The Time Has Come: Roger Dubuis Partners with Daphne Guinness

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Within the world of watches lives Roger Dubuis. The relatively young brand, born in 1995, lives in a sphere of conceptual creativity that embraces the creation of watches for tomorrow, today. And what better way to express that vision than by designating sub-worlds for their collections— worlds that speak to the movement, if you will, of the life of the wearer. To that end, and in an effort to better express what those worlds are really all about, specific personalities have been brought on, dubbed rather, the reigning ambassadors of each world individually. And while some may relate best to the Warrior world of Gerard Butler, others will appreciate the subtle divinity of the World of the Diva, home of the Velvet collection, under the rule of The Hon. Daphne Guinness.

 “It’s the intricacy of the interior that I find very interesting, the decoration comes after; and Roger Dubuis is so serious about the movement.”

Guinness’ posh persona is one noted, if not lauded by most. Towering high on the heelless platforms of her footwear, she generally embraces a well-edited look that’s consistent in its uniqueness. That consistency is what allows for Guinness to work in such great tandem with Roger Dubuis, for consistency and a knack for sticking to what’s great means that Guinness allows little wiggle room for what’s not up to par.

Her taste, experience and exposure, one might say, allow her the ability to act as a judge in this manner. She knows what’s quality from what’s just not; and beauty she’s mastered as well, but luckily, there’s a higher standard of measurement for Guinness when it comes to watches: “I’ll not wear a watch until it’s right; I prefer my wind up from when I was a kid,” she explains leaving nothing to chance. “It’s the intricacy of the interior that I find very interesting, the decoration comes after; and Roger Dubuis is so serious about the movement.”

To paint a better picture, Guinness uses an analogy that catches our attention in a new way; in a way a brand ambassador has never expressed, “[The movement] is a metaphor for life or it’s a metaphor for the universe, it really is.”

Now we’re talking

For Daphne Guinness the lending of her name to something that didn’t resonate in such a way is practically unheard of. And there’s a reason why this particular marriage works. It turns out that Roger Dubuis and Ms. Guinness share many crucial things in common: Both require stringent levels of commitment to excellence where it really matters, in the movement.

The equivalent of a hallmark, every Roger Dubuis timepiece is signed with the Poinçon de Genève; and while there are many hallmarks in London, as Guinness explained to us, this particular group of experts-oftheir- craft are chosen to designate this honor to only the very best.

History lessons continued: “It’s like the masons that were the stone makers of the 12th, 13th and 14th century all over Europe…In order to tell if you were a sort of good stone mason or a bad stone mason you were part of a guild—a group of people that are known to do what they do in the best way, it’s like a kind of degree of some sort.”

 “So many watches at the high-end look very similar, but this team loves what they do and they’re ready to take risks; so I felt privileged to be there and learn with them—I wish I could make a watch.”

The extra steps taken to keep the authenticity attracted Guinness to the project initially, but a first hand account was mandatory; and so, she packed up and flew to the factory where she was pleased to learn that, as she had expected, it was an impressive operation of quality-of-construction and dedication to an art. “These people know what they’re doing; they’re not just some cowboys that have set up a watch factory…And it’s interesting to see who they are, as some are quite young and some quite old and they each work on one piece, spread across a table, and then they put it back together.”

This impressed Guinness purely due to the simple fact that “very few people know exactly what they’re doing.” She also recognizes that while she maintains an interest in barometers and such, it’s sort of dormant to those who aren’t in the know and elegantly reminds me that, “some people, who buy watches just to show off, wouldn’t know [about such things].”

Similarly of concern to Guinness is the preciseness of time. “In what time are we?” she asks, “Are we in space time?” To that question Roger Dubuis provides an answer by taking into consideration such inconsistencies of time as the leap year and the variations in years because as we all know, “the Julian calendar is off.”

She continues moving swiftly from the inside out, commenting on the appearance, “So many watches at the high-end look very similar, but this team loves what they do and they’re ready to take risks; so I felt privileged to be there and learn with them—I wish I could make a watch.”

