Daniel Roth Le Sentier Automatic - Ref. 177
DANIEL ROTH LE SENTIER 177
Steel | Guilloché silver dial
Daniel Roth was destined to be a horological pioneer. Both his grandfather and great-grandfather worked as watchmakers in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. The young boy Roth naturally spent most of his childhood in a watchmaking repair shop in the South of France.
After learning the technical craft in Nice himself, Roth moved to the cradle of haute horlogerie, the Vallée de Joux, where he spent the first seven years of his professional career at Jaeger-LeCoultre and Audemars Piguet. It is said that he was the only watchmaker from outside the valley working at the Manufacture in Le Brassus.
Standing out as a remarkably gifted watchmaker, Roth was offered the chance by Jacques and Pierre Chaumet, the owners of Breguet at the time, to put the brand back on the map as a well-respected horological entity during the quartz crisis. In his fourteen years at the French brand, Roth moved the production to the Vallée de Joux in 1976 – where the world’s finest watchmakers and suppliers where to be found – while reviving the archives by reawakening the spirit of the brand’s founder Abraham-Louis Breguet, exalting the brand’s former horological majesty.
It was in 1988 that Daniel Roth started to work under his own name, with the first timepieces coming to live in 1989, in his modest manufacture in the midst of the snowy Jura mountains at Le Sentier. A move that might surprise little today but was considered noticeably bold at the time as it was uncommon for watchmakers to work under their own name, making Roth a trailblazer (for independent watchmakers such as F.P. Journe, who followed in his Roth’s footsteps a decade later).
While being strongly moved by the style and inventive anima of Abraham-Louis Breguet, translating into Breguet-inspired design choices such as hand guilloché dials, blued steel hands and precious metal cases, Roth transcended his horological past by offering a contemporary take on watchmaking. The double-ellipse case and sharply executed pinstripe guilloché dials soon became part of his modern signature.
His manufacture had a limited production in the early days (of an estimated 500 timepieces a year), as its creations are known for being inventive and detailed with hand-finishing dials and smartly decorated movements, including a tourbillon with an 8-day power reserve, the instantaneous perpetual calendar and the Westminster Grande Sonnerie Carillon (the only automatic four-gong chiming wristwatch in production in the nineties).
In 2000 Bulgari Group bought the company and the brand continued in the spirit of Daniel Roth, without him being involved as a watchmaker any longer.
This Daniel Roth Le Sentier reference 177 is a testimony to the watchmaker’s legacy, being one of the early timepieces manufactured in the period of 1995-1999.
The double-ellipse case made out of steel reflects the signature Daniel Roth statement on the wrist. Having a unique shape – being neither round nor rectangular, yet finely balancing the two – its caliber measures a traditional 38,5 mm x 35,5 mm, equally bold as comfortable to wear with a slim profile of 7,8mm thick.
This cult timepiece is further characterized by a high level of finishing featuring the signature pinstripe guilloché pattern. The hand-engraved, silver dial is visually stunning yet highly legible due to its elegant colour contrasts, Roman numerals placed on a brushed chapter ring and blue arrow-shaped hands with a sweep second anchor-shaped hand.
The dial spots vintage tritium indexes above the numerals and Tritium-filled hand tips – a rare and radioactive isotope of hydrogen called tritium, being used in the past as the energy source in radioluminescent lights for wrist watches, before it was replaced by luminova and later on super luminova – that today no longer reflects light on the dial but does catch a certain gloom.
At 12 the dial is signed ‘DANIEL ROTH’. The watch’ stepped bezel and sharp, straight lugs underline the strong presence of the dial, breathing simplicity infused with refinement: an everlasting captivating scene carved out of lines and curves.
The date aperture at six o’clock, aesthetically deviating from the signature sub dial at six, indicates the bidirectional ‘quick-set’ date – which can be easily changed by moving the screw down crown either forwards or backwards – marking the watch’s main function besides telling time. A subtle ‘Swiss’ engraving can be found under the date, hinting to the watch’s cradle in the Vallée de Joux – yet the model’s name speaks its part.
The stunning attention to detail speaks from the partly gold rotor, seen through the open sapphire caseback, the caseback signed with Daniel Roth and its unique number and the rare, signed folding buckle in steel with a pattern equivalent to the watch’s dial.
This manual Daniel Roth Le Sentier 177 is assembled by hand and powered by a Daniel Roth automatic caliber based on the Girard Perregaux 3100 movement (signed GPM) – an exquisitely finished caliber with 27 jewels, Côtes de Genève finishing, a 46-hour power reserve and a 28,800 A/h oscillating balance and polished screw heads, it dictates watchmaking at its finest.
This Daniel Roth Le Sentier reference 177 is in as-new condition considering, with only minor signs of wear on the case. It will be delivered with its original Daniel Roth folding buckle, watch box and spots a Saffiano bleu strap from the Mr Watchley collection on the watch.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment.
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Calibre Girard Perregaux 3100
|Size (Case)||38,5 mm x 35,5 mm|
|Year||1995 - 1999|