This watch is a prototype of the first timepiece model to herald the return of the Daniel Roth brand. Last year in February, I announced that LVMH would be relaunching Daniel Roth under the aegis of its La Fabrique du Temps facility in Geneva. About a month later, aBlogtoWatch published news of the limited-edition Daniel Roth Tourbillon Souscription that would be the first timepiece produced by the relaunched name. The watch aims to recreate the very first Daniel Roth watch from the late 1980s but in a mechanically superior form, using methods and technology not available to Mr. Roth at the time.
A good way to think of the Daniel Roth Tourbillon Souscription reference DR0011YG-01 is as the original Daniel Roth Tourbillon 2187/C187 that should have been. While exceptionally well-made, the watch of today very much feels like a watch from the original Daniel Roth era in both size and style. This is a watch that came from an era when tradition and flair were the most respected techniques in independent watchmaking. This was before the invasion of modern materials and design preferences, as well as before many watchmakers had access to sophisticated new forms of manufacturing and parts making. There’s a lovely gold case with a machine-engraved guilloché. dial, and a movement rich with hand finishing and elegant details.
It was never a secret that Daniel Roth was heavily inspired by the original work of Abraham Louis Breguet. While his round/rectangle case design and dial layout were original, much of the decoration and face is an homage to what made Breguet timepieces amazing. It is very nice to see that executed so lovingly in modern form, thanks to the wealth of craftspeople employed at La Fabrique du Temps able to replicate these techniques. This includes the dial work, as well as the movement polishing and decoration.
The Daniel Roth Tourbillon Souscription DR0011YG-01 case is in 18k yellow gold and 35.5mm wide. The case is 9.2mm thick and has a 38.6mm long lug-to-lug distance. So while it’s elegant and thin, this is not a large watch and has a very classic form. The case is water-resistant to 30 meters and has sapphire crystals over the dial. On the plus side, the watch is very comfortable and actually not too bad in terms of legibility even though time is read on a smaller, eccentric dial above the tourbillon window. The tourbillon cage has three hands, each of which has a length that is optimized to be read on one of the three scales for reading the seconds.
Inside the watch is the La Fabrique du Temps-made Daniel Roth caliber DR001 manually wound tourbillon movement. It operates at 3Hz with 80 hours of power reserve. I really like the design and decoration of the tourbillon bridge. Everything is very nicely detailed and crafted, but of course, you pay for it. While it isn’t clear what the planned annual production of the newly relaunched Daniel Roth brand will be, numbers will be limited. This Tourbillon Souscription (Ref. DR0011YG-01) will only be produced as a set of 20 pieces. More will come, but Louis Vuitton’s La Fabrique du Temps is in no rush. Its primary interest is in getting quality timepieces to the most appreciative collectors and allowing the demand for the relaunched brand to ferment. This is going to be a slow game, and accordingly, I believe that the new Daniel Roth pieces will be rare to see in the flesh for some time. Price for the limited edition of 20 pieces Daniel Roth Tourbillon Souscription (Ref. DR0011YG-01) in 18k yellow gold is 140,000 Swiss Francs. Learn more at the Daniel Roth website.