A fine, extremely rare and attractive rose gold complication wristwatch from the haute horlogerie Swiss watch brand Daniel Roth, founded in 1989 and active until the 2010s. Reference 121.Y from the Master’s Grandes Complications collection was launched in 2004. Double ellipse-shaped case in 18k rose gold, measuring 44 x 41mm, 13mm thick, silvered gold guilloché dial with applied gold Breguet numerals, perpetual calendar correctors at 2, 4, 8 and 10 o’clock, sapphire caseback. Caliber DR114, self-winding, 22k gold rotor with guilloché motif and peripheral weight in 950 platinum, power reserve up to 45 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, perpetual calendar with date, day of the week, month and leap year indicators, equation of time sub-dial between 10 and 11 o’clock, number of days in the month indicator between 1 and 2 o’clock, moonphase indicator at 12 o’clock. Black leather strap with 18k rose gold Daniel Roth double folding clasp. Numbered series. 

Lot essay 

A perpetual calendar is a very rare function for a mechanical wristwatch, while even more rare are examples when the function of the perpetual calendar is complemented by other complex mechanisms, for example, a chronograph or a tourbillon. Even less often, watch companies equip perpetual calendar watches with the equation of time indication, the astronomic function to display the discrepancy between the apparent solar time, which directly tracks the diurnal motion of the Sun, and mean solar time, which tracks a theoretical mean Sun with uniform motion along the celestial equator. The present lot belongs to the first generation of Daniel Roth’s Perpetual Calendar Time Equation watches, launched by the brand in 2004, and proposed in 18k rose gold (the present example), 18k white gold (Ref. 121.Y.60) or in platinum (Ref. 121.Y.70). In addition to the equation of time, this watch also features a number of days in the month indicator, which makes this perpetual calendar configuration one of its kind in the industry. 

Perpetual Calendar Time Equation models of the second generation, also designated as reference 121.Y, but with a skeletonized dial of a new design, were produced by the brand from 2007. Hereafter, according to our knowledge, the Daniel Roth brand did not produce watches with such a set of complications. 

The present lot belongs to the first generation of Daniel Roth’s Perpetual Calendar Time Equation watches, launched by the brand in 2004

The Perpetual Calendar Time Equation watch is powered by the self-winding DR114 caliber, based on a Girard-Perregaux GP3000 movement-blank and accommodating an additional in-house module for the perpetual calendar, equation of time, moonphase, and number of days in the month complications. This movement was entirely finished in-house, including decoration typical of high watchmaking standards – hand chamfering, Côtes de Genève and perlage patterns, and a solid gold rotor decorated with guilloché pattern. 

Reasons to bid 

Finished to the highest standard, the Daniel Roth Perpetual Calendar Time Equation Ref. 121.Y.40 watch reveals an appealing and finely elaborated dial, charismatic double ellipse-shaped case and haute horlogerie movement finishings. The solid gold dial is decorated with different guilloché motifs, creating a beautiful contrast to the brand’s signature blued steel hands. Therefore, the present lot would appear to be an extremely attractive purchase for the collector thanks to its superb finishing, unusual design and unique set of complications, which cannot be found in wristwatches of any other brand. 

N. B. 

The keen collector should note that also offered for purchase in this sale is another rare 18k rose gold perpetual calendar Daniel Roth watch – Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Moon Phase Ref. 379.Y.50. Together with the present lot, they represent the pinnacles of the art of perpetual calendars by Daniel Roth. 

Brand info 

Daniel Roth, considered to be one of the most important modern watchmakers, has been hailed a visioner of high-end complicated mechanical watchmaking. In 1989, he founded his own brand after fifteen years as the leading watchmaker at Breguet, where he recreated the classic Breguet style and developed some iconic watches, including tourbillon, chronograph, perpetual calendar pieces, as well as the charismatic Ref. 3130, inspired by Breguet’s pocket watch No. 5 of 1794. For his own brand, Daniel Roth developed a unique style, a kind of late-20th century Breguet with a double ellipse-shaped Ellipsocurvex case design, instantly recognisable amongst watch connoisseurs, ruthenium-plated guilloché dials and blued steel arrow hands. Among Daniel Roth’s masterpieces, the tourbillons and the perpetual calendars are probably the most memorable and desirable. In 1994, looking for opportunities to develop the brand further, he sold the business to the Singaporean Hour Glass luxury retailer, and finally left it after it was again sold to Bulgari in 2000. Nevertheless, his approach to complicated watchmaking and inimitable style were still preserved in the Daniel Roth collection under Bulgari’s supervision until 2010, when the production of collections with the Daniel Roth brand name ceased to continue. Therefore, Daniel Roth’s watches are now regarded as very attractive collectibles.