36 – 38mm
Roger Dubuis Sympathie QP
This 37mm Sympathie Bi-Retrograde Perpetual Calendar Chronograph is a testament to Roger Dubuis early work. Similar to most of his early pieces this particular example is limited to 28 examples.
The landscape of independents as we know it today can be attributed to a select group of watchmakers, such as Roger Dubuis. At the time most talented watchmakers worked for larger brands as full-time watchmakers or as consultants to the large brands. Only a handful of personalities were able to found their own brands and carve out a market of their own. Dubuis was at the forefront of a renaissance-like change, founding his eponymous brand in 1995.
Dubuis’ formation initially commenced with Longines in their after-sales department, thereafter Patek Philippe came calling. They identified Dubuis exceptional talent, that led to him in joining the complications department whereby Dubuis was exposed to some to the most spectacular reference made by Patek Philippe i.e. ref. 2499. Upon leaving Patek Philippe Dubuis was instantly able to build a name for himself, similar to that of Svend Andersen who similarly worked at Patek Philippe and is the co-founder of AHCI – Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants.
The nods to vintage Patek’s and Longines are ever-present in Roger Dubuis’s early work. Naturally, Dubuis added his own twist to his offering at the time for instance most movements feature meticulously hand finishing, in tandem, each watch would be limited to 28 examples and sold with an additional solid gold case back, Observatoire de Besançon paper, and an actual image of the watch as its certificate.
This 37mm Sympathie Quantieme Perpetual encapsulates what the relatively young brand stood for. The bi-retrograde perpetual calendar complication was one of particular interest for Dubuis. It is believed that Dubuis initially worked on this complication with Jean-Marc Wiederrecht for Harry Winston circa 1989-1990, it marked the first double retrograde perpetual calendar made. This complication became synonymous with Roger Dubuis’ early work and is found in both the Hommage and Sympathie collections. The movement that powered this impressive complication is the famed Lemania cal. 2310 found in several prominent Patek Philippe’s.
This case is distinguished by its uniquely shaped Sapphire which was fazed out as Roger Dubuis influence waned. There have been conflicting theories as to what led Dubuis to pursue such a bold case design. Certain collectors argue that a pavement manhole inspired the angular case with elongated lugs, others argue that it was his time at Longines that inspired the recreation of the Symapthie case. The underside of the four lugs posses four different hallmarks, Roger Dubuis stamp, 750, case maker and an additional hallmark. The case back is also signed Roger Dubuis – Horologer Genevois.
The second-generation off-white lacquered dial is where Dubuis’ truly expressed himself as an independent watchmaker. At times perpetual calendars may feel cramped, Dubuis managed to deliver an unclustered dial through the unique bi-retrograde concaving day a date indicators found on the far left and right-hand side of the dial. The use of the concaving indicators allows the two sub-registers of the dial to be omnipresent. The addition of the polished semi-skeletonised Feuille hands allows for a further degree of legibility of both the chronograph and perpetual calendar. The dial is signed Roger Dubuis – horologer genevois at 6 o’clock just under the moon phase and the Bulletin d’Observatoire signature is found neatly tucked into the tachometer at 12 ‘clock. The leap year indicator is denoted at 12 o’clock and is displayed through a bright red hand.
The modified Lemania 2310 resulted in the RD 5632, the complexity of the movement cannot be understated, the nearly instantaneous jump for the perpetual calendar is remarkable. The movement features 25 jewels and remains visible due to the engraved sapphire case back.
As of June 2021 this watch has been fully served by Roger Dubuis.
Brand: Roger Dubuis
Model: S37 Symapthie Quantieme Perpetual
Movement: RD 5632
Case Diameter: 37mm
Box & Papers: Original Box & Service Paper.