Nicola Andreatta is in no way a stranger to watchmaking, he comes from a family that has been involved in horology for the past three generations and he himself has spent the entirety of his career in this trade. The swiss Italian had also started his own watch brand after which he headed and expanded the watch division of Tiffany & Co. Since late 2018 he has been heading Roger Dubuis a watch brand that is synonymous with pushing the boundaries of Haute horology. We talk to Nicola about their latest masterpiece the Excalibur Diabolus, their partnership with Lamborghini, and a lot more.
From heading the watch division of Tiffany & Co, a very traditional Jeweler, to heading a brand as unconventional as Roger Dubuis, how has the journey been for you?
In the course of my career, I have been involved in almost every aspect of watchmaking: from finance to manufacturing, from marketing to design, in various and diversified contexts. Such experience gives me today the ability to better understand the work of my colleagues and to be closer to them when we have to take decisions.
This is truly an asset in the leadership position I occupy today.
But every Maison is different and at Roger Dubuis our obsession is that of reinventing the whole game, to design the future of Haute Horlogerie, so that the experience can only help you in expanding your perspectives and in being able to leverage the best opportunities the market or the industry offer.
How did the Excalibur Diabolus in Machina come into making?
The minute repeater is a watchmaking complication that has been part of our Iconic calibers since the very beginning of our history. Over the years, we have been always manufacturing minute repeaters, but always evolving the original project and finding a contemporary edge in the design.
Out creations are always expressive, as you can see in the way we play with the skeletonized movements, and contemporary, as we use very taut lines and we love to create new trends. At the same time, we want to remain loyal to the tradition and to the grand horological complications that are part of our watchmaking history. Excalibur Diabolus in Machina is a vivid proof of our philosophy.
We worked for a few years in order to find a revolutionary material which could combine aesthetics with function, while at the same time perfectly reproducing the sound of our complication. At the same time we looked for new shapes, we challenged our own codes. The result is the stunning Excalibur Diabolus in Machina.
What is the story behind choosing the tune played by the minute repeater?
The Tritone, or the particular tune we have chosen, is one that perfectly suits us.
It is the unexpected, a total surprise, because it has really never been used in watchmaking. Moreover, it leaves a feeling of unconcluded, it leaves some kind of expectation, so that you want to have more.
At Roger Dubuis we are constantly challenging ourselves to surprise our clients, to provide the unexpected and to discover. On top, we are often very much into symbolism, when we chose a specific symbol to represent something deeper, an image, a shade of our DNA.
In this case, we did like the story of this tune, this dissonance represented by the interval between three tones. A tone which was forbidden in the Medieval Music because it was considered disturbing, violent, hence the name “Diabolus in Musica” or devil’s chord.
Richard Wagner used it in his music to represent the forbidden love. And at Roger Dubuis we always like the idea of playing with forbidden codes.
Can you tell us more about the Roger Dubuis partnership with Lamborghini?
Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini Squadra Corse wanted to create a partnership because we share the same values and the same kind of bold spirit.
It was not done for mere marketing purpose. Excalibur Huracán, Excalibur Aventador S and the One-Off are all perfect examples of what happens when visionary engineers meet with incredible watchmakers.
We create timepieces inspired by their namesakes. The beauty of this collaboration is that we are developing an ever-closer relationship and we are now able to add our own expertise on common innovation-driven projects. We just launched another all-black Excalibur Huracán model, and the future will definitely bring some more incredible and unexpected new pieces.
Roger Dubuis has been continuously pushing the boundaries of watchmaking. Are there any achievements you are particularly proud of?
I like to think that every new timepiece we produce represents some kind of achievement.
A good example is the Excalibur TwoFold which we just launched: 3 World Premieres featured in just 8 pieces Limited Edition. Very proud of what my teams created.
What are your plans for the lady’s collection?
In today’s world, I think it is becoming somehow anachronistic to still create watches for men and women. Why to segment ourselves and our clients by definitions, when clients can chose freely what they prefer to wear and what timepiece better reflects their personality? Our clients need to be free to choose. We increasingly see women wearing 45 mm. double tourbillons and men wearing diamond-encrusted watches. Freedom is a key aspect of the life at Roger Dubuis.
Who is a Roger Dubuis consumer?
It is very difficult to define who might be our typical customer. Most of them are achievers, people who are successful in life and know how to treat themselves only with the best. True discoverer and explorers, men and women with a character who always want to stand out from the crowd. What is clear, though, is that they all share a mindset driven by a hedonistic lifestyle. Roger Dubuis is not a Brand for everyone, either you love or you hate us, and this polarizing effect is something we really like.
Those who like us, often become part of what we like to describe as our “tribe”.
Are there any plans for the Indian market?
India is a market with incredible potential. We believe that our expressive and contemporary interpretation of Haute Horlogerie can resonate very well with some fine Indian watchmaking connoisseurs. We will definitely invest in expanding our presence in India in the next few years.
If you had to pick one Roger Dubuis watch, which would that be?
As always, my answer to this question is that my favorite watch is the next one we are going to launch… And at Roger Dubuis more than ever!