< IN CONVERSATION >
In an interview with Mitrajit Bhattacgarya, Omar Chaoui,Rigional Brand Manager of Roger Dubuis, reveals Excalibur is their most iconic watch
What makes Roger Dubuis stand out as a brand?
Roger Dubuis is a brand that stands out in many different ways. Firstly, the brand is a Manufacture, which implies that every single movement housed in a Roger Dubuis watch has been entirely designed and made in-house. That brings me to the second point – Roger Dubuis has earned the prestigious right to get the ‘Canton de Geneve’ to place the quality hallmark seal ‘Poincon de Geneve’ in every single movement that the brand manufactures. This is an honour that only a few watch brands have been granted, and Roger Dubuis is certainly the only brand that gets systematically a 100 per cent of its movement production stamped with the ‘Poincon de Geneve’. Lastly, the architecture of the Roger Dubuis watches simply stand out. When you look at the latest creations of the brand in the KingSquare or the EasyDiver collections for instance, you will be able to notice the sheer complexity and level of engineering that was needed to build up these watch cases, giving the watch a strong and bold design.
What took you so long to launch in India? How do you see the potential of the brand here?
India is a market that has an enormous growth potential for all industries, and the watch industry is no exception. We wish we could have brought the brand to the market long ago, but there were many hurdles. The biggest challenge I would say – that we still face – is the fact that the import duties and taxes on luxury watches remain extremely high in India. From a strict business standpoint, this implies that the profits generated by working in India are greatly eroded, and this financial erosion ends up being detrimental to all the involved parties, including India itself. Basically, whatever monies the brand would normally allocate to brand promotion in a market (advertising, events, sponsorship, etc), are greatly diminished because of the weight of taxes and duties. In other markets, where this is not an issue, we are able to spend rather comfortable budgets that allow us not just to build our brand image, but also inject fresh money into the local economy.
The past one year has been severe for the world economy, particularly so for the luxury category. How has Roger Dubuis performed across the world in these difficult times?
These past 12 months have indeed been very challenging for everyone, and the luxury industry perhaps has suffered more than most. Globally, I think that Roger Dubuis has faced the same difficulties as everyone else, but I cannot say more as my own involvement is only in Middle Eastern and Subcontinental markets. And as far as my region goes, the challenge is definitely there, but with the help of our partners and retailers, we manage to face this situation rather well. Qualitative and rare products are always in demand, as there are always people who appreciate such things, no matter what the situation is.
You recently launched the Excalibur collection in India. Tell us more about it.
The Excalibur line is one of the four main collections of Roger Dubuis (the others being KingSquare, GoldenSquare and EasyDiver). The Excalibur is perhaps the most iconic watch by Roger Dubuis, as it is immediately recognisable thanks to its very elegant – yet very bold – design, and more importantly, it is the collection that has been chosen to house every movement that Roger Dubuis has developed over the years. The most sought-after Excalibur watches would be the Excalibur Double Tourbillion – The Excalibur Double Tourbillion Squelette and the Excalibur Grande Complication that houses an In-line Perpetual Calendar, a Tourbillion and a Minute-Repeater! This is probably the most impressive watch ever made by Roger Dubuis.
Could you also let us know about the other products from your collection like KingSquare and EasyDiver?
As stated before, one of the key attributes of Roger Dubuis watches is the architecture of the watches. These two collections are both perfect examples of that. The KingSquare is the most recent collection from our end. The Easy- Diver watch was launched some time back, but in both cases we are talking about a very strong and powerful watch. My advice to your readers would be to take some time to visit the brand’s website and get acquainted with these watches.