Hommage Chronograph | H34 | rose gold
Believed to be limited to 28 pieces, this Roger Dubuis Hommage Chronograph integrates a range of attractive features, from its classic 34mm rose gold case to its contrasting black and white sector dial. Powered by the Calibre RD 56, based on the Lemania 2310, it represents the earliest brush strokes of the watchmaker.
The origin 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 '80s, 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 themselves was obvious in some of his choices, from seeking the Geneva Seal for his movements to designing deployante buckles. In particular, the Hommage watches, as the name suggests, were designed as a homage to the great watchmakers of old, according to Mr Dubuis.
A Classic Design
Roger Dubuis mainly produced Hommage Chronographs in three different sizes: 34, 37 and 40mm. The most conservative of these sizes is reminiscent of the classic Patek Philippe ref. 130, which measured around 33m in diameter. Traditionally, it is understood that each variant of the Hommage series was limited to 28 pieces. According to Dias, the initial intention was actually limit each series to 25. Following the suggestion of a collector based in Asia, where the number 8 is considered to bring good luck, Dias decided to limit each series to 28 instead. From that point onwards, that same collector was attributed number "1/28" for many of the following pieces.
The design is that of a two-register chronograph, with a black sector-dial. The face is painted with luminous Arabic numerals and minute markers, which add a nice contrast against the black dial and compliment well the creamy white sub-registers. The hands are rose gold, with the hour and minute hands being feuille shaped.
The case is very distinct with its polished, stepped concave bezel and brushed concave lugs. The three-piece case construction gives the watch a larger presence on the wrist than the mid-size 34mm case would normally suggest. Over time, the right side of the case has developed a rich patina, through oxidisation. The pushers feature a flared finish, reminiscent of the design found on the Patek Philippe ref. 1463 "Tasti Tondi", another subtle hommage to the manufacture. In a continuation of this theme, this Hommage Chronograph also features a rose gold deployante clasp, similar to those produced by Patek Philippe at the time.
The watch is powered by the Calibre RD 56, based on the Lemania 2310, much like the Patek Philippe ref. 5070. The movement bears the Seal of Geneva and was regulated by Roger Dubuis himself. At the time of production, it was only Patek Philippe movements that carried the Geneva Seal, hence why Dubuis felt that it was crucial to have the same hallmark of quality. The seal focuses on the art of decorating a movement with finesse and skill, in the style of Genevan watchmaking.
The complexity of the movement is revealed through an engraved sapphire case-back, featuring a 21 jewel, straight-line lever escapement, a monometallic balance adjusted to 5 positions, a self-compensating Breguet spring and swan-neck micrometer regulator. As indicated by the "Bulletin d'Observatoire" signature on the dial, this movement was tested for accuracy at the Besançon Observatory, setting far more exacting standards than a test from the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC).
This Roger Dubuis H34 Chronograph in rose gold is accompanied by its original outer black box, inner wooden box, black leather wallet, Besançon Observatory Certificate, Certificate of Origin and additional solid caseback. It comes on one of our Zürich straps, with its original rose gold deployante buckle.
To find out more about the earliest days of the watchmaker, you can read our article on The Story of early Roger Dubuis.
|Model:||Hommage Chronograph Ref. H34|
|Movement:||mechanical manual-winding Cal. RD 56|
|Functions:||chronograph, hours, minutes, sub-seconds|
|Features:||display back, black sector dial|
|Case:||34mm rose gold
|Crystal:||sapphire front and back|
Zürich straps, Roger Dubuis rose gold deployante buckle
|Box & papers:||original outer black box, inner wooden box, black leather wallet, Besançon Observatory Certificate, Certificate of Origin, additional solid caseback|
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