Early Tourbillon Daniel Roth reference C187 with rare “Volutes” engravings, early 1990s
One of the most sought-after independent watchmakers will be run as an independent brand, with guidance and incubation from La Fabrique Du Temps Louis Vuitton, as of February 2023.
Daniel Roth, one of the defining independent watch brands of the 20th
century, will be henceforth operated as an independent brand under La Fabrique du Temps umbrella, with personal incubation from two of the world’s leading watchmakers, Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini.
With product design and development currently underway for public reveal in a few months, Daniel Roth will aim to capture the mechanical ingenuity and contemporary classicism that defined Roth’s work in its earliest days. From the period of 1988 through 1994, the independent brand produced some of the most remarkable and collectible wristwatches in the world, including its original 25-piece commission of a hand-wound tourbillon for London retailer William Asprey in addition to the most finely finished hand-wound chronographs and perpetual calendars in the world, all in its signature ellipsocurvex case shape. By 1994, the Daniel Roth brand was acquired by the controlling family of iconic retailer The Hour Glass, then by Bulgari in 2000. As Bulgari has now decided to focus its production capacities on its own collections, in 2023 Daniel Roth is revived as an independent brand with the help and guidance of the minds behind La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton.
Upon its revival later this year, Daniel Roth will produce no more than a few hundred pieces per year, recapturing its original mantra of “La Montre Objet d’Art”.
More details will be shared in the second half of 2023, including the introduction of its first watch – produced in a 20-piece “souscription”
The name Daniel Roth
is often mentioned alongside the great independent watchmakers of the 20th
century: George Daniels, F.P. Journe, and Philippe Dufour. And indeed, he is a contemporary and sometimes collaborator of these great names in traditional watchmaking. Roth was born into a family of watchmakers in France and quickly began his training at no less than Audemars Piguet.
He was quickly recruited by Breguet to lead the re-development of the brand in 1976, when he re-established the brand in Switzerland by opening its first workshop in Le Brassus. His influence in defining what Breguet would become over the next 12 years cannot be overstated. By 1988, Roth was one of the first watchmakers to leave the steady work of a major brand to begin an eponymous brand. Setting the bar right away to the highest of standards, the Master watchmaker started working on a wrist-worn Tourbillon housed in a unique ellipsocurvex case that would become a design signature of his brand.
In 1988, a commission from Asprey of London for 25 hand-wound double-faced Tourbillon with special seconds display enabled him to fund the launch of his brand and vision.
In 1989, this distinctive Tourbillon would go into production as reference C187. Shortly after, Roth would introduce the C147, a two-register chronograph based on the legendary Lemania 2310, and a run of special rattrapante pieces using a Venus 179 caliber. This was a time, one must remember, that did not see hand-wound chronographs in the catalog of any of the major Swiss manufacturers, let alone any small brands. Roth would then go on to produce the C107 Ultra-Thin automatic, the C127 Retrograde, and the C117 Perpetual Calendar all in his now iconic elliptical case shape. The C117 Perpetual Calendar’s instantaneous jump mechanism was a direct collaboration with no one less than Philippe Dufour.
La Fabrique du Temps
Since 2014, La Fabrique du Temps produces complications for Louis Vuitton exclusively. The resulting work has led to the introduction of the first Poinçon de Genève Tourbillon the same year, the Escale Worldtimer capable of displaying 38 timezones at once, the Tambour Minute Repeater – comprised of 400 components – and the Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon with a case made from a single block of transparent sapphire. The creations of La Fabrique du Temps, under Navas and Barbasini’s guidance, have been twice awarded prizes by the GPHG while working with Louis Vuitton, and have contributed in the past to win numerous prizes for prestigious watchmakers.
and Enrico Barbasini
La Fabrique du Temps
Some names in the world of independent watchmaking ring loudly, and others at the perfect pitch – not unlike a great minute repeater. Michel Naval and Enrico Barbasini, the two Founders and Master Watchmakers behind La Fabrique du Temps, and the two men responsible for the technical revival of Daniel Roth, are considered among the finest watchmakers working today. Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini will oversee the creation and execution of each Daniel Roth timepiece personally.
Since 1854, Louis Vuitton has brought unique designs to the world, combining innovation with style, always aiming for the finest quality and preserving biodiversity. Today, the House remains faithful to the spirit of its founder, Louis Vuitton, who invented a genuine “Art of Travel”
through luggage, bags and accessories which were as creative as they were elegant and practical. Since then, audacity has shaped the story of Louis Vuitton. Faithful to its heritage, Louis Vuitton has opened its doors to architects, artists and designers across the years, all the while developing disciplines such as ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories, watches, jewellery, and fragrance. These carefully created products are testament to Louis Vuitton’s commitment to fine craftsmanship.