An extremely rare, fine, and attractive anniversary limited-edition platinum tourbillon and double retrograde perpetual calendar wristwatch from the haute horlogerie Swiss watch brand Daniel Roth, founded in 1989 and active until 2010. Limited edition launched in 2004. Double ellipse-shaped Ellipsocurvex case in platinum 950, measuring 44 x 41mm, 16mm thick, silvered guilloché dial with brushed decoration, black printed numerals and ‘filet sauté’ guilloché outlines. Caliber DR740, self-winding, skeletonized rotor, power reserve up to 64 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, small seconds hand on a tourbillon shaft, perpetual calendar with retrograde date and leap year hands, and day of the week and month indicators in apertures. Black leather strap, platinum 950 Daniel Roth double folding clasp. Limited edition of 15 pieces.
Daniel Roth, considered to be one of the most important modern watchmakers, has been hailed a visionary of high-end complicated mechanical watchmaking. In 1989, he founded his own brand. Finished to the highest standard, his watches reveal appealing and finely elaborated dials, charismatic double ellipse-shaped Ellipsocurvex cases, and haute horlogerie movement finishings. The dials are decorated with different guilloché motifs, creating a beautiful contrast to his signature blued steel hands.
The present example differs from the rest of the releases by featuring a dial with a guilloché sub-dial of small seconds. This has three “XV” embossed inscriptions woven into the guilloche pattern. Such decoration is very unusual for Daniel Roth timepieces.
Ref. 199 features a rare combination of complications, offering the functions of a perpetual calendar with two retrograde indicators (date and leap year), tourbillon and automatic winding. This combination could have been included in the list of functions of the Daniel Roth Grande Sonnerie ultra-complication; however, in a separate version, it is found in the Daniel Roth collection only in reference 199, produced since 2004. This reference is powered by the DR740 caliber, a perpetual-calendar version of the DR730 self-winding tourbillon caliber with retrograde date (Ref. 196, Daniel Roth’s smallest and slimmest tourbillon), which had been launched by the brand a year earlier, in 2003. All Ref. 199 sub-references were produced in very limited quantities, and only in precious metals, including platinum (as in the present lot), white and rose gold, as well as some diamond-set jewellery versions. Our research shows two main generations of the reference 199 design, with a solid dial (the first generation – Mk1; as the present reference) or with a dial featuring an open-worked central zone (the second generation – Mk2).
The present reference was launched along with other Mk1 designs in 2004, when the brand celebrated its 15th anniversary, as a special jubilee limited edition. It is cased in platinum 950, furthermore differing from the rest of the releases by featuring a dial with a guilloché sub-dial of small seconds. This has three “XV” embossed inscriptions woven into the guilloche pattern. Such decoration is very unusual for Daniel Roth timepieces. The presence of a tourbillon is indicated only by the inscription “Tourbillon” on the sub-dial of small seconds, with the tourbillon itself only visible from the sapphire caseback. There is also the engraved inscription “XV years” on the rim of the caseback, again referencing the 15th anniversary. Despite all these special design elements, the watch retains the strict empire style typical of the early period of the Daniel Roth brand.
Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Daniel Roth has released several limited-edition platinum watches that rarely surface. In this regard, it must be admitted that this is an almost incredible event: the October auction will offer examples from two anniversary limited editions at once, this lot and the Master’s Chronograph XV Limited Edition Ref. 447.X.70, an extremely rare platinum chronograph with open-worked dial.
Reasons to bid
The Daniel Roth Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Retrograde Date ‘XV years’ Limited Edition Ref. 199.Y.70.011.CN.BD would appear to be an excellent purchase for the collector thanks to its extreme rarity, unique jubilee design features, excellent and elaborated hand finishing of the case, dial and caliber, as well as the rare double retrograde perpetual calendar function. Additionally, it is also a fine purchase for the watchmaking afficionado who looks to obtain a very complicated collectible mechanical watch, one which is easily recognisable and instantly memorable. Its stand-out design and self-winding caliber are sure to move a person who strives to show independence in creating their own style.