In 2021, Roger Dubuis and Dr. Woo – the celebrated tattoo artist to Hollywood A-listers – collaborated for the first time, resulting in the eight-piece Excalibur Dr. Woo Monotourbillon limited edition. This year, the creative partnership between “Hyper Horology” and exquisite tattoo art has led to Excalibur Dr. Woo Monobalancier – a limited edition of 28 pieces.
Brian Woo, known professionally as Dr. Woo, is a Hollywood-based artist renowned for his elegant and hyperrealistic tattoos. His signature ultra-fine style distinguishes him from the heavy lines and bright colours of traditional tattooing. His distinctive style has transformed not only the imagery but also the culture of his craft.
Honed over 12 years at Shamrock Social Club, under the apprenticeship of legendary tattooist Mark Mahoney, Dr. Woo’s craft attracts some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry – Drake, Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevingne, Miley Cyrus, Bella Hadid and Justin Bieber to name a few.
Dr. Woo is one of four artists who make up Roger Dubuis’ Urban Culture Tribe – a collective of renowned urban culture artists who, according to the watchmaker, “break the rules, showcase radical expertise, and obsess daily over the design of the future.” The other three members of the Tribe are graffiti artist Gully, Chinese sculptor, drawer and painter Liu Wei, and Japanese illustrator and sculptor Hajime Sorayama.
In 2022, Roger Dubuis refreshed its Monobalancier with clean-cut lines along the case and movement, and a selection of modern materials. The intention for this refresh, among others, was to transform the Monobalancier into a canvas for its Urban Culture Tribe collaborators to express themselves. Dr. Woo’s inspiration finds expression on the complex surface of ceramic, and on a dial where time moves between the forces of the sun, Earth and moon.
Dr. Woo Monobalancier’s most prominent feature is the dial, where the three celestial bodies take centre stage. Between 10 and 11 o’clock is the sun – laser-engraved with meticulous lines, shapes, and dots on a PVD black brass plate. Covering the calibre’s micro-rotor, the sun plate is in constant motion, churning as the wearer moves their wrist.
The Earth, covering the barrel, is between 4 and 5 o’clock. This revolving energy source is embellished with Dr. Woo’s delicate art and is ingeniously linked to the turning of the watch’s hands. This allows the disc to complete one turn every 6 hours and 40 minutes, or 3.6 rotations per day.
The slender crescent moon at 8 o’clock, adorned with fine circles and lines, beautifully reveals the inner workings of the balance wheel beneath. As if staring into the night sky, this fantastic vision of spiralling components has a captivating quality. The celestial theme is further replicated on the caseback, where the sun, Earth, and moon have been inscribed alongside Dr. Woo’s name.
Other symbols play a prominent role as well. Dr. Woo’s signature spider is positioned between 2 and 3 o’clock. This icon was on the first Edition released in 2021. This time it is engraved in black on a sapphire disc inside the watch, and positioned on the flange. Symbolising strength and protection, it gives each of these timepieces an unmistakable connection to the artist.
The inside sapphire disc is also radiantly engraved with a gold metallised Roger Dubuis astral star, reinterpreted for this collaboration. Like the spider, the star repeats from the first Limited Edition and symbolizes the cosmic journey of the 3D-carved rocket ship. The points of the star connect with the pink gold-tone hour markers, and the final beam at 9 o’clock completes its trajectory.
Talking about the new Monobalancier timepiece, Dr. Woo says, “Within this design, we were able to contemplate the way time moves in our galaxy, as our own Solar System is such an incredible place of enduring rhythms and shifting patterns. With their one-of-a-kind Hyper Horology™ approach, Roger Dubuis delivered a truly powerful and innovative platform for our creativity to flow.”
The new Excalibur Dr. Woo Monobalancier is housed within a sleek 42mm black ceramic case, while the 2021 model was in the brand’s proprietary 18k EON GOLD alloy. This difficult material takes 15 times longer to craft than the same case from gold, but it is hyper-resistant to daily scratches.
The ceramic case is engraved with Dr. Woo’s symbolic language, from sharp triangles to full circles that represent infinite human connection. Open to interpretation, these geometric symbols are also stamped on the calf-skin leather strap, which features a versatile quick-release system.
The Dr. Woo Monobalancier is powered by the automatic RD720SQ – a calibre well-known for its performance. The micro-rotor, covered by the sun, is designed to minimise vibrations, while the inertia of its balance wheel maximises stability and reduces its sensitivity to shocks. The advanced mechanics of the diamond-coated silicon escapement wheel, paired with diamond-coated silicon pallet stones, ensure an impressive 72 hours of power reserve.
Complying with the Poinçon de Genève certification, the Excalibur Dr. Woo Monobalancier is designed like a contemporary work of art and every component is finished by hand. The Excalibur Dr. Woo Monobalancier, like its predecessor, is set to become a highly sought-after collectable, especially among younger collectors.