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. Estimated production period: 2008 to early 2010s. Double ellipse-shaped Ellipsocurvex case in 18k rose gold, measuring 41 x 44mm, 14mm thick, silvered dial with relief squared pattern, rose gold-toned applied numerals and seconds scale, perpetual calendar correctors at 2, 4, 8 and 10 o’clock, sapphire caseback. Caliber DR207, self-winding, solid rose gold rotor with guilloche pattern, power reserve up to 44 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, small seconds hand at 6 o’clock, perpetual calendar with date at 6 o’clock, day of the week at 9 o’clock, month at 3 o’clock and leap year (in small window at 4 o’clock) indicators, moonphase window at 12 o’clock, chronograph with central seconds, 30-minutes (at 3 o’clock) and 12-hours (at 9 o’clock) counters. Cognac-brown leather strap with 18k rose gold Daniel Roth double folding clasp. Numbered series. 

Lot essay 

Considering the watchmaking heritage of the Daniel Roth brand as a whole, it must be admitted that not enough attention has been paid to their watches with the combination of a perpetual calendar and a chronograph. The perpetual calendar and chronograph represent a classic combination in the art of complicated wristwatches, which has been used by the best Swiss brands since the middle of the 20th century. This double complication is highly regarded by specialists and collectors, and the best examples receive great attention at auctions, some known to be in high demand. Daniel Roth traditionally preferred to create their own combinations of complex functions, however their legacy includes excellent watches with the traditional perpetual calendar and chronograph combination. These models are extremely rarely offered at auctions, and therefore the present lot is an excellent opportunity for the collector to acquire a rare collectible.

In total, the brand released two generations of perpetual calendar and chronograph watches. The first-generation dates from roughly the early 2000s (Antiquorum and Christie’s report 2002). Called the ‘Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Moon Phase’, this watch was offered in two limited editions of 15 pieces: Ref. 377.X.40 in rose gold and Ref. 377.X.60 in white-gold. The caliber DR207, the movement of these models, was based on a movement-blank of the Frédéric Piguet manufacture, an 1185 automatic column-wheel chronograph with vertical clutch. It was equipped with a perpetual calendar module with a moonphase indicator – an in-house calendar module adapted for this caliber. The module is remarkable due to the fact it was developed in the early 1990s by the watchmaker Daniel Roth himself in collaboration with Philippe Dufour, a world-famous independent watchmaker of the time. 

These models are extremely rarely offered at auctions, and therefore the present lot is an excellent opportunity for the collector to acquire a rare collectible.

The second-generation Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Moon Phase was launched around 2010 (presumably 2008), and was offered in five designs: in rose gold (Ref. 379.X.50; as in the present lot), in rose gold with diamonds on the bezel, in white-gold (Ref. 379.X.60), in white gold with diamonds on the bezel, and in platinum (Ref. 379.X.60), all not in limited edition, but rather in a numbered series. According to our knowledge, the release of each reference did not exceed a few dozen copies. Models of the second generation were equipped with the same self-winding caliber DR207, branded curved Ellipsocurvex case and a sophisticated multi-level dial with recessed sub-dials, decorated with fine circular grooves, a main dial plate with a recessed square pyramids ornament, and an applied scale with Roman hour markers and minute (seconds) with 1/5-second markup. This design makes the watch very smart and attractive. 

Reasons to bid 

The Daniel Roth Ellipsocurvex Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Moon Phase Ref. 379.Y.50 would appear to be an extremely attractive purchase for the collector thanks to its unique design, excellent and elaborated hand-finishing of the case, appealing and finely elaborated dial and movement, as well as the combination of perpetual calendar and chronograph functions – very rare for the Daniel Roth collection. Therefore, it is also a fine purchase for the collector who looks to obtain a hidden treasure among complicated mechanical wristwatches. The present example is easily recognizable and instantly memorable. Its stand-out appearance reflects the leading design trend in complicated mechanical watches of the 2010s – a chic baroque style with many carefully crafted and harmonious details. 

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 Time Equation Ref. 121.Y.40. 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.