I will freely admit it took me a while to warm up to Roger Dubuis watches - for a while I felt they were too far away from “normal” horlogerie. However, as time went by and I got closer to the watches, I started to understand and like the brand, exactly because it keeps veering away from “normal” horlogerie. This year is no exception, from the robot dog prowling around the Roger Dubuis booth, to the sci-fi watches embodying the hyper horology concept invented by the brand.

The Monovertex Split-Seconds Chronograph comes with an entirely new winding system, a 360-degree tourbillon, and a retrograde chronograph display, housed in an avant-garde case made from ultralight materials. The 47mm case is made from Mineral Composite Fibre (99.5% silica), 2.5 times lighter than ceramic and more than 10% lighter than carbon. The Monovertex debuts the “Turborotor Cylindrical Oscillating Weight,” which uses gravity to spin upon its axis and wind the watch. The Conical Monovortex™ Tourbillon features a 60-second rotation and it spins 360 degrees, which serves to effectively eliminate the effects of gravitation.

This is all good and seriously innovative watchmaking, but let’s not forget the fun part, because the world desperately needs some joie de vivre and the Excalibur Backlight Spin-Stone Monobalancier delivers just that: joy. The case and bezel are set with curved synthetic sapphire Spin-Stones, with a gradient of hues. The Spin Stones are the novelty for 2023, as the previous Excalibur Backlight editions feature coloured spinels which glow under UV. The new Spin-Stones are used for the multi-colour spinels on the arms of the movement, visible from the dial side, but also layered in a special cut around the bezel. This is a fun, happy, lively watch even without the UV-induced special effects, but when the lights come into play, the piece really comes to life and enchants its wearer.

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