Beneath the surface of Roger Dubuis' creations is a hi-tech wonder The bold designs and high-jewellery feel of Roger Dubuis watches can easily trick the casual observer into thinking this is a brand that cares only about looks. But underneath that flashy, gemstone-encrusted skin lies a keen mind that is focused on technical mastery. This year marks Roger Dubuis' 10th anniversary. In an industry where brands count their birthdays in centuries, that might not sound a lot, but the company has come a long way in a short time. The brand has expanded so fast, it outgrew its new factory last year, just two years after completion. A second phase has been built, giving Roger Dubuis more than four times as much space. In celebration of a decade in business, the brand's founder and designer, Carlos Dias, is launching two tourbillon movements: RD01 and RD08. Mr Dias has also designed a new shell to house them: the Excalibur. At 45mm in diameter, the Excalibur is not small. A round, sporty-styled watch, its hefty dimensions are accentuated by a series of pronounced notches cut into the bezel. The more visually impressive of the two movements, the Calibre RD01, features a double tourbillon that dominates the bottom half of the dial (See page 2). 'We have been doing a lot of work with an atomic clock,' said Sylvie Chouler, public relations manager. 'We realised that by using a double tourbillon connected with a differential, we could greatly increase the accuracy of the watch.' The two tourbillons rotate in opposite directions and the differential system means they compensate each other's inaccuracies as they speed up or slow down due to the effects of gravity or other forces. The time display is suitably inventive, with a jumping hour hand and a retrograde minute hand sweeping across the upper half of the mother-of-pearl dial. The faint click and whirr made by retrograde movements as they swung back into place always annoyed Mr Dias, Ms Chouler said, so another special feature of the movement was that the retrograde was completely silent. With just a single tourbillon standard minute and hour hands, the Calibre RD08 might not have quite so much to distract the eye. But it has one nifty trick tucked up its sleeve: a minute repeater. One of the toughest feats in watchmaking, the minute repeater has eluded even some of the best-known watch brands. Roger Dubuis took this one a step further. By charging the mechanism with a bezel that turns in the same direction as the hands, the brand's designers succeeded in making the watch water-resistant to 30 metres. This is cutting-edge watchmaking: until this year, no one had been able to produce a watertight minute repeater. In another unconventional move, the watch is also available in steel. 'That is very unusual,' Ms Chouler said. 'Minute repeaters are normally only made from gold. But some people actually say the steel one has a nicer sound.' The brand's focus is on individuality and exclusivity. Its gold references are all produced as limited editions of just 28 pieces, 268 novelties. The only exception is the S.A.W. Introduced last year, gold models in the Sports Activity Watch series are produced in editions of 280 pieces, while there are 888 steel editions. The line has been given a new addition, the K10, which comes from a play on Dias' name (the K represents Carlos, while the Spanish for 10, 'diez' sounds similar to his surname). There are two versions of the K10, the square AquaMare and the circular EasyDiver. Another technical achievement this year is the brand's first skeletal movement, which is being used in two larger GoldenSquare watches. Measuring 40mm across, the watches are fitted with a sapphire crystal back to show off the beautifully finished movement. The range is one of the more playful ones in the Roger Dubuis collection, with the designs toying with themes including childhood games and puzzles. Most Roger Dubuis watches fall on the large end of the scales, but this year the brand is extending its range of smaller ladies' watches. Models in the 34mm size range have been added to the Sympathie, GoldenSquare and S.A.W. families. The brand has also introduced a number of 37mm and 38mm watches, in what it calls an 'intermediate' size aimed at women who like to wear a slightly larger watch, or men who prefer to wear something a little more discreet. Some examples are in its MuchMore collection.