The bite of icy air, the crunch of tyres on hard snow and the thrill of truly money can’t buy experiences was the exhilarating setting for the adrenalin-packed recent launch of the titanium-studded Excalibur Spider Pirelli Sottozero™ at the Lamborghini Winter Academia in Livigno, Italy. Taking exciting high-octane exploits to unprecedented new levels and inspired by the avant-garde designs and technical mastery of both its partners – tyre legend Pirelli on the one hand, and Lamborghini Squadra Corse on the other – Roger Dubuis races off the grid in 2018 by offering red-hot performance in super-cold conditions.
The latest examples of what happens when visionary engineers meet incredible watchmakers started the year in heart-pounding style with the February launch of the Excalibur Spider Pirelli Sottozero™: an off-the-radar reinterpretation of Pirelli’s incomparable expertise in the world of high-end tyres for premium vehicles. Embedded in the very DNA of the Maison, the iconic and deliberately extravagant Excalibur epitomizes the boldly adventurous nature of a Manufacture that has always been determined to stay several laps ahead of the pack.
Complete with drifting, night-driving and the pure adrenalin rush of testing up to 700 HP on snow and ice, the event was a made in heaven match for the money can’t buy experiences ethos of the Roger Dubuis/Pirelli “Perfect Fit” partnership. Silent snow-capped peaks vibrated to the roar of the supercars, including the record-breaking Huracán Performante, as professional Lamborghini instructors treated automobile aficionados to a thrilling two-day experience of learning to handle the fleet – naturally fitted with Pirelli Sottozero™ tyres – in low-grip situations. The international benchmark for ice-driving courses, the Lamborghini Winter Academia has been held annually since 2012, offering guests a uniquely unconventional and unforgettable driving adventure.
Irresistible mutual attraction was the spark of the relationships Roger Dubuis – a brand with performance engraved in its very DNA – has ignited with Pirelli and Lamborghini Squadra Corse. All share common values encapsulating a radical R&D vision, the same flair for disruptive designs, superlative technical engineering, an attitude in sync with some of the most demanding clients the world has to offer, and extreme aesthetics.
Aside from the iconic Roger Dubuis skeleton double flying tourbillon, the unequivocal focus of the 47 mm Excalibur Spider Pirelli Sottozero™ comes down to the latter. It is inspired by Pirelli’s legendary Sottozero™ winter tyres, which were the protagonists of the Lamborghini Winter Academia. The guests of the driving school organized by the carmaker from Sant’Agata Bolognese were in fact able to try a particular version of the Pirelli Sottozero 3, specially studded for the occasion. Together with a Pirelli expert, the guests participated in a truly educational course on tyres, above all enabling them to learn about the importance of winter ones in extreme conditions. Performance and precision are the chief characteristics shared by Pirelli’s winter tyres and the new Roger Dubuis creation.
A white ceramic bezel with blue markings offsets the titanium and sapphire crystal case proffering an incredible view of the new RD105SQ hand-wound caliber, signature blue Astral Skeleton and multi-colored power reserve indicator representing a cool nod to racing-car cockpit fuel gauges. Speedometer-like seconds counters enhanced with automobile-inspired pointers rim the emblematic flying tourbillons at 5 and 7 o’clock respectively.
Forcefully expressing the ‘disruptive materials and progressive complications’ mantra of the brand that dares to be different, the real surprise in the Excalibur Spider Pirelli Sottozero™ lies in the strap. Like its predecessors, this distinctive strap features rubber inlays from certified Pirelli tyres and an interior reproducing the profile of a Pirelli Cinturato™ intermediate tyre; but this time it is also adorned on top with legendary tread motifs reproducing the profile of the best in class Pirelli Sottozero™ tyre. Characterized by this elegant tread pattern with an asymmetric design, it is set with dozens of titanium studs emulating the nails in its namesake designed for better grip under icy conditions.
A bold and thoroughly exclusive statement of uncompromising quality, design and innovation, the Excalibur Spider Pirelli Sottozero™ is limited to just eight pieces intended for the ultimate watchmaking connoisseurs. Such are the owners of Roger Dubuis’ timepieces – individuals who dare to be rare and dare to wear world-first watches with just a hint of craziness.