Intrigued by his unclassifiable style, Roger Dubuis granted sculptor, drawer, and painter Liu Wei access to its most important room: the Manufacture itself. This is where the multi-talented artist reinterpreted the astral signature of the iconic Excalibur MT. Immersing himself in the challenge, Liu Wei imagines a masterpiece of striking colours and architectural lines, a creative representation of the lively and intricate urban world.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Roger Dubuis made the decision to recraft and reshape its own work of art – the Excalibur MT – last year. Now, it features modern clean-cut lines on both case and movement, while the signature star levitates freely above the barrel. Reinterpreted for the modern world, its evolution raised the timepiece to an even higher standard, while providing an exciting and versatile canvas for Liu Wei to express himself.
Born in China where he lives and works, Liu Wei does it all, from witty cultural critiques to evocative installation pieces. Like Roger Dubuis, his radical expertise and creativity have earned him success, while his rule-breaking masterpieces have been shown at the most renowned museums and exhibitions around the globe. Belonging to a generation that grew up in a period of accelerating urbanisation, this rapid evolution inspires much of his art, including his famous “Purple Air” series. As obsessive about creating the future as Roger Dubuis, his art reflects on the world’s dynamism, its changing urban landscape, and its digital transformation. Through a complex composition of colourful lines, the artist creates an expressive work that represents a blurred, bustling, and digitised environment. This vision is reproduced by Roger Dubuis’ watchmakers, transforming the original Excalibur MT into a sophisticated masterpiece of clashing colour, pulsing with the light and life of the modern urban world.
Reflecting on the challenge, the artist declared: “I never stick to one method in my art, and I respect other artists who do the same, whether they’re watchmakers or writers. Art is about seeing the world anew and experimenting with different ways of creating that world.”
Roger Dubuis’ watchmakers imagined an ingenious three-layer solution to bring Liu Wei’s vision to life. Creating a stunning effect, the first layer of décor features a transparent sapphire glass engraved with vertical lines on both the front and back. Hand-filled with extreme precision, the watchmakers coloured each groove individually in a meticulous process that required every line dried completely before the next one was painted.
A task of extraordinary patience, some grooves are filled with regular lacquer while UV paint is used for others. This carefully defined balance of painted and glowing lines creates a sophisticated architectural depth under UV light, while demonstrating our mastery of luminescence. The selection of shades and their varying effects reflect the artist’s vision of the world’s vibrancy and the energy produced by its ever-changing landscape.The second layer houses Roger Dubuis’ astral signature. Always willing to break rules, its thickness is reduced to work within Liu Wei’s concept. while its grey structure features distinctive black lines for a disruptive contrast to the intricate composition created by the colourful stripes. This directly mirrors elements used by the artist to disrupt the systematic patterns of his own work.
The third and final layer features a sapphire glass case-back laser-engraved to create horizontal grooves. Hand-filled with UV paint, this overlap of lines creates an eye-catching contrast with the vertical stripes of the first layer. An exclusive and labour-intensive task, the result is a true example of contemporary art. The finishing touches of expressive craftsmanship are found on the flange. Opting not to apply minute markers on the dark grey surface, the Maison chose to enhance the hour markers by filling them with black SuperLuminova* for a vivid glow in the dark effect, also visible under UV light. The considered details extend further to the Roger Dubuis and Swiss Made logos, which are, for the first time, filled with powdered SuperLuminova*. This striking technique creates three looks for this element of the timepiece: silver by day, green by night, and blue under UV light.
One of the greatest expressions of the watchmakers’ art and technical talent is the RD512SQ calibre itself. By reducing the tourbillon weight with titanium and cobalt chrome, the power reserve is radically optimised to 72 hours, providing the option of leaving the watch unworn over weekends. Proving no detail goes unconsidered, non-magnetic material is used inside the tourbillon to better serve the wearer and improve their experience. Hand-finished with meticulous care, the timepiece is sealed with fine watchmaking’s most demanding signature. The Poinçon de Genève is the ultimate standard in excellence and expertise, and Roger Dubuis’ visionary approach is found within its uniquely unexpected and antinomic decorations, such as its circular-brushed top surfaces and polished angles. Underscored by rarity and limited to just eight pieces, the Excalibur Liu Wei MT is housed in a 42 mm titanium grade 5 case and mounted on a black calf leather strap, interchangeable with a Quick Release System for ultimate comfort and flexibility. Together with its friends, the Maison shows what happens when rules are rejected and creativity is unleashed. In bringing a multi-talented artist together with incredible watchmakers, Roger Dubuis proves once again it is unquestionably the most exciting way to experience Hyper Horology™.