The medieval tale of King Arthur hardly calls to mind watchmaking, which wasn’t developed until a couple of centuries later. But in contemporary watchmaking, King Arthur is synonymous with the Swiss watchmaker Roger Dubuis.
The brand’s Knights of the Round Table collection, first introduced in 2013, featured watch dials with imaginative scenes from the legend, with miniature engraved gold figures of sword-wielding knights in the 12 hour marker positions.
Ten Knights of the Round Table models have been created so far, set across three trilogies — introduced in 2013, 2018 and 2021 — as well as a special-edition flying tourbillon model unveiled in 2022. Each of the trilogies is linked by a similar design theme, with each model limited to 28 pieces; the 2022 model was limited to eight pieces.
Last month, Roger Dubuis introduced the final watch in the trilogy that began in 2021, with a blue and white dial crafted from Murano glass and porcelain featuring a cracked effect, inspired by an Arctic episode in the King Arthur story.
“Our first inspiration was glacier ice. We wanted to imagine the knights walking and fighting in the snow,” said Gregory Bruttin, Roger Dubuis’ product strategy director. “In terms of philosophy, we like to push the boundaries to come up with these ideas. Sometimes we are a bit crazy.”
Blue Murano glass was coated with biscuit porcelain and then fired for a glassy, snowlike finish, as craftsmen then assembled each block, one by one, on the dial to create the cracked effect.
The medieval theme continued on the watch’s 45-millimeter titanium case, which features the Damascus process, an ancient technique involving layers of steel for swords. Mr. Bruttin said titanium was chosen for its light weight and resistance to corrosion, while the Damascus technique linked it to the medieval period. The technique was used on one other titanium watch in the collection, in the trilogy that was introduced in 2018.
With its distinctive designs, the Knights of the Round Table watches have acquired a cult following: Editions regularly sell out, despite price tags of about 300,000 Swiss francs (the latest version is priced at $348,000).
The pre-owned watch marketplace Wristcheck, however, now lists a 2018 model, with a translucent blue enamel dial, at $211,283.
“The Knights of the Round Table is a watch you either absolutely love or just hate — you either understand it or you don’t,” said Wristcheck’s founder and chief executive, Austen Chu.
Mr. Bruttin described it as a “big, bulky, extravagant” watch, adding that clients are drawn to its craftsmanship and the watch’s “perceived value.”
Roger Dubuis spends extra time to produce “the perfect product every year,” he said. “That’s the reason why this product is very successful. There are lot of details.”