This side-by-side comparison is just what Dubuis was after with these pieces. It is as obvious in the choice of ébauche as it is in the level, quality and style of finishing that he put into these early models. He employed the finishing techniques that made Patek Philippe movements so desirable such as Côtes de Genève, Mirror Polishing and Anglage. All things that helped the movement be awarded the Poinçon de Genève.
The Poinçon de Genève
A certification that at the time was only achieved by Patek Philippe watches, the Geneva Seal is unique in its accreditation as it doesn’t give much credence to measuring time accurately (that’s what the Besançon Observatory certification is for). Rather, it focuses on the art of decorating a movement with finesse and skill, which is something that the brand prided itself on achieving, from its start. Nowdays, you will find it stamped on the movements of brands such as Cartier, Chopard and Vacheron Constantin, as well as modern-day Roger Dubuis. To achieve the certification, it requires the adherence to twelve criteria that are demanding for even the most skilled watchmakers, covering everything from the movement’s conception to how it has been finished.
The technical requirements of the seal are:
Good workmanship on all parts of the calibre. Steel parts must have polished angles and their visible surfaces smoothed down. Screw heads must be polished with their slots and rims chamfered.The entire movement must be jewelled with rubies set in polished holes including the going train and escape wheel.The hairspring should be pinned in a grooved plate with a stud having rounded collar and cap. Mobile studs are permitted.Split or fitted indexes are allowed with a holding system except in extra-thin calibres where the holding system is not required.Regulating systems with balance with radius or variable gyration are allowed.
The wheels of the going train must be chamfered above and below and have a polished sink. In wheels 0.15mm thick or less, a single chamfer is allowed on the bridge side.In wheel assemblies, the pivot shanks and the faces of the pinion leaves must be polished.
The escape wheel has to be light, not more than 0.16mm thick in large calibres and 0.13mm in calibres under 18mm, and its locking-faces must be polished.The angle traversed by the pallet lever is to be limited by fixed banking walls and not pins or studs.Shock protected movements are accepted.The ratchet and crown wheels must be finished with accordance with registered patters.
Wire springs are not allowed.
Ticking all of these boxes placed these movements in a rather exclusive club in 1995. It could be imagined that this level of finishing was only possible because of their small production numbers allowing them to spend more time on each component.