Daniel Roth Retrograde Skeleton C127S



Daniel Roth's list of accolades and achievements is an impressive and significant one. He's a man who has helped shape the luxury watch world for many years through his masterful watchmaking proficiency. With multi-generations of watchmaking in his family tree, it was written in the stars that Roth would become a watchmaker and over the first half of his career, he worked for Jaeger LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet and in 1973 Breguet. Roth didn't just work at Breguet though, in fact, he played a crucial role in the revival of the iconic name. After spending one year studying the techniques and archives of the brand, Roth was ready to dedicate himself to respectfully delivering the quintessential Breguet language in new wristwatches, both highly complex and effortlessly simplistic. Roth was successful in this endeavour, and 14 years after starting his Breguet journey, he and the ex-Director of Breguet, François Bodet, began to work on a new watch brand named after the man himself.

Although independence in watchmaking is commonplace today, back in 1988, it was very much uncharted territory. Regardless, Roth began producing watches ranging from complicated pieces such as tourbillons, chronographs, and perpetual calendars, as well as straightforward time-only pieces. However, what made Roth's early work distinctive was its blend of creativity and classic design elements. For example, a double-ellipse case shape was universal throughout all of his pieces. Yet, they were often paired with traditionally executed dials that showed a close resemblance to his creations at Breguet.

There are a few coveted complications at the pinnacle of collectable Daniel Roth watches, the Perpetual Calendar, Tourbillon, Retrograde, Papillon and the Chronograph. The exact production numbers of each complication and model are yet to be confirmed, but it's estimated the Retrograde was produced in the low hundreds. One of the rarest variations of the Retrograde is the Skeleton which is thought to have only been produced in very small quantities.

The Watch

The Daniel Roth Retrograde C127 is both a technologically and visually complex model. However, the piece we have with us today takes that a step further, thanks to its skeleton dial. Despite this reference's intricate aesthetic, the C127S (the S refers to the skeletonisation) still maintains a level of familiarity thanks to the execution of quintessential Daniel Roth design precedents. The double ellipse Daniel Roth case is presented in 18-carat yellow gold, characterised by its stepped bezel, straight, sharp lugs, and unique shape (a trio of round, rectangular, and oval). With a high polish finish throughout, the compact, traditional, and tastefully simplistic exterior is rather poetically contrasted by a highly detailed and ornate dial.

To efficiently understand the dial of the C127S, it's best to approach it as two separate portions, first the skeletonised movement followed by what remains of its dial in the traditional sense. At the base is the skeletonised gold movement which creates immense depth and allows for a greater appreciation of craftsmanship. Not only is the movement produced in a precious metal, but it's also highly decorated with hand engraving throughout. Due to its exposed nature, the full spectrum of finishes and mechanics are confidently on display. Suspended by three thin anchor points are a series of individual chapter rings denoting the minutes, hours, and seconds. Each track is presented with a Breguet esque design, further cementing Roth's appreciation and affection for the brand. All shown with a brushed finish, the outermost track measures the minutes, with the hours sitting within, and the seconds are displayed via a sub-register at six. The piece is complete with a seconds hand carrying a prominent counterbalance as well as a set of thermally blued lance-shaped hour and minute hands. Remarkably, despite the dial's complexities, each hand remains impressively legible.

Said to have been inspired by George Daniels pocket watches no less, the hour chapter ring is where the model gets its name from, as its retrograde modification means the watch counts up to six as it crosses the fan dial and then snaps back. Seeing very much is believing with the retrograde complication, so to experience this fantastically charming piece of watchmaking in action, please do check out the video on our instagram page to discover more.

The Movement

Powering this fine and ornate piece is a Lemania base movement, the 27LN calibre. Apart from its elegantly decorated bridges and base plate, this movement was modified for the retrograde complication can be viewed from the rear of the watch as well as the front. Despite this movement’s incredibly detailed engraving, it still features anglage on its ¾ bridge, a swan-neck regulator, and plenty of jewels to aid its motion.

How It Wears

Carrying the compact coherent proportions of a rounded case, matched with the pure elegance and charm of rectangular and oval cases, the Retrograde Skeleton C127S is a delight on the wrist, suitable for formal cuffs and casual alike. But, of course, it's the dial that really steals the show with its mesmerising depth, details orientated perspective and mixed focus on both technicalities as well as its beauty. However, one more subtle aspect of the C127S is how its chapter rings work together with the stepped bezel. Once fitted to the wrist, this results in a graduated effect which further draws the eye.

An exemplary timepiece that clearly communicates why independent watchmaking is so compelling; the fact it's extremely rare and is produced by the founding father is the icing on the cake.


The Daniel Roth Retrograde Skeleton C127S is presented in an unpolished and very honest condition. The watch is sold as a watch only, however, its original pin buckle is included. The piece is fitted with a Mr Watchley leather watch strap.

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.

Reference C127S
Movement Manual
Calibre 27LN
Dial Skeleton
Size (Case) 30,5mm x 27,5mm
Material (Case) Yellow gold
Bracelet Mr Watchley Brown boxed calf
Glass Sapphire
Condition Very good
Year 1990's
Papers -
Warranty 2 years

You may also like

Recently viewed