By Harlan Chapman-Green
At the age of 80 Orologihas lost its guiding light and namesake, Roger Dubuis. Announced on October the 14th via the company’s Instagram account, Roger Dubuis has issued the following statement:
“Roger Dubuis, our company founder, has passed away today at the age of 80. His renowned expertise in Haute Horlogerie, his disruptive vision, his human values will remain close to our heart. We are all committed to keep his unique spirit within our brand. Roger’s passing is a grievous loss for all of us and the entire watch community. Our sympathies are with his family and close relatives.”
Roger Dubuis has been on the cutting edge of wristwatch design since its inception back in 1996 by Roger Dubuis himself and fellow entrepreneur/designer Carlos Dias. Roger himself left the company in 2004 to take his retirement, only to return back to the manufacture in 2011 after the company had been bought by the Richemont Group in 2008. This gives benefits to both companies, Roger Dubuis now has stable financial backing and access to group resources, and also offers Richemont another power player in a very niche and expensive group of watches, said group containing other companies including Richard Mille.
In recent times Roger Dubuis has been stepping back from offering a broad range of products to simply making watches which take the idea of skeleton watches to the extreme, you could almost say that Roger Dubuis is responsible for making seeing your own sweaty arm hair through your watch fashionable. Their watches often receive high levels of certification including the Geneva Seal, as such they command an extraordinarily high retail price with automatic time only watches selling for over $50,000 in some cases (Roger Dubuis is also known well for its high tech cases as well using difficult to manufacture materials such as carbon, it can even go so far as to make movement parts out of carbon too).
Thanks to depreciation they can be a steal on the secondary market too, my favourite being the Easy Diver range of watches, which sold for near to $30,000 if my memory serves me correctly, but can now be had for closer to $10,000 which, considering most will be Geneva Seal and rugged enough to actually go diving. Recently they partnered with Automobili Lamborghini to produce a limited run of yellow and orange watches with a brand new take on movement design (click here to read more).
Roger Dubuis will be sorely missed, however the company is as strong and resolute as ever.