December 21, 2011
by Ariel Adams
This new Bulgari Daniel Roth collection watch joins the ranks (small ranks) of million dollar plus timepieces from the brand. Offering a wildly complicated movement and inspiration from the Daniel Roth brand that Bulgari engulfed into itself, this piece is one serious homage to a love of horology.
Based on the commentary I have received thus far, people seem to dig the video Bulgari made about its new Daniel Roth Grande Sonnerie Perpetual Calendar watch. I must admit that it does work well when you make a watch look like a deity coming from space to save the planet – with chimes. Chime your well to a better like. According to Bulgari, if in operation all the time, the sonnerie function will chime over 433,500 times per a year. That is a lot of dings and dongs.
Bulgari says it takes about one year to build each of these watches. I believe that. There are a very small amount of people who are skilled enough to make them, and it takes along time to decorate the parts, assemble, and then test the movements. Actually, decorating the movement parts is the most challenging. That takes about six months. It then takes four months to build the movement, test it, take it apart, clean it, and then put it back together again.
Inside the watch is the Caliber DR 5307. It is made up of 923 parts and has 82 jewels (for those who wanted to know). One of my favorite things about this super complicated watch movement is that it is an automatic. Most all of the time watches like this are manually wound. Not only does it being an automatic make it more convenient, but it also makes it easier to store allowing you to put it on a traditional spinning winder so that you don’t need to reset it all the time.
What does that caliber DR 5307 automatic movement do? Well the function families are the time, perpetual calendar, moon phase indicator, grade and petite (little) sonnerie chimes, and the tourbillon. A full list of features is as follows:
-Westminster Carillon chimes
-Leap Year Indicator
-Automatic winding for movement and striking system
-Silent centrifugal governor
-Power reserve indicator for movement (48h)
-Power reserve indicator for striking system (28h in mode « Little »)
-Secured striking mode (during striking, the time setting system is disconnected)
-Secured time setting (during time setting, the striking system is disconnected)
-Secured striking system (the minute repeater is disconnected during striking in « passing » and vice-versa)
-Striking mode selector “chimes/silence » (rotating water resistant selector with indication)
-Striking mode selector « little/grand » (rotating water resistant selector with indication)
That is a lot of features and a very important thing to point out is that the Bulgari Daniel Roth Grande Sonnerie Quantieme Perpetual Calendar watch has both sonnerie and minute repeater functions. The first chimes the times at various intervals automatically, and the latter chimes the time back to you on command.
Even with its relatively complex design, all the information is displayed conveniently. I love that despite this there is some skeletonization on the dial as the date of the week and month discs are transparent sapphire over sections of the movement. Why are there two power reserve indicators? One is for the time functions and one is for the power reserve functions.
The watch itself is placed in an 18k pink gold case that is matched to a black alligator strap. Not sure about the case width or thickness though – but this isn’t going to be a small timepiece. It really is an incredible machine and I can’t wait to get some hands-on time with one.
According to Buglari each piece will be unique in some way (if only how the hammer and gongs are regulated and adjusted). Not sure necessarily what that means, but as they are each hand made it is possible to offer slight variations from piece to piece. If you haven’t viewed the above video yet I suggest that you do. Ready to put down your dollar bills? The Bulgari Daniel Roth Grande Sonnerie Quantieme Perpetual [Calendar] watch will be priced at 980,000 Swiss Francs.