In a joint interview, Christine Fougeron Louvet, Marketing Director, Roger Dubuis, and Lionel Favre, Head of Design, Roger Dubuis, tell Mitrajit Bhattacharya that the strength of the brand lies in its fabulous portfolio of movements
Roger Dubuis is definitely one of the most exciting brands around. How would you define the DNA of Roger Dubuis?
At the core of the brand’s DNA are the incredible mechanics. It is this fabulous portfolio of movements that we have – over 30 movements in 15 years. We have movements in every high complication category, making us part of the select club of refined watchmaking. Also, part of the DNA is the very daring design both inside and outside – inside with the skeletal movement, the double flying tourbillion with the bridges and very strong movements and a very daring design outside as well. That makes us unique.
All your movements carry the prestigious Geneva seal.
Yes, all our movements have the Geneva seal, the hallmark of Geneva. Also, we are hundred per cent vertically integrated. We conceive, develop and produce allied components, down to even the spiral in the balance spring.
How would you describe your marketing philosophy?
Our marketing philosophy is to bring this incredible knowhow to life through storytelling – stories that will help us express what the brand is all about in a conceivable way and make an emotional connect with our customers.
Being a comparatively new brand, you don’t go back to history like others who can talk about the times of French Royalty. So what does the storytelling consist of for you?
Storytelling is essentially making an emotional connect through an imaginary fantasy world. For each collection we build a fantasy world to establish a link to that specific collection. For example, in the segment of the elegant, daring watch, we have created a collection – La Monégasque. It is about fine watchmaking, luxury, exclusivity and elegance. At the same time it is about a daring character. If you look at what perfectly fits in with this definition, it is the imaginary world of the player and the casino and that’s what we explore while talking about it.
You have three very distinct lines – the Excalibur, the King Square and the Easy Diver. How would you define these?
The distinctive feature of the Excalibur is its very powerful design. It has a lot of metal in it, making it look like a beautiful shining armour. That’s why we brought it into the distinctive fantasy world of knights with their helmets. All our high complication movements are housed in this collection. It is best that we show it in a daring, unique and unusual way. With Roger Dubuis, the association is almost automatic and direct.
The Easy Diver is more of this outdoor sports watch, easygoing yet compli-cated, because of the tourbillion that is housed in this sports watch. It was daring on our part to bring about a novelty in movement in a sports watch. I think the King Square is all about powerful colours and a powerful design. This year we showcased it in black and red. It is almost like saying, “I am here to show who I am and I dare to show who I am.”
Do you see the brand DNA expanding to include a sober watch for evening wear for gentlemen?
I can tell you about several elegant watches for men. From a distance they may look like sober, elegant watches. But then, when we play with the statistical codes, we twist the traditional aesthetical codes of watchmaking to bring forward the assertive character of the brand. So when you start looking into the details, you realise that they may look classic, but are not so.
Talking about this year’s launch, the La Monégasque Collection, did you first conceive the look and the feel and then move on to the concept or was it vice versa?
We worked on it in a parallel manner. The audacity, inventiveness and talent of Roger Dubuis lives on in the La Monégasque collection, which consists of elegantly contoured timepieces driven by exceptional movements, each bearing the prestigious Poincon de Geneve-Hallmark and including a new chronograph Calibre, the RD680, which is currently in the process of certification.
How many months did it take from conceptualising the design to finally launching it?
It took us exactly one and a half years from the first sketch to the first model of the watch. We began work on it during 2009 end.
If you were to spell out the hallmark Roger Dubuis watch, which one would it be?
The Excalibur Skeleton Double Tourbillon.