Roger Dubuis Opens Its First Australian Boutique

Unashamedly and boastfully excessive, the contemporary Swiss master also delivers an exclusive Excalibur to the market.

By Josh Bozin 17/12/2021

Hyper horology. It’s the moniker that has come to frame a very select few, shining a light on those who’ve lifted craftsmanship and the presentation of luxury to a bold, enlivened and, at times, arguably maniacal level, given what is delivered.

And it’s here, in this exciting and enticing space that Roger Dubuis proudly sits—a contemporary Swiss force recognised largely for its use of materials, skeletonised designs and impressive complications.

Further excitement rests with the fact that the marque has just pulled back the curtain on a debut Australian boutique, set to capitalise on the rising interest in elevated luxury timepieces by an increasingly savvy Australian set.

Nicola Andreatta, Roger Dubuis CEO.

“We’ve been talking about how to expand into the Australian market for quite some time,” offers Roger Dubuis CEO, Nicola Andreatta. “We’ve had a small presence for a few years now, working with local retailers and partners, but never a physical store.”

For Andreatta it means a chance to experience pieces and absorb the narrative first-hand—a must for his brand.

“You need to do that,” he says. “And so we feel a physical presence in a growing market like Australia is pivotal.”

Some may suggest opening a physical boutique amid the pandemic is risky, though given that the Asia-Pacific watch (and jewellery) market continues to expand—claiming total revenue of $243 billion in 2020—Australia is set to play a key role in future sales.

Inside Roger Dubuis’ new Sydney boutique. 

“Our brand is becoming more and more known; it’s becoming a brand people want to enjoy and I don’t see a risk in opening new stores if we do things the right way, the Roger Dubuis way,” purrs Andreatta. “We’re a brand you need to experience to fully understand haute horology. Emotions are conveyed through experiences, and clearly you will want to experience our beautiful timepieces; our pieces of art that we create.”

To commemorate its Australian arrival, a dedicated Blacklight timepiece has been created—an ode to its ‘hyper horology’ moniker. The Excalibur Blacklight Automatic Skeleton indeed proves to be a work of wearable art. During the day, its coloured sapphire micro-beams are spread inside the calibre, like rays of light shining through the timepiece. At night and under UV light, the micro-beams are luminescent and fuelled by Super-LumiNova technology.

Roger Dubuis’ flagship Sydney boutique.

“We’ve been working on the Blacklight collection for a number of years now and we’re dedicating this version to the Australian market. It’s the last watch of this kind that we’ll take to the market—it’s relatively renowned globally, but to the Australian market it’ll be a talking piece.”

Whether you love watches or not, spending upwards of $60,000 dollars on a solitary piece may leave the mouth a little dry. But that’s the whole point of Roger Dubuis’ offering, playing on its excessive nature unlike any other brand in the market and owning such outright.

Now, with a growing tribe of watch fanatics who are younger and more readily able to spend on haute horology, Andreatta and the Roger Dubuis brand have spent the last year and a half building brand awareness while remaining exclusive at the same time. An oxymoron perhaps, but a notion that’s central to continued success.

The Excalibur Blacklight Automatic Skeleton.

“Over the last 18 months, we have been thinking about what Roger Dubuis really stands for, and we found that we are all about excess, but not in a negative way. The etymology of excess comes from the Latin word ‘excedo’ which means to go beyond. To always challenge ourselves. And this is really the spirit of the brand.”

Andreatta signs off with a simple statement that is perhaps indicative of things to come: “expect the unexpected.

“Roger Dubuis is a place; it’s a state of mind; it’s something different,” he says. “Roger Dubuis is full of surprises. We keep exploring and innovating and looking for the next revolution. And starting in 2022 at Watches & Wonders in Geneva, it will come with many exciting novelties.”

Roger Dubuis is located at 60 Castlereagh St Sydney, 2000; rogerdubuis.com

This piece is from our new Car Of The Year Issue – on sale now. Get your copy or subscribe here, or stay up to speed with the Robb Report weekly newsletter.

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