Hands-on: Roger Dubuis Orbis In Mechanica Central Monotourbillon Watch

Roger Dubuis' idea of 'Hyper Horology' for 2024 blends modern design with traditional watchmaking


Roger Dubuis’ watches are eccentric, and, frankly, that’s the way we like them. They are often huge gold or carbon pieces featuring a skeletonised movement and at least three hundred tourbillons it seems. So, it might be a surprise to some to see a watch from them with only one tourbillon, the new Orbis in Mechanica Central Monotourbillon.

For the last few years, Roger Dubuis has been cultivating the idea that the watches it creates belong to something they call “Hyper Horology”; this new watch is no exception. It has an 18k pink gold case, which measures 45mm and is water resistant to 100m. In typical Roger Dubuis fashion, large three-piece lugs extend from the case, allowing the black calfskin leather strap (with a quick-change system) to point downwards and hopefully accommodate smaller wrists. It sat on mine just fine, but you do notice the thickness of the piece especially because of the extra mass that pink gold case provides. It’s not unbalanced, just noticeable, which I guess is the intention of the piece.

The dial is modern, with a 60-second flying tourbillon in the centre and a seconds hand on top of its cage, around which orbit the minute and hour hands. Underneath the dial is the hand-wound RD115 which Roger Dubuis makes in-house. It’s made of 283 components and, according to the brand, has had 19 different finishing techniques applied to it. Overall, it looks quite traditional with its striped bridges and large wheels, a change from the explosive modernism the brand usually goes with. It’s also a Geneva Seal (Poinçon de Genève) movement, which means it’s been finished to the highest degree and is made in Geneva by people who live in the local area. The calibre RD115 has a 3Hz beat rate and a 72-hour power reserve, as well as a crown function indicator on the dial to show whether the crown is set to wind the watch or change the time.

I like the modern and traditional blend of this watch, it’s quite different from most of the pieces the brand currently makes. This piece is limited to 88 examples, which cost $225,000 before taxes.