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A Story of Ice and Fire: Knights of the Round Table

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Through fellowship, comes power. A combined strength that can overcome the greatest challenges and ultimately shape the future. From the mythical Knights of the Round Table, Roger Dubuis has embraced this ageless lesson of shared mastery – transforming its own diverse skills into a timepiece of hyper expressivity.

Introducing the latest evolution of the Knights of the Round Table – the next exciting chapter of a renowned watchmaking quest. On this latest epic journey, the earth begins to crack once more, as twelve gallant heroes are summoned to defend their kingdom against an ice-bound threat.

According to legend, the Round Table is a symbol of equality, whereby every seat plays an even part. That has been the very same philosophy taken by Roger Dubuis when creating this newest interpretation. The heart of our Manufacture has become its own Round Table for visionary designers, courageous watchmakers, and deeply motivated artisans, who have each contributed to a compelling story of excellence and awe.

Capturing all the qualities of valour, chivalry, and faithfulness, the creativity has taken another surging step forward, conquering a wintry Arthurian adventure, complete with a frozen landscape and exquisite character portrayal. In every detail, we reveal incredible know-how at work, all drawn from the inspiration of this famous and immortal fable.

Swords at the ready, as our fearless voyage into Hyper Horology™ continues.

Courage in Craftsmanship

Ever since the first Knights of the Round Table timepiece was unveiled in 2013, Roger Dubuis has continued to shape and refine the collection’s aesthetics – always with bravery in the face of difficulty.

Today, the twelve micro-engraved knights are dynamic in their movement and individual in their posture. Each one is infused with personality, presenting the overall watch as a stage for action. This is a scene frozen in the moment and charged with energy. As if the very next second will erupt into battle.

To achieve such animated figures, the knights follow an exacting craftsmanship process that is elaborate and meticulous. From the initial drawings, resin mock-ups of each warrior are created in perfect proportions. 3D scans are then taken, followed by moulding and casting in 18K pink gold, resulting in 6 mm tall knights.

However, it is then down to the steady hand of the craftsmen to manually engrave each piece and bring its final appearance to life using exquisite artistry. This is a job that takes one to three days for each knight and requires patience. When detailing the slimmest swords or the subtle nuances of armour, skill of the highest level is required. One false move – and the duel could be lost.

Guardians of the Ice

The knights’ iconic search for the Holy Grail is known for taking them across distant terrains and perilous trails. Here, the group encounters an icy land, which sits above a deep and vivid lake.

Yet again, the sense of movement is dramatically accomplished, as the dial cracks open to confront our knights with their latest threat.

Starting with the outer flange, Roger Dubuis has framed the entire scene in a ring of transparent ice-blue glass, crafted following the Murano method. It took 6 months of in-depth research and trial to achieve this exact tone and provide the watch with such a captivating vibrancy. Another signal that the Maison is dedicated to perfection and leaves no stone unturned when trying to enrich the wearer’s view.

This same ice-blue glass is used for the main disc, as well as the large blocks that rupture out from the lake. To attain the glistening effect of powdered snow, the blocks are coated with biscuit porcelain of Limoges – a very special technique that is well-regarded for its fine quality and hard exterior. Most notably, it delivers a contrasting matte finish, which aligns superbly with the shiny surfaces of the glass.

Even with the materials mastered, the ambitious creation of the dial requires one further step, as the Roger Dubuis craftsmen assemble each block one-by-one, piecing together a 3D puzzle of radical composition. It’s a challenge that, together with crafting the knights, takes one month to complete, and all the perseverance in our watchmaking kingdom.

Metal Born from Fire

There is no doubting Roger Dubuis’ commitment to surprising and state-of-the-art materials. The new Knights of the Round Table is no exception. Yet again, the Maison has thought beyond the box, demanding to know which metal, and which techniques, can provide the best results.

The 45 mm case of this watch is therefore made from Titanium Damascus – in tribute to the ancient style of steel craftsmanship that goes back centuries. Perfect, you might say, for a watch that is immersed in the mythical inspiration of the past.

Indeed, this entire timepiece is driven by the legends of a medieval age, but it does so with contemporary skill and engineering. Using titanium gives the timepiece a luxurious and very modern edge. But it’s the Damascus approach that sets it apart. As a first step, the blacksmith stacks a series of Grade 2 and Grade 5 titanium plates together. Then, they are driven into a red-hot furnace, set at an extreme temperature. While the metal is still scorching, it is fiercely hammered, so that the initial layers form into one solid block.

Now, the block is heated and crushed, over and over again, to stretch and shape it. Cut, fold, heat, repeat.

A fiery process that continues multiple times until the desired number of layers and folds are formed.

Finally, the Maison subjects the metal to one final process. An acid bath. As the metal is dipped into the solution, the layers of the Grade 2 titanium begin to show through – creating an alluring wave pattern that flows throughout the metallic case.

This acid technique is something that only a daring watchmaker like Roger Dubuis could think of. It’s a difficult step, but the aesthetic quality and durability surpasses the typical standard and ends in something far more fascinating for the wearer.

Mounted on the Titanium Damascus case, the designers have added a bezel in polished titanium, which provides a striking contrast between the matte finish and unique pattern of the watch’s main body.

Windows to our World

It would be a shame to create such detailed knights, and then hide them from view. For that reason, Roger Dubuis has created a window beneath the bezel, so that the wearer can always admire the figures from every possible angle. From above or from the side, you’ll discover something new with every glance.

On the caseback, there is a view of the remarkable oscillating weight in blue – itself inspired by the stained-glass windows of medieval 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 in motion. Although lighter and smaller than a typical oscillating mass, and even with a shorter lever arm, none of the performance has been lost. This mesmerizing component is an example of the advanced knowledge that Roger Dubuis has in skeletonised design. Over the past 20 years, the Maison has evolved this specialised technique of miniaturisation to an unmatched standard, expertly proving that aesthetic prowess and faultless function can always work hand-in-hand. It’s now the signature architecture of Roger Dubuis, and it never fails to amaze.

Armed with Excellence

Loyalty is an intrinsic quality for the Knights of the Round Table. In the same way, Roger Dubuis forever remains loyal to its enduring values of innovation and performance, especially in the creation of its movements. This sublime timepiece is powered by the automatic Monobalancier RD821 calibre, made in-house at the Maison’s fully-integrated manufacture. Built with 172 components, and maintaining the highest standards of excellence, it features the hand-finishing of all parts, according to the criteria of the Poinçon de Genève; one of the most exclusive stamps of certification in watchmaking today.

Meanwhile, the crown and its protector are intentionally shaped like the guard of a sword, designed as if a blade is stuck inside the watch, just like the sword in the stone, which Arthur pulled free to signal his destiny as the true king.

Combining comfort, colour, and bold versatility, the watch’s strap is presented in dark blue. The addition of a Quick Release System means that the wearer can change the strap out in seconds, and give the watch their own preferred look.

Welcome to the Table

Almost as rare as the Grail itself, only 28 of these limited edition watches will be made available. For those in our close community who are on a quest for peerless design, there is perhaps no better timepiece to pursue.

This one Roger Dubuis creation reveals the united abilities of an entire Maison. From start to finish, we have sought the skills of the finest minds and hands. Our oath, spoken by all, is to always push the boundaries, and deliver an experience of Hyper Horology™ like no other.

An oath inspired by the traditional words of the wizard Merlin, which we have metalized under the sapphire glass caseback of each Knights of the Round Table masterpiece:
“Around this table, the bravest knights will gather as equals. They will set forth in search of adventure, righting wrongs, protecting the weak and humbling the proud.”

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