Dorothee Henrio, Marketing Director of Roger Dubuis shares with Mitrajit Bhattacharya the background stories which brought Lamborghini and Pirelli to associate with the brand
What are the big stories the big launch of the year?
It’s Lamborghini and Pirelli. The first one is, of course, the Pirelli which we launched 12 months ago. It’s our first real partnership in the field of motorsports. We have a lot of things in common. I discovered a totally a new world between Pirelli, and the motorsport. They have a big R&D team and that’s what is being represented in the laboratory of Roger Dubuis.
Last year was the first of your Pirelli products, the Spider Excalibur.
Exactly, we did the first edition of double tourbillon, 8 pieces, as always, for Roger Dubuis on Excalibur Collection. The strap of this was made from the winning tyres of the Monaco F1 Grand Prix.
So you have a story on your wrist.
Exactly, you have a story on the wrist, and I think that’s what our clients are looking for. This year we are launching a new edition of Pirelli. The Pirelli has seven colours in their tyres, depending on the weather condition, etc. Our second story is about Lamborghini. We have kicked off a fantastic partnership with them. In Sant’Agata Bolognese in Italy, we did a big dinner with hundred of our top clients and launched our first story of a new movement, also based on the Excalibur icon but totally a new movement, called the Duotor, with two balanced springs. And we have done the first collection with the same carbon used on the car, Aventador S. So, the name of the collection is Excalibur Aventador S. The idea is really not to put a logo on the watch, but let the engineers and the watchmakers to work together and come out with some very charismatic experience for the clients. At SIHH, we launched a new piece of Excalibur Aventador S, limited to 88 pieces. Though we have 25 boutiques in the world, totalling 160 points of sales, not all of our point of sales will have this piece.
How have the two brands’ philosophies merged? Do take us through.
Lamborghini has in their blood, or exactly in the engine what we have in our watches. They are strongly Italian and we strongly, Swiss. Both proud of their origin, strong manufactures, limited production, and very disruptive way of thinking, when it comes to design, R&D, whether it is the Aventador, or the latest Urus Super SUV that they just launched, or the Huracan. The same is with us, I mean the Excalibur. We know that this is very much Haute Horlogerie, but it’s also a very disruptive and has a very daring design. The new Excalibur Aventador, the blue one, reflects the blue of Lamborghini. In fact, we took exactly the same colour code. As with Pirelli, it’s the same with Lamborghini. Both want their clients to live an experience, to live different, basically to wear some adrenaline! All these people have one thing common: they are very wealthy, they live in villas, they have private jets and yachts. And they want to have fun. They want to feel some adrenalin rush, and that’s what Lamborghini and Roger Dubuis are offering.
Bands having an association with automobiles are plenty. But there are not too many having an association with a tyre making company.
When we approached Pirelli, we didn’t know much about the company. A fantastic company, it has a foundation for art, the Pirelli calendar. They are very much into design. They have a lot of R&D on tyres. They do lot many things. In fact, we share a lot of common clients. The management of Pirelli wants to boost forward the lifestyle angle rather talk about tyres. Haute Horlogerie is a small world and we believe that we need to open the boundaries, have a sharing relationship with sectors and more importantly our experiences.
Let’s talk about the hashtag of the year, which is Dare to be Rare.
Since the formation of Roger Dubuis some 23 years ago we have been thinking out of the box. 20 years ago big watches were not fashionable but we initiated the trend. For us daring doesn’t mean the look of the product, but the experience which comes with it. When some of our clients visit the Manufacturer we surprise them by bringing them in a helicopter, on the top of the mountain to eat fondue with some caviar. Isn’t that daring? We do things differently. Rare, because our watches are limited. What our clients want today is to have bespoke stuff that they are unlikely to see on the wrist of others. So the Dare to be Rare is not a justification but a part of our DNA. 99.9% of our collection have the Geneva Seal, like the Excalibur Aventador S collection. We just have one collection, the Velvet which doesn’t have the seal because we wanted it to be very competitive in pricing. We are possibly the only Manufacture which has the largest number of reference with the Geneva Seal.
You also had some association in India, with Lamborghini, very recently. Do we foresee more such events in India?
The Lamborghini partnership is not only about the experience but about working together with our local subsidiaries, and this is anywhere in the world, from India to China, to the USA. They have a very strong but limited network of dealers, like us. We will help each other in discovering new clients.
My last question: your thoughts on Roger Dubuis, the person?
Roger was someone who has left really a mark on the brand. He was the dad of everyone, like granddad of the team. He was not part of the management any longer but was very much continuing to give advice to the team. Very disruptive in his approach and also daring! His death has been a great loss for us. The spirit of Roger will continue to remain with us for years to come.