In many ways, the Hommage collection, centrepiece range this year for Roger Dubuis, was all about celebrating the roots of the company. Suitably decorated, the Roger Dubuis stand at SIHH featured life-size watchmakers, each holding a bell jar containing a watch from the Hommage Collection. These represented watchmakers from the past who, in large and small ways, have contributed to the advancement of the mechanical watch.
On this, you might recall a previous article I did, asking what the Roger Dubuis stand would look like given the intriguing Youtube video series that showcased the creative destruction of Cuckoo clocks. (See article here.) Certainly a head-scratcher at times, the clues did point to one thing: this year’s theme was firmly rooted in the brand taking a look at the past, and considering ways in which it would be used as a springboard to the revitalized future.
The Hommage range after all was first launched in 1995 when Roger Dubuis, master watchmaker and founder of his namesake brand, considered at the time of the company’s inception that any watch in his production had to be made under the strict criteria of the Geneva Seal, (Poinçon de Genève). Utterly unique in the watch industry for the self-imposition of this requirement, the brand has grown far and above it’s humble beginnings, becoming a respected full fledged brand with a diverse range of spectacular offerings.
At this year’s SIHH, I had the opportunity to meet and interview Mr Roger Dubuis himself. The video above is a fascinating portrait of a man who right from the beginning, had insisted upon unheard of standards of quality to be borne by his watches, considering such standards an obligation to what he considered necessary and correct.
Later when I asked to see the watch he was wearing, I found it to be and it to be the “Hommage Flying Tourbillon Tribute to Roger Dubuis”.
Powered by the RD540 calibre with a tourbillon, there is also a large date and power-reserve display on the dial, all framed by a pink gold case and highlighted by subtle design details that reinterpret classical design codes.
Created as a tribute to the master himself, it was entirely fitting that this would be the watch that I would find on his wrist. What better way for him to begin a career as a watchmaker, and to be able to near it’s end, wear a watch with his name on the dial and his signature on the case back. As a symbol of his strength of vision and tireless dedication, there can be no better testament to what he has achieved, than something as extraordinary as that!