Daniel Roth is back with a vengeance—and a new timepiece.
The brand, which has been owned by Bulgari since 2000, will now produce watches independently with the help of La Fabrique du Temps. The workshop, founded by master watchmakers Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini then later acquired by Louis Vuitton in 2011, comprises a small team of talented craftspeople who maintain Roth’s original mantra: “la montre objet d’art” (the watch is a work of art). Indeed, the first model under the new independent structure is an artful reinterpretation of the watchmaker’s signature tourbillon.
“Respecting the origins of the brand and the craftsmanship of its foundational pieces is especially important for us, since we are both long-time friends of Daniel,” says Enrico Barbasini, “Many of us look up to Daniel as an important figure in the industry who spearheaded contemporary independent watchmaking.”
Roth’s roots in watchmaking trace back to Breguet, where he worked on the brand’s first tourbillon in the early 1980s. When he eventually established his own eponymous brand in ’88, he fittingly launched with a tourbillon: reference 2187/C187 with double faces. At the time, the tourbillion was still a relatively rare complication, so it was an exceptionally bold move for an industry newcomer to showcase it in a debut piece.
The new Tourbillon Souscription pays homage to this legacy. The watch has the signature double-ellipse case, which is kind of like a cross between a circle and a square. This design is not only aesthetically striking but also serves a practical purpose: It can perfectly accommodate the off-center dial while highlighting the one-minute tourbillon.
“Our vision for Daniel Roth is to respect the brand’s history while also leveraging some of the concepts and savoir-faire that Enrico and myself have accumulated in our careers,” adds Michel Navas.
Finished in yellow gold, the case has been refined slightly, with minor updates improving the ergonomics of the iconic shape. It now measures a mere 9.2 mm high, for instance. The striking dial, which is produced by Kari Voutilainen, sees a plate of solid yellow gold decorated with Clous de Paris guilloché, just like the original. However, the typography has been streamlined to give it a contemporary twist.
Inside, you’ll find the in-house caliber DR001. The form movement takes the shape of a double ellipse as opposed to a traditional round movement. The centerpiece of the DR001 is its tourbillon regulator, which makes one revolution every minute, allowing it to function as a seconds hand. As a result, the tourbillon cage carries a three-armed, heat-blued seconds hand that is read in tandem with a tri-sectioned seconds scale on the dial. This quirky detail is yet another nod to Roth’s original tourbillons.
Limited to just 20 examples, the Tourbillon Souscription is priced at $153,227. You can “subscribe” to the watch today with a deposit to secure your piece. Delivery is slated for early 2024.