The Velvet collection for which Guinness is the ambassadress launches this November, and while her role in the execution was limited this time around, there’s talk that the partnership may flourish, meaning deeper involvement, the mention of which makes her eyes glimmer with the shine of Dubuis diamonds.

“Time is something that people haven’t looked up enough.” This statement delivered with such matter-of-factness that there was only room for more supporting facts to follow. “The Theory of Relativity; how we look at space; how we measure human life; it’s all tied up with time and before people came up with an actual gauge of time or timepiece, it was very difficult to measure [time]…It’s a different dimension of humanity.”

 For the campaign featuring Guinness, she collaborated with photographer Nick Knight whom she’s worked closely with in the past and was thrilled to embark on another journey with knowing that things would work smoothly between them and that their message would be delivered.

The idea being that an interest in time is one that stands outside of just everyday uses such as for keeping time at sporting events, which she referenced as an example. Instead she considers time a measure of the universe and an essential part of human history. Perhaps this is why so many watch brands pride themselves on the length of their existence, equating longevity with value. Whilst Roger Dubuis, a younger being, approaches excellence in a different way, embracing the universe and working towards an accurate measure always. In turn, timepiece manufacturers create an aesthetic component to time, taking something seemingly intangible and encasing it in a product that people grow to have a relationship with. In fact, time may be perceived quite differently based on said relationship with your timepiece. If somebody gifted you a timepiece, for instance, the love affair with such an object can affect the way you live in time when wearing it. And this goes on through generations, as a watch of quality passed down to loved ones lives beyond us as individuals. “Time is infinite, but we are not infinite in it,” Guinness reminds me.

As objects, Roger Dubuis timepieces are perfect examples of the kind of watches meant to stand the test of time, (pun intended). “They are durable and mechanical but definitely not disposable; it’s about their dedication to the interior,” Guinness maintains, in her consistent nature, adamant about highlighting the beauty that lies within a Roger Dubuis. “It’s a high-end watch that can be used by a business person or someone who’s more artistic and it will work the same way; performers, photographers, all able to enjoy… they aren’t just for a person of a certain lifestyle (here Ferraris were mentioned); they’re cool.”

And the aesthetic of the watches themselves is not the only visual representation of their beauty. For the campaign featuring Guinness, she collaborated with photographer Nick Knight whom she’s worked closely with in the past and was thrilled to embark on another journey with knowing that things would work smoothly between them and that their message would be delivered.

The images, styled by Guinness, are beautiful and the references are subtle. A trapeze shot, for instance, was meant to illustrate the precision of time required to properly execute the art of the trapeze. “The idea of art and time is something that is perceived and Nick and I worked organically to show that you can do many things…it’s better to work with people with whom you know what you are going to get.”

Beyond her current duties, and as she looks to the ones to come in her role with Roger Dubuis, Guinness ponders her self-imposed responsibility to the brand.

“I reckon that I am very hard on myself so if I make something that I can actually say, ‘Oh, I did that,’ then I think I did my best and I have a responsibility to speak the truth.”

We expect great things from her partnership with Roger Dubuis, as she’s obviously passionate about the nuts and bolts of the situation far more than what leather she’d choose for a strap if she does in fact participate in that capacity going forward; and when asked to comment on the idea of forward thinking design, which has always been the Roger Dubuis way, she eloquently expressed, “The time has come.”

Velvet Fine Jewelry

This watch is synonymous with the absolute. Absolute as a watchmaker, absolute as a jeweler: the Velvet Fine Jewelry model in white gold is a watch that is dedicated to all the savoir-faire of ROGER DUBUIS. A symbol of technical alchemy and preciosity, it is set with 1,300 diamonds to give a total of some 9 carats. At its heart beats the RD 821 automatic mechanical movement. Its exceptional universe comprised of femininity, glamour and glitter places it securely in the spirit of the Diva.

Automatic RD821 Movement

Its RD821 self-winding mechanical movement meets the exacting criteria of Fine Watchmaking. Hallmarked with the prestigious Poinçon de Genève, it has also been awarded COSC chronometer certification by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres. A twofold guarantee of craftsmanship and precision that distinguishes only a rare few mechanical movements.

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