Chronograph Numero 7
Daniel Roth SPECIALLY FOR THE EVENT
An extremely rare, early and important yellow gold chronograph wristwatch from the haute horlogerie Swiss watch brand Daniel Roth, founded in 1989 by Daniel Roth, the Swiss watchmaker of French origin, active until the 2010s. Estimated production period: 1990–1994. Double ellipse-shaped 18k yellow gold case measuring 38 x 41mm, 11.5mm thick, chronograph button at 2 o’clock, sapphire caseback. White metal tone dial with faint pink glow, Clous de Paris guilloché pattern, brushed chapter ring and counter outlines, highlighted by ‘filet sauté’ guilloché decoration, pad-printed black Roman numerals and scales markers. Caliber 2220, hand-wound. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, small seconds hand at 9 o’clock, chronograph with central seconds and 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. Black Daniel Roth leather strap, 18k yellow gold Daniel Roth pin buckle.
In 1990, a year after Daniel Roth started his own brand launching tourbillon wristwatches, he released two chronograph models – Chronograph Ref. C147 and the present Chronograph Monopusher Ref. C137. He created them as an adaptation and reinterpretation of the Breguet style, in the development of the modern collection of which he was directly and very actively involved in the 1970s and 1980s. Chronograph Monopusher Ref. C137 in this sense is even closer to Breguet’s style. Unlike Chronograph Ref. C147, it does not use the classic early Daniel Roth-style with a grey-toned dial and vertical guilloché lines. Instead, on the dial of Ref. C137 we find a Clous de Paris guilloché pattern, brushed chapter ring and counter outlines, highlighted by a ‘filet sauté’ guilloché decoration, which all look much closer to the classic Breguet style compared to Ref. C147.
With the focus on collector’s watches, Daniel Roth tended to use for his early wrist chronographs the high-end hand-wound calibers from the Nouvelle Lémania factory. Ref. C147, his first chronograph, as well as the Breguet 3230, which to some extent can be considered the prototype of the Ref. C147, were equipped with the classic two-button Nouvelle Lémania 2320 caliber, which we may find in high-end Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and Roger Dubuis chronographs. Meanwhile the present reference is powered by the extraordinary Nouvelle Lémania 2220 (also known as 15CHT), originally designed in the 1930s. Among the notable features of the 2220 are the Breguet hairspring, single-button control, classic column-wheel layout with lateral clutch, and the chronograph intermediate wheel shifted down to the bottom of the caliber, to the balance wheel.
The Chronograph Monopusher Ref. C137 Numero 7 is one of 36 pieces ever produced, which further increases the attractiveness of this lot as a collectible.
From an aesthetic point of view, the 2220 caliber should be considered outstanding. The large balance wheel sets beautiful proportions. The chronograph mechanism is cleverly placed on the top of the caliber, with an intricate Y-shaped chronograph bridge which harmonizes with the teardrop shape of the escape wheel bridge. The relatively large column wheel is in proportion to the rest of the chronograph mechanism, while the steel flat springs and levers sport a beautiful traditional finish with fine straight grinding on the flat surfaces and polished chamfers on the edges.
At the time of the launch of reference C137, it was perceived as somewhat exotic – at that moment there were no high-end monopusher chronographs on the market, the arrival of Roger Dubuis in this market segment occurring only in the second half of the 1990s. Due to the limited availability of the movement-blanks, this early chronograph was produced by Daniel Roth in very limited numbers, and is now regarded as a truly collectible rarity that is almost impossible to find. Monochrome-watches.com reports that only 52 pieces of Ref. C137 were produced, with 16 pieces made in platinum, and 36 pieces in yellow gold. Acollectedman.com also mentions a subsequent monopusher chronograph run of 10 or so pieces, which, unlike the present, original production run, was equipped with a caliber featuring a swan neck regulator.
According to our knowledge the present lot, featuring the Nouvelle Lémania 2220 (aka 15CHT) caliber, is one of the rarest Daniel Roth chronographs. It was created by Daniel Roth as a collector’s watch, as evidenced by the rarity of the caliber, its superior aesthetics and high performance, backed by 90 years of history. Therefore, the Daniel Roth Chronograph Monopusher Ref. C137 Numero 7 is one of 36 pieces ever produced, which further increases the attractiveness of this lot as a collectible. It would appear to be a desirable purchase for the collector as an extremely rare, early and important chronograph wristwatch of a venerable independent watch brand. It is easily recognisable and instantly memorable, and represents one of the most spectacular pages in the chronology of excellent wrist chronographs by this remarkable watchmaker and the brand he founded.
|Case||Ellipsocurvex polished yellow gold case 750/1000 rectangular chronograph pusher at 2 o'clock, sapphire caseback|
|Strap||Original black Alligator leather strap, with a 18k yellow gold pin buckle|
|Dial||Silvered engine turned dial, circular grained hour disc with Roman numerals, 60 seconds & 30 minute counters, small seconds at 9 o'clock, blued hands, signed "Daniel Roth, Numero 7"|
|Movement||Rhodium-plated hand-wound movement, with Geneva stripes, column wheel monopusher chronograph|
|Case:||Good, signs of wear|
|Strap:||Used, signs of wear|
|Movement:||All functions working properly|
|Amplitude (Dial on top/Lift angle 52):||Approx 300°|
|Accuracy (Dial on top):||Approx +5 sec/day|
Daniel Roth is one of the most famous Swiss brands, which, despite the challenging times in its history, has managed to save face and reputation.
Today, Daniel Roth watches, owned by Bulgari, are still as recognizable, refined and technically perfect as before, when their creator Daniel Roth was still in charge of the brand.