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Independent Spirit

Discover the journey of Roger Dubuis in our temporary boutique space at Rosewood Sand Hill this month

by James Malcolmson

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider RDDBEX0572

For the first time since the pandemic struck, Stephen Silver is adding a new watch brand to our lineup. Geneva manufacturer Roger Dubuis is known for its daring styles and constructions, and possesses a number of similarities, as well as important differences to our customary fare of independent makers. Beginning in mid-March, the brand will commence a temporary display of almost its full collection in our small boutique at the Rosewood.

Master watchmaker Roger Dubuis, who for many years honed his talent at Patek Philippe, was the quintessential independent watchmaker when struck out on his own in 1980 and launched his brand in 1995. His initial range of pieces, many of which are now quite collectible, bore many of the quality traits and aesthetic touches of his former employer. But as the 1990s became the 2000s, the Roger Dubuis collection began to evolve into new directions, spurred less by Dubuis himself but by his principal investor, Carlos Dias, a Spanish furniture executive who showed himself to have a keen eye for evolving collector tastes. The new watches were flamboyant, with stylized numerals and flourishes like retrogrades and other complications.

The styles and strict, 28-piece limitation on each reference were perfect for the times. But as the 2000s wore on, Dias’s designs became increasingly exotic. his torrid pace of movement development also precipitated reliability issues. By 2008, a financial dispute with a distributor compelled Dias to sell a majority stake to Richemont. 

While the corporatization implicit in holding company management may have ended the freewheeling days at Roger Dubuis, it also brought many benefits. Movements were properly industrialized and made reliable. Under the stewardship of technical director Gregory Bruttin, a protegé of Dubuis (who passed in 2017), the brand has staked a technical position in advanced territory, espousing the use of new materials like carbon and continuing its daring constructions like the double flying tourbillon with differential. Designs are similarly daring with aggressive lines and envelope-pushing skeleton treatments that make their partnership with Lamborghini a natural fit.

We invite you to explore and discover all these qualities in our March exhibition at our temporary boutique space at Rosewood Sand Hill and as the brand takes its place in our newly renovated main store. 

To schedule a private appointment to view the collection, contact us at  boutique@shsilver.com.