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Roger dubuis excalibur tourbillon V3 vs V1 vs Gen review

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    Roger dubuis excalibur tourbillon V3 vs V1 vs Gen review

    Roger dubuis - RDDBEX0393 aka the excalibur flying tourbillon.









    Inspired by the excellent reviews from glaude and Semperfi55 ive decided to go a bit deeper on one of my favourite watches. This is the watch that got me into reps (well the price and lack of 6 digits of disposable cash in my bank account did). Back then there were pretty much only dhgate quality reps of the excalibur style of watch. There was a seagull tourbillon version of the diver, but that is quintessentially very roger dubuis, a diver with a tourbillon... very cool but not the most practical of time pieces!




    About the brand









    The brand was only launched in 1995 by, and i’ll be shocked if you didn’t guess this, Roger Dubuis! Roger Dubuis was born in Corbeyrier, in the Swiss canton of Vaud, in 1938. He began his watchmaking career at Longines in the 1950s then moved to the high complications workshops at Patek Philippe, where he stayed for 14 years. In the 1980s, he set up his own watch and clock repair shop in Geneva.




    In the late 1980s Mr. Dubuis was working with Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, the well-known movement designer, on the Bi-Retrograde Perpetual Calendar Watch commissioned by Harry Winston. “Roger and I shared a passion for beautiful horology,” Mr. Wiederrecht said. “He was ‘schooled’ at Patek Philippe at a time when so much of the work was still done by hand. He made some of the stunning Pateks that we see in auctions today.”




    It was during that period that Mr. Dubuis met Carlos Dias, a businessman and watch designer. By 1995, he had convinced Mr. Dubuis to found the Société Genevoise des Montres, later renamed Manufacture Roger Dubuis.









    Roger left the brand in 2005 and returned in late 2011. Sadly, Roger is no longer with us. He passed away in 2017.




    According to George Kern, president of the company “Roger Dubuis is the only manufacture in the world that is completely in-house from top to bottom, and marked with the Geneva seal. Because of this, the standard Dubuis movement costs around $5000, while many competitors' movements, he says, cost a fraction of this.”




    Roger dubuis is now 100% owned by the richemont group.




    My experience with Roger dubuis




    Here is the first excalibur (and rep i ever bought) i got it from gumtree. A very nice watch in its own right but most definitely not a real tourbillon. I kind of regret selling it because its a really nice watch, even the strap was decent!














    Second i managed to get one with the skeletonisation i so desperately craved, again a nice watch for the money, but a big jump away from what i was hoping for














    Finally just before last Christmas, not only one but two different factories brought out real working skeletonised roger dubuis excalibur models, the BBR featured here and the JB(F). There are slight differences between the two, the BBR is based on the 42mm version of the model and comes in at a svelte 10mm, whereas the JB is based on the older (<2013) 45mm model and is slightly thicker at 13mm.




    BBR














    2013> Gen (42mm case)









    JBF














    2012 Gen (45mm case)









    To me the most obvious difference between the two models, besides size, is the cutout in the hands. The older larger model has one, where as the newer smaller one doesn’t.




    Unsurprisingly at less the 1% of the rrp of a gen, they both have their flaws. Most obviously on the BBR, two extra golden gears in the train in the middle around 9 oclock. On the JB, the layout of the dial is just a bit squiffy, hard to put into words but check out the pictures, all of the skeletonised parts are just fatter and oriented strangely.




    I guess it comes down to a preference of size and what your willing to live with as to which rep you choose. Credit where credit is due JB have made many new models after this and appear to be doing well. They have done a double tourbillon version for just over 3k and are about to release several versions of the spyder tourbillon in 45mm, seen below.









    Also soon to be released by bbr is a double tourbillon excalibur:









    And a micro rotor tourbillon:









    Enough talking, time for the actual watch review!




