An example of Roger Dubuis’ earliest work, this time-only reference H37 576 is a piece that makes use of an unusual material – palladium, the use of which is a testament to Dubuis’ skill and experimental nature. Further to this, the clean, classically-leaning design cements it as an exceptionally rare and early piece in Dubuis’ career, created when he was just beginning to develop his design language.
Roger Dubuis – The Watchmaker
It was clear to anyone who knew him, that Roger Dubuis was first and foremost, a watchmaker.
He spent nine years at Longines, starting in the late 1950s, where he worked in the after-sales department, repairing and caring for their deeply respected chronographs. From there, he moved on to Patek Philippe, where he stayed for the best part of two decades, working alongside the likes of Svend Andersen in the complications department.
Constructing the house’s finest and most complex watch movements, specialising in the construction of gongs, minute repeaters and perpetual calendars. There he built a reputation as one of the finest watchmakers in Geneva, if not the world.
Dubuis would work at Patek Philippe from 1978 to 1985 and had such a passion for his job, that when he had finished working a full day at the atelier, he would go home and work on fixing watches for private clients and some of the shops around Geneva. They lacked the expertise that Dubuis had, quite literally, at his fingertips.
In the 1980s, he left the prestigious brand to set-up his own workshop, extending his client list to include auction houses and watch brands. This is when he started to develop his own modules and movements. The first of which was a retrograde perpetual calendar module that could sit atop a Lemania movement, like so many Patek Philippe watches he had helped construct and maintain over the past two decades.
Shortly after, a chance encounter would take place that would change Dubuis’ life forever - he met Carlos Dias, the enigmatic businessman and watch designer who would team up with him to help form his eponymous brand. As many collectors know, when the company first started producing watches in 1995, they were executed with aesthetic cues and techniques that Dubuis had mastered over his years at Patek Philippe.