Thoughts on Roger Dubuis?

It seems that Dubuis has achieved the status of old-world craftsman like V&C, Patek of the 50's, 60's.  Is it deserved or hype?

Carlos Diaz should be lauded for creating the pimpy
05/17/2008 - 21:22

look for manufactured calibers and something many wanabees want to follow! No denying that the guy is a genious marketer and had 10 years advance over the industry.

What I find less honest is the mumbo jumbo on the calibers with less than saisfactory finish (but who manage to recieve the Geneva Seal, which leads me to wonder if anyone actually ever checks), not to mention the fact that the so called single pusher chronos do not have a modified movement but achieved via cams in the case!

RD IMHO is a good brand but not the brand it leads one to believe. It could have been a greater brand and been what you say had they continued with what was being done while RD (the man) was still there.

Just my 2c... 

Gentlemen as a VC forum....
05/17/2008 - 21:35

I have nothing against discussing different brands in a general discussion but prefer not to have specific threads on a specific brand.

I'm sure you understand but now that this thread has been started go ahead and give your opinions....

I think I understand, how about this?
05/17/2008 - 22:56

Let me rephrase my first post...

What manufacturers are there today that can match the quality of movements from V&C, Patek, Audemars of the 50's and 60's?  Or Nardin of the 40's?  I'm speaking of their full product line, not the desgin-house specials we often see that are actually from outside suppliers.

Makers like Andersen, Breguet, Dubuis come to mind.  I'm excluding the obvious response of contemporary VC and Patek simply because I'd like to discuss brands I'm not as familiar with.

Is this an acceptable approach?

As Juan Carlos Torres said in April of 2007...
05/17/2008 - 23:10

JCT: A big and warm welcome to lovers of the art of fine watchmaking and horological excellence, to those passionate about horological authenticity and also a big welcome to the moderator who by his neutrality and approach will make The Hour Lounge not only a success but THE platform for discussions of all matters regarding Vacheron Constantin. And most of all… be free to have pleasure!

Re: I think I understand, how about this?
05/18/2008 - 03:55

There are many fine brands and manfactures out there these days.  Breguet is certainly one and it makes some beautiful pieces.  In fact, I know that at least one person at VC is a fan of Breguet's La Tradition.

Another brand worth considering is Lange.  Their pieces are amongst the finest in their demonstration of craftsmanship, finishing and watchmaking.  Oh and by the way, every time I see Mr. Torres and Mr. Krone together, they seem to genuinely enjoy each other's company.

However, IMVHO, I cannot see including Roger Dubuis in the upper echelon of manufactures.  Putting them on the same level as AP, PP and VC is stretching credibility somewhat.  Two points worth mentioning....  First, as they have sold their manufacturing facilities to the Richemont Group, I do not think that they can be considered a manufacture anymore.  Secondly, if the brand was so outstanding, then why did the Richemont Group only buy the manufacturing facilities and not spend money on the brand itself?

Anyway, just my 2 cents worth...


Good points...
05/18/2008 - 04:56

I've heard suspect things about Lange - that they build their movements for show and do not always finish the unseen parts to as high a standard as the visible side.  There are a few comparisons online where dissassembly of the Lange has revealed this, which is very disappointing as I really love the traditional architecture of their movements.

That was in the earlier years
05/18/2008 - 11:19

now Lange does the non visible parts as well

not really fair on Lange since their movements on their visible
05/18/2008 - 11:27

parts are so fantastically finished that the non visible part finish which is still excellent can seem less attractive. Let's not forget that Lange was the 1st in 1994 to take the approach of fine finsih and giving a nice kick in the a** of the Swiss watch industry who was somewhat sleeping on its laurels.

To answer your question, for me the ones who come to mind are the independents such as Dufour and Voutilainen for their traditional approach to movement conception and finish and Urwerk, Halter, MB&F for the design approach because (even though VC was rather timid in the past years) they were extremely audacious in their designs up to the 60s.

DeBethune also comes to mind.

Re: not really fair on Lange since their movements on their visible
05/19/2008 - 03:42

Perhaps the final word on the quality of Lange pieces and their finishing would be the fact that Philippe Dufour wears one.  A pretty good "endorsement" if you ask me...


Duncan, look forward to meeting you again someday.
05/18/2008 - 05:47

I wish to learn a lot from you

Not much to learn from me but I do hope to see you again soon. (nt)
05/19/2008 - 03:44


Aside from the individual makers, Lange is the one they're all chasing
05/20/2008 - 07:41

Once Lange shook up the comfortable world of the Swiss industry, some of the Swiss firms responded quite sincerely and effectively. I'm puzzled as to why most of them have not followed Lange in making movements that are the correct size for their watches; it will be very difficult for them to make the same aesthetic impact until they do so. Full-sized movements, in addition to being easier to see in general, allow for a level artistic freedom that allows Lange to make superbly designed and proportioned movements. Is this a not-too-subtle hint to Vacheron? Yes. I would very much like to see a beautiful Vacheron movement that fills its case rather than being suspended in the center.

Various reasons
05/20/2008 - 08:18

- Cost of developing new movements

- Easier for Lange in that they started fresh with only 2-3 types of watch

- Annual production of Lange compared to most is very small

That being said I would like that too for models with display backs but if you can't see it does it really matter. In my opinion most of the watches on the  market should not  be display back  because  they don't really show  the  working  of the watch.  Especially  automatic's and watches with 3/4 plates.  Something like the movement of the Datograph is what you want to look at

Mario I would say that 2/3 of the watches should have
05/20/2008 - 12:13

solid backs just because the movement is so poorly finished that you don't want to see it!

MKVC you're wish will be granted sooner than you think :-) (nt)
05/20/2008 - 12:12


What in the world made you think RD's monopusher uses cams?
05/19/2008 - 09:37

Please also tell us why you think the finishing is less than satisfactory.

I have owned a couple of RD.  I am not saying the finish is better than my VC, but it is definitely no worse than most of other "high-end" watches out there.

Also, as far as I know, they used two versions of calibres in their monopusher, one was based on Lemania 2220, a monopusher from the ground up, the other looks like a modified Lemania 2310, but I could be wrong.  Either way, both were column wheel actuated.  As a matter of fact, I am not aware of ANY RD chrono movement using cam.  Please correct me if I am wrong.



I didn't say they were not column wheel chrono movement but that the
05/19/2008 - 10:11

monopusher chronographs were not really mono pusher but bi pusher.

On the outside of the case the chrono had one pusher for the start/stop/reset but instead of a modified movement the mono pusher feature was obtained via cams in the case. For example for start/stop the cam pressed on the top pusher of the movement and once the pusher was pressed for the 3rd time for reset the cams pressed on the bottom pusher.

I say this because I saw it! I'm not saying as this was always the case but for the more recent models. Same with the finish...

now that we're on the subject of other brands, check this out
05/18/2008 - 11:46
A good finding Alex
05/18/2008 - 16:59


Re: now that we're on the subject of other brands, check this out
05/19/2008 - 00:49

Yes Alex,

I get that reaction all the time too when I'm at a public urinal.

But perhaps it because I'm actually wearing my watch on my .........!!

Sorry Alex, couldn't help myself! LOL