    The watch




    Id like to start by saying im not in any way a professional photographer. For this reason I don’t have a decent dslr, i dont have a decent light box (i got this for £6 on ebay especially for this review) and i dont have a huge amount of experience taking pictures of products. But ive tried my best! Heres a look at the setup used.









    £6 ebay light box




    Big ass light thing my mrs had




    Olloclip macro lens kit




    £1 plastic watch stand




    Iphone 8 with headphones for remote photo taking button




    The sharp eyed among you may notice some of the pics of the gen are of a rose gold one. Not a lot a i can do about that its the same watch with a different case colour. Im just surprised i could find really good high res pics of the watch! You should be able to tell which is the gen but if you need help they say watches by sjx on them. ***update*** my v3 is rose gold. I just planned this far ahead and predicted a v3, what can i say im a mind reader




    Case




    V1



    V3



    Gen






    From the front i think the case is very good. It has the same amount of very similarly shaped cutouts on the bezel. All of the textures and finishes appear to be in the right places. Good effort from BBR! No real difference between v1 and v3, although v3 is 0.3mm thicker (11.95 vs 11.68) probably due to the changing of the train configuration.

    V1



    V3



    Gen






    On the back theres a slight difference in the case back size on the v1. The rep is a thicker width, therefore covering the area the RD logo reoccurring around the circumference on the gen is. Not a deal breaker, its the back of the watch after all and I’m sure theres a reason for it. On the v3 however its 95% perfect. The ring of RD around the edge looks great, only real difference i can see if the middle of the three gears linking the barrel to the winding pinion is slightly too inline with the other two.




    Sizing is 42mm x 11.6 on the v1 and 42mm x11.9, super wearable and very comfy.




    Dial




    V1



    V3



    Gen






    The dial (or lack of a dial) revolves around the 5 pointed star skeletonised theme. As you probably guessed by now, i love it! It has a lovely perlage finish over the framework.




    V1



    V3



    Gen






    The keyless cover plate is slightly less refined, but you get what you pay for! Its not a cover on the gen, the rep has a plate to cover up the less sexy rep parts. The cote de geneve logo on the right is also a touch larger on the rep. The v1 has nice chamfers on the screw holes. The v3 is perhaps more refined in general but not by a lot.




    V1



    V3



    Gen






    Hard to see but the skeletonised framework on the rep has an extruded profile, think joined front to back, where as in places the gen has two separate plates not joined together. Google extrusion if you don’t get what i mean.




    V1



    V3



    Gen






    The main flaw i picked up on is the poincon de geneve text around the tourbillon. Its present on the 45mm gen but not this smaller version. There is also 1 extra screw on the tourbillon cage on the gen where the hair spring joins. On the v1, no screws on the balance wheel. On the v3, slight improvement in that they have included them.




    V1



    V3



    Gen






    There is a serial number on the gen at around 10-11 oclock, not present on the v1 rep. Another flaw that has been addressed in the v3 and its now here




    Overall, add a tasty little chamfer around the whole frame work and it would be as good as you could really hope for. The hands are great, true to the 42mm gen with the cutout, including a very eye catching half polished half brushed finish. Again im not sure that is true to gen, it could just be what can be seen from the 45mm gen pic way up, nonetheless it looks cool




    Movement




    I know most in depth reviews name exactly which movement is in the watch. I dont know. I have no idea how to find out. Its an asian tourbillon, thats all ive got for you sorry! What i will say is the v1 winds like butter, the v3 winds like a bowl of cornflakes under a hammer... also when setting the time, the hour hand wobbles quite severely. Got to give it to the v1 in this department.




    V1



    V3



    Gen






    As mentioned before, the keyless is different.




    V1



    V3



    Gen






    V1

    There are also the two elephants in the room, namely two gold gears between 9 and 12. I believe these are the hour and minute wheels. Either you can live with it or you can pay £60,000 per wheel to remove them.

