What do Roger Dubuis and Hajime Sorayama have in common? One hypnotic piece of wrist candy, apparently.
The Swiss watchmaker has just unveiled a limited edition with the world-famous Japanese artist that reflects his disruptive oeuvre. The new Excalibur Sorayama Monobalancier is the third model in the maison’s Urban Culture Tribe line in which creatives blend art with horology.
Hajime Sorayama, known for his super-realistic “Sexy Robots,” has reimagined the skeletonized Excalibur Monobalancier that was revealed at Watches and Wonders earlier this year. The sleek 42 mm wristwatch features a polished titanium case and bracelet that echoes the artist’s 3-D sculptures. It also comes engraved with the watchmaker’s monogram and Sorayama’s name.
Under the sapphire dial, the signature Roger Dubuis star levitates freely above the barrel. The micro-rotor, meanwhile, was tweaked by Sorayama in order to create a hypnotising optical illusion (or rippling moiré effect) triggered by the natural movements of the wearer’s wrist. Roger Dubuis said it took months of in-house prototyping to find the right combination of materials and finishes. (The stamped décor is paired with traditional guilloché.)
Of course, the watch works well, too. The engineers optimised the micro-rotor to minimize vibrations and doubled the balance wheel inertia to improve stability and make it less sensitive to shocks. The escapement wheel and pallets are now constructed of diamond-coated silicon for better optimisation of energy and efficiency with increased precision to 4Hz. The enhanced caliber (RD 720SQ) promises a power reserve of 72 hours, too.
“The Excalibur Sorayama MB is a perfect blend of two worlds, with Roger Dubuis’ and my signature both recognizable at first sight,” Sorayama said in a statement. “I’m thrilled we were able to bring such a hyper expressive timepiece to life. By pushing our limits, we’ve created a distinctive moiré and a singular masterpiece.”
Like blue-chip art, the Excalibur will be hard to come by. Limited to just 28, the watch will be first offered in Japan, with price upon request.
Previously published on Robb Report.