Daniel Roth Tourbillon C187 - Uniquely engraved "Volutes en taille douce"
Emblematic of the watch brand and the man himself, the C187 Tourbillon is arguably the one reference which epitomises Daniel Roth's style, technicality, and deeply thoughtful approach to watchmaking. Dating from the 1990s, this piece represents one of the first thirty C187 references produced, with this specific example thought to be one of only a tiny handful ever to be built.
The double ellipse case is presented in 18-carat yellow gold and is characterised by a stepped bezel, straight, sharp lugs, and its overall unique shape. With a high polish finish throughout, the compact, traditional, and tastefully simplistic exterior is poetically contrasted by a finely detailed dial and an innovative twist of a classic complication. The C187 Tourbillon comes alive when discovering the face of this expressive piece due to the charisma and flair of the watchmaker standing front and centre. The dial possesses numerous nuanced components, with an 18k gold vertical ligne guilloché pattern displayed in a light grey colour acting as the backdrop for the top half of the dial. Contrasting this guilloché is a brushed silver chapter ring housing black Roman numerals before returning to the grey vertical ligne towards the centre. Heat blued lance-shaped hands occupy the top of the dial and act as another nod to Roth's time at Breguet.
Adorning the lower portion of this exquisite piece is a large one-minute triple armed tourbillon with a long black polished bridge. Here Roth adds a further dimension to the tourbillon and arguably a more functional use case in a wristwatch thanks to its aforementioned three-arm configuration of varying lengths. Each heat-blued tourbillon arm glides over its respective fan scale, measuring up to 20 seconds to create a remarkably functional tourbillon. Furthermore, this exciting execution of Abraham-Louis Breguet's tourbillon is contrasted with a hand-engraved motif known as 'volutes en taille douce'. It's a particularly ornate and highly decorative addition which wonderfully pairs with the technicality of the tourbillon and the overall classic execution of the Breguet esque dial. Thankfully the beauty of this motif pattern is throughout the watch on the white gold main plate. This pattern completely dominates the back of the watch and even stretches to the Fleur de Lis-like engraved bridge seen through the display caseback. It is this seldom-seen pattern that makes this specific C187 Tourbillon considerably rare. All early Daniel Roth creations are about blending heritage with the namesake founder's personality. They're unique and worthy of celebration, but this C187 Tourbillon is truly in its own league.
Powering this outstanding piece is a Lemania 387 ébauche - a movement in which Roth worked closely with Lemania themselves to develop during his time at Breguet. As detailed previously, this movement features Roth's heat blued triple-armed tourbillon, large black polished bridge, and the 'volutes en taille douce' pattern throughout its main plate. Despite this movement technically being a Lemania base, the level at which Roth was involved in its development is a testament to the breadth of his savoir-faire.
How It Wears
Carrying the compact coherent proportions of a rounded case, matched with the pure elegance of rectangular and oval cases, the C187 Tourbillon is a charming wearer on the wrist, suitable for formal cuffs and casual alike. Measuring 38mm in length by 35mm in width, the piece is wonderfully sized for a timepiece carrying this case shape and represents a mid-size. On the wrist, the refinement of its detailing is unmistakable. Be it the guilloché dial, brushed chapter ring, thermally blued hands, tourbillon cage, or its highly distinctive volutes en taille douce engraving, there are so many elements to consider that all play with light and shadow.
This Daniel Roth C187 Tourbillon dates from the 1990s and is presented as a watch only. The piece shows zero signs of polishing or refinishing and is complete fitted to a Mr Watchley Grained Brown leather watch strap.
Despite only launching his brand during the tail end of the 20th century, Daniel Roth's foray into watchmaking began many decades prior. Watchmaking is very much in Roth's DNA, with the craft present throughout his family tree. During the 1970s, Roth took on a monumental level of responsibility as he was entrusted by the Chaumet brothers to revive their recent acquisition, Breguet. What followed was 12 months of study, research, and practical development, while channelling the spirit of Abraham-Louis Breguet.
By fusing Roth's technical ability with his study, Breguet's successful revival at the fingertips of Roth spanned fourteen years due to the authentic alignment with the brand's origins. The complication most synonymous with Breguet is the tourbillon, and as such, Roth knew it had to play a part in the brand's renaissance. With Roth's dedication to the complication, he quickly became one of the world's leading authorities. Eventually, the opportunity presented itself for Roth to be able to use the expertise he'd honed while restoring Breguet's reputation and direct those efforts into his own brand. In 1988, Daniel Roth the watch brand was conceived.
Not deterred by the more prominent watch brands that boasted heritage and long-established brand awareness, Daniel Roth began producing distinctive watches that blended creativity and classic design elements. A double-ellipse case was universal throughout all of his pieces, as were traditionally executed dials similar to Breguet. There are five coveted complications at the pinnacle of collectable Daniel Roth watches, the Perpetual Calendar, Tourbillon, Rétrograde, Minute Repeater, and the Chronograph. The exact production numbers of each complication are yet to be confirmed. Nevertheless, with a rumoured yearly production volume in the early days of just 400 watches, Daniel Roth watches are by no means widespread or readily available.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium.
No stock kept on site.
Lemania 387 Ébauche
|Dial||Guilloché & brushed|
|Size (Case)||38mm x 35mm
|Material (Case)||Yellow gold|
|Bracelet||Mr Watchley Grained Brown|