Do Luxury Partnerships Make Good Business Sense?

Watches

March 26, 2018 | BY Karishma Tulsidas

Absolutely, especially when the two brands are as innovative and punctilious as Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini Squadra Corse.

It seems like brand partnerships are a dime a dozen these days—slapping on your logo on another brand’s wares in order to increase awareness and rake in those dollars? Sounds like a foolproof plan… except that it isn’t. There are real risks involved, as the wrong partnership can dilute a brand image, and tawdry execution can ruin a reputation.  

In the world of watches, such cross-pollination projects are common, but not all of them deliver the intended results: savvy customers can tell the difference between a partnership that’s aligned and well-thought-out, and one that simply seeks to slap a logo on a dial.

The former scenario is rarer than you’d imagine, and when it happens, the results are magical. Take the most recent collaboration between Swiss watchmaker Roger Dubuis and supercar maker Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the perfect example than when two brands are as aligned as these two are, the ensuing timepieces are nothing short of superlative.

The two technical giants announced their partnership last September, and since then, the watches borne from this collaboration have piqued the interest of both horologists and car fanatics for their innovation in engineering and design.

Brand Alignment

Roger Dubuis might be relatively young in an industry where tradition is revered, but it has carved a niche for itself for its ingenious timepieces that push both technical and aesthetic boundaries. Beyond its innovative take on horology, each Roger Dubuis timepiece is Poinçon de Genève-certified, meaning that it meets the exacting criteria set by the regulating body.

Similarly, in the automotive industry, Lamborghini Squadra Corse has gained a reputation for making audacious supercars that boast sensuous curves harking to its Italian heritage. Moreover, the engines made in the carmaker’s headquarters in Bologna have surpassed several speed records for their unparalleled power.

With the foundation being so strong, the question begged to be asked: what about the execution? How much synergy was there between the technical and design departments of Lamborghini Squadra Corse and Roger Dubuis? The answer is, a heck of a lot. 

The partnership between Lamborghini Squadra Corse and Roger Dubuis is easily one of the most exciting ones we’ve seen in recent years, as the resulting timepieces are clearly a reflection of the amount of research and development invested in this partnership.

The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S timepieces have been infused with motoring references that embody the Lamborghini spirit. Roger Dubuis sought inspiration from both the Aventador range and the new Huracán Super Trofeo EVO, and has infused the timepieces with a performance-driven movement and aesthetic.

(Related: How The Revised Lamborghini Aventador Stacks Up)

There are two iterations of the Roger Dubuis Excalibur S currently available: one 88-piece version with accents of yellow and black; and one eight-piece version in orange and black.

Why the difference in the number of pieces available? Well, the eight-piece orange version is hewn from C-SMC carbon with a titanium container, a high-performance material that was recently fitted into the new Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo. Titanium features heavily in both iterations, meaning that they’re ultra-light on the wrist, so you won’t feel a thing when you’re cruising down the highways in your Aventador.  

The Swiss watchmaker also launched a brand-new movement for this collection, the Duotor RD103SQ caliber, which has been designed to resemble a Lamborghini engine block. Apart from being a skeletonised movement, the in-house manufactured Duotor also features a deadbeat second function; meaning that the seconds hand jumps every second instead of moving incrementally along the dial. The movement boasts a double sprung balance wheel as well, which is suspended by holders that echo the longitudinal placement of Lamborghini engines. 

These two timepieces promise an exciting start to the five-year partnership between Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini Squadra Corse, and we await eagerly breath for the next instalment of their partnership, to be announced on May 27 as the first car crosses the finish line of the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2018.

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