    V3

    Turns out you dont need to pay £60,000 per wheel to get rid of them! You just have to put up with a manual winding movement that is particularly unpleasant to wind and set. Does look good though

    V1



    V3



    Gen






    Sorry about the recycled pictures but i can only work with what ive got! The winding mechanism on the v1 rep is on top of the star shape, as opposed to inside it on the gen. id guess its due to it having larger diameter wheels than the gen but i could be wrong. Its the back of the watch, what can you do!




    On the v3 however they have addressed this and as i said before, looks good to me!




    Strap and clasp




    V1

    I’ve said it before and ill say it again, its the best rep leather I’ve ever had. Super soft, its a good length. Theres not a lot to fault. To the point i still haven’t replaced it a year later. I don’t have a pic of the gen clasp but i do have a zzf knights of the round table. As you can see the bbr has a much slimmer profile and slides under the cuff well. The deployant actually stays closed too which is great.




    V3

    Oh dear... strap is crap but thats to be expected with a rep. I just saw it as a bonus that the v1 was so nice and soft. The clasp however is unacceptable in my opinion. I dont know what they have done but oh me god its shit. I mean it doesnt pop open like the zzf but its hard to close, hard to open, and just generally not very good. They also decided the best part, aka the slim profile was a bad idea and chunked it up. What can you do!









    Updated v1 vs v3 pics
















    Overall




    Would i buy the v3 over the v1? Depends what floats your boat. The fact they dont sell the v1 anymore may be the deciding factor.... but honestly i think tactically, every single thing is better about the v1. The movement feels far superior. The strap, i still wont be replacing in a hurry, whereas i got the v3 today, the strap is off to orloff tomorrow. The clasp on the v3 is dog shit. However....




    The v3 looks so much better. The lack of the golden gears makes a huge difference. The back of the watch is night and day from before, looking much more like gen than before. I think if looks are your thing, and i realise im posting this on a website with 10,000,000 pictures of watches, so looks are almost definitely everyones things, probably go v3. Just expect the winding to feel like changing gear in your car, without the clutch. Getting your dick caught in a blender. Dragging a gold plated watch along concrete. Or as us good old english say, rough as toast. At the end of the day, both the front and the back of the watch are vastly visually improved, if you can live with the other ‘downgrades’, not many of which really affect you whilst on the wrist, it seems the best choice.




    To end, id like to say if you want more pictures, buy the watch and a camera and take them yourself. I regretted taking the pictures first time, and 10 minutes into the 5 hour photo shoot this time i realised the errors of my ways. I hope it was a good read and you can learn something from this. Also, never try to take multiple pictures of a running tourbillon. Unless its a gen als that hacks. You have to reset the bastard time every picture and it sucks.




    Heres my rd collection so far, im hoping to fill the box by the end of the year with just rd. Better get saving!



    #2
    Just wow! Excellent and thorough review mate!

    Also I can not believe you got your v3 before me... which I ordered first week of March. But it is finally on its way tho hehe. But I m not too happy about the cons you described... will report as soon as it hits home


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Swiss_goupil View Post
      Just wow! Excellent and thorough review mate!

      Also I can not believe you got your v3 before me... which I ordered first week of March. But it is finally on its way tho hehe. But I m not too happy about the cons you described... will report as soon as it hits home


      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
      I ordered it from ks too haha! I just accepted the first one. Unless theres a dirty great gauge out of it, its nothing either i or a watch maker can fix! Its just alignment! But ill be honest, if it didnt look as great as it does i would be a bit disappointed with it. The quality has taken a swift turn downhill. Judging from what others have said the spider tourbillon isnt much butter either.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Dr Fun Socks View Post
        Roger dubuis - RDDBEX0393 aka the excalibur flying tourbillon.









        Inspired by the excellent reviews from glaude and Semperfi55 ive decided to go a bit deeper on one of my favourite watches. This is the watch that got me into reps (well the price and lack of 6 digits of disposable cash in my bank account did). Back then there were pretty much only dhgate quality reps of the excalibur style of watch. There was a seagull tourbillon version of the diver, but that is quintessentially very roger dubuis, a diver with a tourbillon... very cool but not the most practical of time pieces!




