Originally launched at SIHH 2015, the Excalibur Automatic Skeleton – which is currently offered in pink gold or black titanium – was Roger Dubuis’ first non-tourbillon skeleton timepiece. For 2016, the Genevan watchmaker will launch a new version housed in a high-tech composite material called: carbon fiber sheet moulding compound (SMC).
SMC is a lightweight material used in the aerospace industry because of its “extremely high productivity and cost efficiency while also enabling excellent part reproducibility and the possibility of creating components with complex shapes and integrated functions,” according to the manufacture. The material is produced by compressing carbon fibers with resin and steel moulded at extremely high temperatures, and then it is reworked and compounded with resin.
The result is a distinctive look – similar to that of the Carbotech material used by Panerai – that is half the weight of steel with twice the hardness.
At 42 mm the carbon compound case has the same diameter as the current Excalibur Automatic Skeleton models, but it is slightly thicker at 12.14 mm (versus 11.44 mm).
Inside, in-house automatic skeleton (caliber RD820SQ) has stayed the same. It features a micro-rotor, and fittingly, the plate and bridges have a charcoal grey rhodium-plated finish with a circular-grained decoration. Each of the 167 movement components is meticulously hand-finished on all faces in accordance with the stringent requirements of the Poinçon de Genève certification. In fact, it takes 530 hours of manufacturing for each movement, including 170 hours that are spent just on Poinçon de Genève requirements.
The dial is new with a black flange and contrasting red minute-circle,
white Roger Dubuis logo, Poinçon de Genève stamp, and “Swiss Made” transfers. White gold appliques mark the hours along with gold skeleton hands.
There is no production limitation. Water-resistance is 30 meters. Power reserve is 60-hours. The Excalibur Automatic Skeleton Carbon is paired with a black alligator leather/rubber strap with a black DLC titanium adjustable folding clasp.