Incorporation of mythology into luxury timepieces is a fascinating and creative aspect of watch design. Many watchmakers draw inspiration from mythology to infuse their timepieces with symbolism, storytelling, and mystique. Mythological scenes or figures may be intricately engraved on watch cases or dials; these add depth, meaning, and unique stories to the watches. In other words, delving into mythology creates a connection between the wearer and his or her timepiece that goes beyond mere functionality, turning the watch into a work of art and a symbolic representation of timeless narratives. Roger Dubuis’s creations revolving around the King Arthur legend are a stellar example of how such connections are forged.
Ever since the first Knights of the Round Table timepiece was revealed in 2013, this theme has been central to Roger Dubuis. The luxury watchmaker has now unveiled the new 28-piece limited-edition Knights of the Round Table (Ref. RDDBEXEX1058) watch. With this timepiece, the Richemont-owned brand underlines its commitment to strong aesthetic standards. King Arthur, a legendary British king, appears in a cycle of mediaeval romances (known as the Matter of Britain) as the sovereign of a knightly fellowship of the Round Table. He is known for his Knights of the Round Table and for uniting the peoples of his land. Even though his end was tragic, his legend lives on.
The new Roger Dubuis Knights of the Round Table watch gets the signature case shape. The 45 mm case consists of a central element, made from titanium Damascus, which can be seen as a modern take on the series. The Damascus approach sets it apart as blacksmiths stack a series of Grade 2 and Grade 5 titanium plates together. Following this, they are driven into a red-hot furnace and then hammered so that the initial layers get converted into one solid block. The block is heated and crushed over and over again to get shaped. Finally, the metal is dipped into an acid bath, revealing a wave pattern.
The textured middle case is combined with the traditional brushed and polished titanium elements for the crown guards and the classic notched RD bezel. The bezel is raised from the middle case and complements a sapphire ring, opening the side to reveal the 12 knights. The titanium crown with the blue glass ring is also a complex element, made partially from ice-blue Murano glass, which can be found on many other parts of the watch.
Since the conception of the first model, the dial has always been the highlight of the Knights of the Round Table watches. The 12 knights for individual hour markers are micro-engraved, thanks to the art of microsculpture, in pink gold; each knight is different. The dial replicates the colour and texture of an iced-over lake; here, the crust is made of blue glass, crafted following the Murano process, and white porcelain. The centre table is made of blue glass blocks, crafted following the Murano method, and white Limoges biscuit porcelain, representing a cracked, frozen, fantastic landscape. Time is visible via hour and minute hands with triple surfacing in pink gold; one can marvel at the satin brushed finish on the tilted surfaces and the shot-blasted finish on the flat white surface SLN tips.
Powering the watch is a self-winding, automatic Calibre RD821SPS all of whose parts are hand-finished as per the traditional criteria of the Poinçon de Genève; it delivers 48 hours of power reserve. Turning the watch over showcases the titanium open caseback with sapphire crystal and an oscillating weight in blue, inspired by the stained-glass windows of mediaeval churches and castles. The tilted pyramid shapes are static and follow the triangular notches around the edges of the timepiece. At the centre, the skeletonised weight spins revealing a classic movement for the brand. The watch is finished on a dark blue calf leather strap with a quick-release system and a triple-folding clasp.