        About the brand









        The brand was only launched in 1995 by, and i’ll be shocked if you didn’t guess this, Roger Dubuis! Roger Dubuis was born in Corbeyrier, in the Swiss canton of Vaud, in 1938. He began his watchmaking career at Longines in the 1950s then moved to the high complications workshops at Patek Philippe, where he stayed for 14 years. In the 1980s, he set up his own watch and clock repair shop in Geneva.




        In the late 1980s Mr. Dubuis was working with Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, the well-known movement designer, on the Bi-Retrograde Perpetual Calendar Watch commissioned by Harry Winston. “Roger and I shared a passion for beautiful horology,” Mr. Wiederrecht said. “He was ‘schooled’ at Patek Philippe at a time when so much of the work was still done by hand. He made some of the stunning Pateks that we see in auctions today.”




        It was during that period that Mr. Dubuis met Carlos Dias, a businessman and watch designer. By 1995, he had convinced Mr. Dubuis to found the Société Genevoise des Montres, later renamed Manufacture Roger Dubuis.









        Roger left the brand in 2005 and returned in late 2011. Sadly, Roger is no longer with us. He passed away in 2017.




        According to George Kern, president of the company “Roger Dubuis is the only manufacture in the world that is completely in-house from top to bottom, and marked with the Geneva seal. Because of this, the standard Dubuis movement costs around $5000, while many competitors' movements, he says, cost a fraction of this.”




        Roger dubuis is now 100% owned by the richemont group.




        My experience with Roger dubuis




        Here is the first excalibur (and rep i ever bought) i got it from gumtree. A very nice watch in its own right but most definitely not a real tourbillon. I kind of regret selling it because its a really nice watch, even the strap was decent!














        Second i managed to get one with the skeletonisation i so desperately craved, again a nice watch for the money, but a big jump away from what i was hoping for














        Finally just before last Christmas, not only one but two different factories brought out real working skeletonised roger dubuis excalibur models, the BBR featured here and the JB(F). There are slight differences between the two, the BBR is based on the 42mm version of the model and comes in at a svelte 10mm, whereas the JB is based on the older (<2013) 45mm model and is slightly thicker at 13mm.




        BBR














        2013> Gen (42mm case)









        JBF














        2012 Gen (45mm case)









        To me the most obvious difference between the two models, besides size, is the cutout in the hands. The older larger model has one, where as the newer smaller one doesn’t.




        Unsurprisingly at less the 1% of the rrp of a gen, they both have their flaws. Most obviously on the BBR, two extra golden gears in the train in the middle around 9 oclock. On the JB, the layout of the dial is just a bit squiffy, hard to put into words but check out the pictures, all of the skeletonised parts are just fatter and oriented strangely.




        I guess it comes down to a preference of size and what your willing to live with as to which rep you choose. Credit where credit is due JB have made many new models after this and appear to be doing well. They have done a double tourbillon version for just over 3k and are about to release several versions of the spyder tourbillon in 45mm, seen below.









        Also soon to be released by bbr is a double tourbillon excalibur:









        And a micro rotor tourbillon:









        Enough talking, time for the actual watch review!




        The watch




        Id like to start by saying im not in any way a professional photographer. For this reason I don’t have a decent dslr, i dont have a decent light box (i got this for £6 on ebay especially for this review) and i dont have a huge amount of experience taking pictures of products. But ive tried my best! Heres a look at the setup used.









