This Jean Daniel Nicolas Two-Minute Tourbillon* in a round platinum case, with a manually wound calibre, is the culmination of the decades Daniel Roth has put into perfecting his particular style of classical watchmaking, with a particular emphasis on hand-craft. Today, the master works with his watchmaker wife and his son, who he is mentoring, creating no more than three pieces a year.
Across all of Daniel Roth’s early work as an independent watchmaker, there are a few core principles that stand out. These speak to his vision and what he was hoping to achieve with his young eponymous brand.
Beyond the obvious stylistic cues, the continuity with Breguet is also apparent in more subtle ways. Roth proudly numbered many of his early pieces on the dial, something which Breguet often did with his own pocket watches. A rather unusual design choice for a modern wristwatch, one can imagine that this was meant to proudly highlight just how limited the independent watchmaker’s production was. Of course, Roth didn’t only carry-over design choices, but also techniques. A high level of hand-finishing can be found across his early work, from the dials to the movements themselves. He often chose to highlight this by creating open-work and hand-engraved versions of his models.
He released a range of noteworthy pieces, from the classic tourbillon, to a perpetual calendar developed in collaboration with Philippe Dufour, before he gradually became less and less involved with his eponymous brand. His ownership was diluted over time, culminating in the sale of the company to Bulgari in 2000. Today, Roth produces one-off creations under the Jean Daniel Nicolas name, working closely with his wife and son, completing around three pieces a year.