work" themes. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a very large spider and its web suspended from the ceiling alongside these two unique skeleton watches.