        £6 ebay light box




        Big ass light thing my mrs had




        Olloclip macro lens kit




        £1 plastic watch stand




        Iphone 8 with headphones for remote photo taking button




        The sharp eyed among you may notice some of the pics of the gen are of a rose gold one. Not a lot a i can do about that its the same watch with a different case colour. Im just surprised i could find really good high res pics of the watch! You should be able to tell which is the gen but if you need help they say watches by sjx on them. ***update*** my v3 is rose gold. I just planned this far ahead and predicted a v3, what can i say im a mind reader




        Case




        V1



        V3



        Gen






        From the front i think the case is very good. It has the same amount of very similarly shaped cutouts on the bezel. All of the textures and finishes appear to be in the right places. Good effort from BBR! No real difference between v1 and v3, although v3 is 0.3mm thicker (11.95 vs 11.68) probably due to the changing of the train configuration.

        V1



        V3



        Gen






        On the back theres a slight difference in the case back size on the v1. The rep is a thicker width, therefore covering the area the RD logo reoccurring around the circumference on the gen is. Not a deal breaker, its the back of the watch after all and I’m sure theres a reason for it. On the v3 however its 95% perfect. The ring of RD around the edge looks great, only real difference i can see if the middle of the three gears linking the barrel to the winding pinion is slightly too inline with the other two.




        Sizing is 42mm x 11.6 on the v1 and 42mm x11.9, super wearable and very comfy.




        Dial




        V1



        V3



        Gen






        The dial (or lack of a dial) revolves around the 5 pointed star skeletonised theme. As you probably guessed by now, i love it! It has a lovely perlage finish over the framework.




        V1



        V3



        Gen






        The keyless cover plate is slightly less refined, but you get what you pay for! Its not a cover on the gen, the rep has a plate to cover up the less sexy rep parts. The cote de geneve logo on the right is also a touch larger on the rep. The v1 has nice chamfers on the screw holes. The v3 is perhaps more refined in general but not by a lot.




        V1



        V3



        Gen






        Hard to see but the skeletonised framework on the rep has an extruded profile, think joined front to back, where as in places the gen has two separate plates not joined together. Google extrusion if you don’t get what i mean.




        V1



        V3



        Gen






        The main flaw i picked up on is the poincon de geneve text around the tourbillon. Its present on the 45mm gen but not this smaller version. There is also 1 extra screw on the tourbillon cage on the gen where the hair spring joins. On the v1, no screws on the balance wheel. On the v3, slight improvement in that they have included them.




        V1



        V3



        Gen






        There is a serial number on the gen at around 10-11 oclock, not present on the v1 rep. Another flaw that has been addressed in the v3 and its now here




        Overall, add a tasty little chamfer around the whole frame work and it would be as good as you could really hope for. The hands are great, true to the 42mm gen with the cutout, including a very eye catching half polished half brushed finish. Again im not sure that is true to gen, it could just be what can be seen from the 45mm gen pic way up, nonetheless it looks cool




        Movement




        I know most in depth reviews name exactly which movement is in the watch. I dont know. I have no idea how to find out. Its an asian tourbillon, thats all ive got for you sorry! What i will say is the v1 winds like butter, the v3 winds like a bowl of cornflakes under a hammer... also when setting the time, the hour hand wobbles quite severely. Got to give it to the v1 in this department.




        V1



        V3



        Gen






        As mentioned before, the keyless is different.




        V1



        V3



        Gen






        V1

        There are also the two elephants in the room, namely two gold gears between 9 and 12. I believe these are the hour and minute wheels. Either you can live with it or you can pay £60,000 per wheel to remove them.

        V3

        Turns out you dont need to pay £60,000 per wheel to get rid of them! You just have to put up with a manual winding movement that is particularly unpleasant to wind and set. Does look good though

        V1



        V3



        Gen






        Sorry about the recycled pictures but i can only work with what ive got! The winding mechanism on the v1 rep is on top of the star shape, as opposed to inside it on the gen. id guess its due to it having larger diameter wheels than the gen but i could be wrong. Its the back of the watch, what can you do!




        On the v3 however they have addressed this and as i said before, looks good to me!




