Daniel Roth

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.

Daniel Roth founded his own brand in 1988. Prior to that, he worked in the famous watch valley of Vallee de Joux at Lemania – a company that made movements for Breguet. In fact, Roth is responsible for establishing what modern Breguet still is today, defining the brand’s design language, the distinctive case shapes and use of guilloché dials, and also developing a number of legendary movements, including Breguet’s classic tourbillon calibre.

After leaving Breguet in 1987, Roth continued using a number of Lemania movements – such as the base movement for the 1-minute tourbillon which he himself developed while still at Breguet.

The first watch model that Daniel Roth created was the tourbillon in a unique double-faced configuration. Roth called it a “doubleface”, since it had dials on both sides of the case. The tourbillon was equipped with a second hand and a power reserve indicator. The “flip over” case of this watch was also very original: when a hidden button is pressed, the entire case flips up while still hinged to the top lugs, displaying the movement through the back. 

The first watch model that Daniel Roth created was the tourbillon in a unique double-faced configuration.

Roth wanted to make watches that would be distinctively modern, and at the same time honoring the traditions of watchmakers of the 17th century, i.e hand crafted from precious metals.

Roth patented both this design and the original shape - a double ellipse with parallel straight lines on the sides better known as “Ellipsocurvex”. It is this shape that makes Daniel Roth watches instantly recognizable. Roth paid no less attention to the finishing of his watches: the dials feature hand guilloche, and the movement plates are decorated with Cotes de Geneve.

Almost all of Daniel Roth's sophisticated movements featured unusual complications, including a column-wheel chronograph, an entirely instantaneous perpetual calendar, and a self-winding minute repeating tourbillon.

In the early 90s, a Singaporean company Hour Glass invested heavily in Daniel Roth’s small family business in order to turn it into a powerful company capable of meeting the high demand for its products. Normally a manufacture is capable of producing no more than several dozens of watches with complicated hand-assembled mechanisms and hand-crafted cases, while the new owner demanded 2,500 watches from Roth every year, which could not but affect the quality.

The race for popularity continued until 2000, when the company was bought by one of the largest manufacturers of luxury goods - the Italian company Bulgari.

The Italians managed to keep a team of 30 Swiss watchmakers of the highest class, each of whom was able to assemble a watch on their own. Today the new owners finish the famous Ellipsocurvex case and the movement parts even more carefully with genuine jewelry care, which actually brought Bulgari to one of the leaders of the luxury jewelry market.

Daniel Roth

Auction 2023 lot:

Daniel Roth

Chronograph Numero 7
Starting price
CHF 45 000
CHF 80 000