The Story of Daniel Roth
Daniel Roth was born into a family with deep horological roots, with his grandfather and great-grandfather both working as watchmakers in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Following this path, he completed his technical apprenticeship in Nice, before fulfilling his ambition of moving to the Vallée de Joux, one of the world’s watchmaking epicentres. He joined Audemars Piguet at a young age, at a time where he was the only watchmaker who didn’t come from Le Brassus, the brand’s historic home.
Following seven years at Audemars Piguet, Roth was noticed by the Chaumet brothers, the then owners of Breguet. In the midst of the Quartz Crisis, they wanted to restore the brand to its former glory and were looking for a Master Watchmaker who could help. Inspired by the work of the famous watchmaker, Roth agreed to help resuscitate the manufacture, though only after going back to school to further study Breguet’s archives and techniques. Over fourteen years, he would help rebuild the watchmaker, cementing the style, finishing and complications in wristwatch form.
In 1989, Daniel Roth decided to establish his own manufacture. One of the first truly independent watchmakers working under his own name, he created Breguet-inspired pieces, with a twist. He cemented aesthetic codes which are distinctively his own, from the double-ellipse case to the sharply executed pinstripe guilloché dials used on some of his models. Though his output was limited, it was plentiful in its diversity and inventiveness, from tourbillons to chronographs. Daniel Roth was one of the key brand names of independent watchmaking in the 1990s, alongside Franck Muller, Roger Dubuis and Francois-Paul Journe, among others. In 2000, the company was sold to Bulgari, with the watchmaker no longer being involved from that point onwards.
This manually-wound Daniel Roth Ellipsocurvex is a quintessential execution of the watchmaker’s style. Made out of non-treated white gold, the dial features a sharply executed pinstripe guilloché pattern, which complements the lighter, brushed chapter ring with roman numerals. The contrast in colour and finishing gives a satisfying depth to the design.
The dial is signed “DANIEL ROTH” at 12 o’clock and “NUMERO XX” at 6 o’clock, where the watch’s unique number is displayed (with this example being one of the first 15 delivered). The lance-shaped hands, another visual inspiration from the Abraham-Louis Breguet, are rendered in blue steel.
The yellow gold double-ellipse case of the Ellipsocurvex is unique in its execution. Neither round nor rectangular, it balances the two different shapes, complemented by a stepped bezel and sharp, straight lugs. Measuring 32mm x 30mm in diameter, with a thickness of 4mm, the watch sits comfortably on the wrist and wears larger than its dimensions would otherwise suggest.
Assembled by hand in the brand’s Vallée de Joux workshop, this Daniel Roth Ellipsocurvex is powered by a finely-finished Frédéric Piguet ultra-thin movement, which allows the overall design to maintain an impressively slim profile.
The finely-finished manual-winding movement, which is engraved with the same matching number as is found on the dial and caseback features 18 jewels and is adjusted to 5 positions. Aesthetically, the calibre is finished to the highest standards. The movement features exquisite chamfering on all angles, polishing and decoration, in the form of Geneva striping.
This Daniel Roth Ellipsocurvex comes on a bespoke 16 x 14mm Paris strap, with curved ends, as well as the original yellow gold tang buckle.
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