        Strap and clasp




        V1

        I’ve said it before and ill say it again, its the best rep leather I’ve ever had. Super soft, its a good length. Theres not a lot to fault. To the point i still haven’t replaced it a year later. I don’t have a pic of the gen clasp but i do have a zzf knights of the round table. As you can see the bbr has a much slimmer profile and slides under the cuff well. The deployant actually stays closed too which is great.




        V3

        Oh dear... strap is crap but thats to be expected with a rep. I just saw it as a bonus that the v1 was so nice and soft. The clasp however is unacceptable in my opinion. I dont know what they have done but oh me god its shit. I mean it doesnt pop open like the zzf but its hard to close, hard to open, and just generally not very good. They also decided the best part, aka the slim profile was a bad idea and chunked it up. What can you do!









        Updated v1 vs v3 pics
















        Overall




        Would i buy the v3 over the v1? Depends what floats your boat. The fact they dont sell the v1 anymore may be the deciding factor.... but honestly i think tactically, every single thing is better about the v1. The movement feels far superior. The strap, i still wont be replacing in a hurry, whereas i got the v3 today, the strap is off to orloff tomorrow. The clasp on the v3 is dog shit. However....




        The v3 looks so much better. The lack of the golden gears makes a huge difference. The back of the watch is night and day from before, looking much more like gen than before. I think if looks are your thing, and i realise im posting this on a website with 10,000,000 pictures of watches, so looks are almost definitely everyones things, probably go v3. Just expect the winding to feel like changing gear in your car, without the clutch. Getting your dick caught in a blender. Dragging a gold plated watch along concrete. Or as us good old english say, rough as toast. At the end of the day, both the front and the back of the watch are vastly visually improved, if you can live with the other ‘downgrades’, not many of which really affect you whilst on the wrist, it seems the best choice.




        To end, id like to say if you want more pictures, buy the watch and a camera and take them yourself. I regretted taking the pictures first time, and 10 minutes into the 5 hour photo shoot this time i realised the errors of my ways. I hope it was a good read and you can learn something from this. Also, never try to take multiple pictures of a running tourbillon. Unless its a gen als that hacks. You have to reset the bastard time every picture and it sucks.




        Heres my rd collection so far, im hoping to fill the box by the end of the year with just rd. Better get saving!

        That double tourbillon any good?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Anadrol5 View Post

          That double tourbillon any good?
          https://forum.replica-watch.info/for...-by-jbf-review

          Comment


            #6
            Forgot to add, to make up for all the new issues, the factory now include a pointless piece of plastic with the watch... doesnt even make sense, its half chinese, half english, fully pointless!

            Comment


              #7
              As i already said in another topic. Horrible strap of v3!!!!
              i am desesperanty looking for replacing but I do no find anything...
              If someone have a tip on day... I would strat with the horrible clap...

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Gexwh View Post
                As i already said in another topic. Horrible strap of v3!!!!
                i am desesperanty looking for replacing but I do no find anything...
                If someone have a tip on day... I would strat with the horrible clap...
                Yeah the clasp really sucks! I cant offer you anything towards that but orloff will make you a new strap if you send him the shitty rep one to take the inserts from.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Dr Fun Socks View Post
                  Yeah the clasp really sucks! I cant offer you anything towards that but orloff will make you a new strap if you send him the shitty rep one to take the inserts from.
                  Can orloff make a new claps?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Gexwh View Post
                    Can orloff make a new claps?
                    Not a chance. He makes gator skin straps not metal clasps.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Dr Fun Socks View Post

                      Not a chance. He makes gator skin straps not metal clasps.
                      Hey Dr, did you let Orloff make a new strap already?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Gexwh View Post

                        Hey Dr, did you let Orloff make a new strap already?
                        Not yet its on route to him now to start the process.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Which one did you send? The bbr v3?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Yeah just the strap. He only needs it for the inserts.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Well
                              I suppose it is ok for you if I tell him that it is the same that you sent?
                              For my interest, are you going to keep the v3 claps or interchange with the v1?

                              Comment

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