Roger Dubuis has been on a spree of material innovation lately. A few weeks ago, I looked at the Excalibur Carbon Spider Watch which had the first movement to feature significant use of carbon – specifically, the movement plate, bridges, and tourbillon upper cage were done in carbon. We also got to go hands-on with this watch, the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt which is the first watch in the world to feature a case constructed entirely out of something called cobalt chrome – a high-strength alloy that serves as a suitable backdrop for the watch’s impressive quad layout balance.
Roger Dubuis released the first Excalibur Quatuor model back in 2013, and they were already experimenting with materials on the watch, offering a silicon model in a limited edition of 3 watches each priced at a staggering $1,000,000. The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt doesn’t get near that price. Though, it is also a limited edition, coming in only 8 pieces. What was visually impressive then remains as such – check out the video above of the four balances in action.
As our Kenny Yeo put it when we covered this watch’s release, “Cobalt chrome is an alloy with a very high specific strength and biocompatibility, and it is used widely in the medical and aeronautical industries to make turbines, artificial knee and hip joints, and even dental crowns.” And as for MicroMelt, it’s the process that involves atomizing a molten alloy in a high-pressure gas stream.
The result is essentially a powder which is then subjected to blending, isostatic pressing, hot working, and processing. In this case, the process results in cobalt chrome. Additionally, many of the corrosion-resistant features of the watch are also due in part to the passive protection film that exists as a trait typical in most anti-corrosive metals. The vibrant sheen of the cobalt chrome coupled with the blue PVD on the plates and bridges is nothing short of a visual treat.