Today marks the passing of one of the giants of watchmaking, as Roger Dubuis passed away. The founding father of the manufacture that bears his name made a profound impact on the world of Haute Horlogerie with his watches that combined an expressive styling, with highly complicated movements, giving a new dimension to high-end timepieces.
Roger Dubuis has always had a gift for working with complicated watches, and spend 14 years with Patek Philippe, developing their movements. In 1980 he let Patek Philippe and established a private workshop. It wasn’t until 1995 that he joined forces with the talented designer Carlos Dias, and started the brand that was named after him.
The first two collections, Sympathie and Hommage, took the watch world by storm, and combined traditional watchmaking with an avant-garde look, exactly as the brand is still known today. These two collections were followed by others, such as the TooMuch, MuchMore and GoldenSquare. But it wasn’t only in terms of design that the brand made its mark. Roger Dubuis strived for the best and knew that he needed to create movements of his own to fulfill that promise. Therefore, in 1999 the brand launched it very first manufacture movements, and many others would follow.
In 2001 the manufacture of the brand was opened in Meyrin, on the outskirts of Geneva. It was there that the brand combined all the expertise and craftsmanship needed to create its unique watches. They where in high demand and in 2005 the manufacture was extended. This was also the year that Roger Dubuis launched what would become its most iconic model: the Excalibur. Especially the model with double tourbillon made quite the impact. In 2006 Roger Dubuis presented no-less than six new movements, bringing the total of manufacture movements that the brand carried to 28, which all received with the Geneva Seal.
In 2008 the company joined the Richemont group, and its star continued to rise, quite recently announcing their new partnership with Lamborghini with an impressive new watch. Roger Dubuis turned 80 last May, and will be greatly missed in the world he influenced to profoundly: that of the Haute Horlogerie, but his legacy will live on.