2016, the year proclaimed by Roger Dubuis as the Year of the Diva, sees the introduction of five gorgeous Velvet lines from the Manufacture, all vividly confirming its stature as the Jeweller of rare artistic masterpieces. The multiple aspects of this claim are embodied with particular strength in the World Premiere Black Velvet trilogy.
Ever since its creation under the impetus of its founder Mr Roger Dubuis, the Maison has steadily built its global reputation as a ‘convicted serial innovator’. Its dynamic R-driven approach to watchmaking – involving substantial investments backed by a dedicated in-house department and its own full-fledged Manufacture – enables it to give free rein to apparently boundless creativity. This unwavering loyalty to the creed of constant innovation is expressed through a resolutely cutting-edge attitude that enables it to roll out world-first, headline-making releases with each new edition of the SIHH.
Roger Dubuis has thereby acquired a worldwide reputation as an avant-garde Maison perpetually on the look-out for original technical developments and unusual aesthetic options – as well as unexpected combinations of the two, including through pioneering associations between materials often considered to be polar opposites. These complementary facets of its expertise – already allied to spectacular effect in the unprecedented “soft stones in the sky” patented gemsetting on rubber unveiled at the SIHH 2015 – now find stunning new World Premiere expression in the newly released Black Velvet trilogy.
The Black Velvet woman is driven by an all-conquering spirit. The uncompromising standards of this liberated lady are conveyed through a deliberately unconventional approach to life and living. Her resolutely rebellious attitude means she may at times be regarded as extreme, but always as infinitely intriguing.
Each of the models composing the trilogy features the groundbreaking use of gemset carbon, which called for a newly evolved and duly patented technique. Given that diamonds are a crystalline form of carbon, this could in fact be seen as the association between two different gems.
These models contribute to altering the masculine perception of carbon, which is transformed here in a manner that propels it firmly into an unmistakable feminine mode.
In terms of wearer comfort, this high-tech material ten times lighter than gold ensures an inimitably airy and pleasing feel on the wrist, while the multi-layered technique creates a mottled, wave-life effect that gives each watch a truly unique appearance.
The all-carbon fist in the Black Velvet glove packs a powerful aesthetic punch that is liable to prove a knockout – and is thus eminently suited to the all-conquering feminine facet it so evocatively channels.
In the dazzling version unveiled at the SIHH 2016, an approximately one-carat halo of 66 Paraiba tourmalines adorns the bezel and ‘third-lug’ décor. These ultra-rare stones glow with singular vibrancy that sets off the dusky carbon dial background to perfection. They are matched by the shimmering dove grey of the shiny satin-finish strap.
The second interpretation is no less appealing, since it is graced with a white mother-of-pearl dial surrounded by 66 black spinels – another rare gemstone – totalling approximately 1.3 cts. This stylish model is fitted with a black strap in the same silky-soft fabric produced using state-of-the-art technologies.
The third and final variation on this world-première theme epitomises pristine purity with the nobility of white diamonds framing the mother-of-pearl dial, as well as an immaculate and alluring white strap.
On each of these ultra-glamorous, stunningly sophisticated and supremely technical models,the prongs (claws) on the BlackVelvet ‘paw’ holding the gems subtly accentuate the visual impact of the stones, and each version plays on contrasting accents such as the Roman numerals, gold appliques and the inscriptions.
For women who expect more, who demand the best Contemporary women – and especially those of the Black Velvet variety – are increasingly fascinated by the intricacies of mechanical watchmaking. They will naturally appre-ciate the 172-part mechanical self-winding calibre finely adjusted in six positions and delivering a 48-hour power reserve.
Flaunting its beauty through the sapphire crystal case-back, Calibre RD821 is adorned with rhodium plating, ‘Côtes de Genève’ decoration and Poinçon de Genève finishes.
As Gregory Bruttin explains, “the sheer complexity of the challenges involved in creating the Black Velvet trilogy makes it a perfect example of why Roger Dubuis is indeed the ‘jeweller of rare artistic masterpieces’. It is unequivocally a jeweller through its discerning choice of gems and the technical mastery exemplified in their setting. Its horological masterpieces are inherently rare both in terms of the gems that are chosen and by the daring associations they embody. They are moreover inherently artistic through their aesthetic equilibrium as well as the play on colour contrasts, geometrical shapes and subtle textures.”