Roger Dubuis Sympathie Chronograph S34 560, White Gold

£46,500
Watchdrawer

One of the earlier pieces created by Roger Dubuis after starting his brand, this Sympathie Chronograph S34 features a glossy black dial with white-gold accents. The movement was regulated by Dubuis himself and is chronometer graded.

The Origins of Roger Dubuis

Roger Dubuis started his career at Longines in the late 1950s, where he spent close to a decade in the after-sales department, repairing and caring for the brand’s watches, including their prestigious chronographs. Shortly thereafter, he integrated Patek Philippe’s complications department, where he has the opportunity to work on gongs, minute repeaters and perpetual calendars, among others. His time there coincided with the production of some of the manufacture’s most sought-after, complicated models – from the ref. 2499 to the ref. 3448 – which Dubuis himself had the opportunity to work on.

Dubuis’ enthusiasm for watchmaking was such that, when he had finished working a full day at the atelier, he would go home and work on repairing watches for private clients, auction houses and dealers around Geneva. In the 1980s, he left Patek Philippe to establish his own workshop, dedicating himself fully to the restoration of pieces from the past. In 1995, following a partnership with businessman Carlos Dias, he would establish his own eponymous brand.

The first Roger Dubuis watches were acclaimed by collectors because they channelled the traditional Geneva watchmaking that Patek Philippe embodied, while having more stylistic flair. Dubuis’ attempt to rival Patek Philippe was obvious in some of his choices, from seeking the Geneva Seal for his movements to designing deployant buckles. In particular, the Hommage watches, as the name suggests, were designed as a homage to the great watchmakers of old, according to Dubuis. In 2003, after only eight years, Roger Dubuis himself left his brand. Though his output in the earliest days of the brand was limited, the design and quality of the pieces he produced have stood the test of time.

“In the three years I’ve been at Sotheby’s, I don’t think we’ve had one come through our doors. They are mainly changing hands privately, as there are just so few on the market.'

MIKAEL WALLHAGEN