Walk into just about any watch store, and somewhere along the way you can expect to see the same old thing: A flashy looking watch with some sort of automotive branding adorning its dial. For years, this has been the name of the game with automotive/timekeeping partnerships, and to most the novelty of this approach has entirely lost its sheen. Thankfully, one partnership has figured out how to take a significantly different approach. Both known for their performance, exclusivity, and boundary-pushing aesthetic codes, Lamborghini teamed up with Roger Dubuis in late 2017 as part of a long-term collaboration sharing both design and technology, and their two latest models were launched in Geneva just last month.
Lamborghini’s past partnership with Blancpain had just come to a close, and they were on the hunt for a new title sponsor for the Super Trofeo racing series. Roger Dubuis, on the other hand, had already been seeing significant success with their Excalibur line of skeletonized watches, and after launching a collaboration with Pirelli that turned track-raced Formula One tires into watch straps, the brand knew there was significant market share waiting for them in the automotive/motorsport realm.
After a few initial meetings between the respective companies’ top brass, the reins of the dialogue promptly shifted to discussions between the Roger Dubuis product team, Lamborghini’s Centro Stile design and innovation team, as well as Lamborghini’s own R&D department. The idea was quickly born of how to translate the Aventador’s V12 heart into an all-new mechanical watch movement in a way that is attention-grabbing at both a visual and technical level. And the movements in the new Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S watches certainly have airs of engine bay/drivetrain design — more so than ever seen in the world of watchmaking. An overarching strut brace-styled bridge rests above a cover plate of the movement’s “engine” (the mainspring barrel, where you can see a cut-out for its power reserve indication between the one and two o’clock markers). Between seven and eight o’clock, a “differential” of sorts translates the movement of its two balance wheels to deliver time indication with a jumping seconds indication—a complication that’s fairly challenging to execute in a fully mechanical watch movement.
Watch jargon aside, this still isn’t the end of the overlap between Lamborghini and Roger Dubuis. Carbon fibre isn’t a new material in the watch industry, and it is one that Roger Dubuis has utilized in the past, however it is also a product that Lamborghini has even greater history and capabilities with than any luxury watch brand out there. This in mind, Lamborghini opened the doors to its manufacturer of , which it first developed as part of the creation of the Sesto Elemento. After initial runs of prototyping and testing, the product engineers at Roger Dubuis were more than happy to use this Lambo-derived carbon composite as the materials for the cases of any collaborative watches for the two brands moving forward.
By now the burning question, is what all this will set you back. For those of you less familiar with the watch industry, the “entry level” models of the Roger Dubuis Excalibur series start off somewhere north of $75,600. For the more complex limited edition Avendator S models of the watch, you’re looking at a price of entry of US$185,000 — roughly the same ballpark as that of a well-maintained 2014 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. That said, much in the same way a Lamborghini isn’t a first or only car for anyone, these smartly designed timepieces will easily find favor amongst those who’ve already dropped six figures on their own raging bull.