News • 21 Mar 2023
DANIEL ROTH Revives with a Tourbillon Souscription
The storied independent watch brand revered by collectors during the early nineties, DANIEL ROTH undergoes a renaissance led by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton with a new Tourbillon Souscription watch.
Marking the revival of the DANIEL ROTH brand is the Tourbillon Souscription, a meticulous homage to the brand’s original tourbillon wristwatch launched in 1988. This landmark watch is now reimagined by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, and pays tribute to the achievements of Daniel Roth, the watchmaker.
A 21st Century Revival
Tapping on the skills of the finest watchmaking craftspeople and suppliers, a small team of specialists at La Fabrique du Temps will continue the DANIEL ROTH legacy, holding fast to the brand’s foundational mantra: La Montre Objet d’Art.
The Tourbillon Souscription encapsulates the values of the DANIEL ROTH brand, which remains unchanged over the decades. Executed in traditional yellow gold, a metal exclusive to this edition, the case of the Tourbillon Souscription is naturally shaped in a double ellipse, a signature silhouette of the brand. Retaining the proportions of the original, subtle refinements have been made to maximise its elegance. It has only a single face on the front, allowing the case to be a slim 9.2mm in height. The lugs are carefully soldered to the case middle, and slightly reshaped to curve downwards elegantly, improving the ergonomics of the iconic case.
Like the case, the dial also pays tribute to the brand’s history. The base of solid yellow gold is decorated with Clous de Paris guilloché, like its original, with some updates to the typography for added finesse. And in a nod to contemporary independent watchmaking, the dial is produced in the workshops of Kari Voutilainen, one of the leading artisanal watchmakers of today.
DR001: A New In-House Tourbillon Movement
Under the dial is the in-house manufacture calibre DR001 conceived exclusively for DANIEL ROTH. The DR001 is manufactured entirely by La Fabrique du Temps, the Geneva workshop founded by Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini – both master watchmakers who will personally oversee the creation of each DANIEL ROTH timepiece.
“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,” says Michel Navas. “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,” adds Enrico Barbasini, “Many of us look up to Daniel as an important figure in the industry who spearheaded contemporary independent watchmaking.”
This respect for the brand’s history is embodied in the DR001, an in-house manufacture movement conceived especially for the Tourbillon Souscription. Carefully constructed to fit seamlessly in the DANIEL ROTH case, the DR001 is a form movement that takes the shape of a double ellipse, an uncommon feat considering round movements are the industry norm. Respect for the brand’s artisanal roots is equally evident in the decoration of the DR001. The movement is entirely finished by hand, right down to the mirror-finished screw heads. Amongst its decorative flourishes are the bridge for the wheel driving the tourbillon in black-polished steel and the mirror-finished winding click.
The centrepiece of the DR001 is its tourbillon regulator. Devised to capture the singular style of the original, the tourbillon 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 – a quirky detail found on all original DANIEL ROTH tourbillon watches. As in the 1988 original, the tourbillon is accompanied by a detail apparent only to the owner. Because the arms of the seconds hand vary to match each section of the seconds scale, the longest arm of the seconds hand necessitates a tiny groove in the inner wall of the case to allow it to pass through.
Continuing the philosophy of unobtrusive refinement exhibited in the case and dial, the tourbillon boasts discreet enhancements. It is framed on either side with plates decorated with Côtes de Genève, while the plate below the tourbillon is finely frosted. The DR001 is manually wound and boasts a generous 80-hour power reserve. Despite its classical construction and lavish decoration, the DR001 is discreet in its accomplishments – the calibre is concealed behind a solid back bearing the individual number of each watch, a tribute to early DANIEL ROTH timepieces that featured similarly-engraved solid backs. Then and now this reflects the simple fact that quality need not be seen to be known.
By Subscription Only
Limited to just 20 watches, the Tourbillon Souscription takes after the 1988 original in not just concept and execution but also availability. The Tourbillon Souscription will be sold on a souscription basis – patrons of DANIEL ROTH will “subscribe” with a deposit upon order confirmation, with the balance due upon delivery. Just as the first DANIEL ROTH tourbillon wristwatch of 1988 gave birth to subsequent variations and additional complications, the Tourbillon Souscription is merely the opening act in the revival of DANIEL ROTH.
Register your interest in the DANIEL ROTH Tourbillon Souscription at The Hour Glass today.