Daniel Roth is back with the Tourbillon Souscription (and LVMH)

Daniel Roth is back with the Tourbillon Souscription (and LVMH)

Borna Bošnjak

How about it? After years of rumours and months of teasing, we were finally presented with the model that will spearhead Daniel Roth’s revival, aptly chosen to be a Tourbillon Souscription. We’ve seen the Daniel Roth name pop up in numerous auctions (here and here, for example), building up the hype, which I may or may not have contributed to as well. The overall look is pretty much identical to the C186 and C187 tourbillon models of the 1990s that were largely responsible for the good reputation of the maker.

While the look may be identical, this piece sports a brand new proprietary movement from Louis Vuitton subsidiary La Fabrique du Temps, new colour for the guilloché dial and a modernised font. Its name also harks back to an old-school piece, available via “subscription” from select retailers. Let’s get into some of the details.

Front-and-centre, we find the tri-tipped seconds indicator attached to the tourbillon cage. While the layout and style of the complication may be like that of the original Roth tourbillons, there’s a clear distinction between the movement construction – eagle-eyed readers will spot differences in the designs of the tourbillon cage. The LFT-manufactured movement also benefits from modern finishing techniques and design tools, and considering the importance of a strong launch for a brand with so much potential, the finishing seems sublime – I’m excited to see more photographs, as I’m not likely to come across one of the 20 pieces anytime soon.

The aforementioned hobnail guilloché makes a return, though in a colour that wasn’t available in the originals, taking on a champagne tone from the 18k 3N gold blank. Having cut his teeth (pun intended) at guilloché masters Breguet, its inclusion is paramount on basically any Daniel Roth model. This shot also gives us a closer look at something that’s already caused a fair amount of contentious conversation – the choice of font. Its layout is identical, but its now executed in a distinctly more modern sans-serif typeface which has left some wondering whether that was the right path to take. Though I’m not overly bothered by it – my main complaint would be the choice of lower case letters in, Numéro 08 – I do have to admit I also preferred the serifed markings of the originals. A detail I really like with the new typeface is the blue tint, which is a beautiful match with the blued hands.

Finally, and likely the most recognisable aspect of a Daniel Roth watch, is the gorgeous double-ellipse case. Made of 18k yellow gold, it’s identical in size to the C186 and C187, measuring in at 35.5mm across and 38.6mm from top to bottom of the case. It’s also slim at only 9.2mm, more closely resembling the rare C186 tourbillon that didn’t feature an open caseback, unlike the double-sided C187.

A final word on the movement and its developers – La Fabrique du Temps. Named the DR001, it shares some elements with Laurent Ferrier’s LF619 tourbillon, as both were designed by Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini – co-founders of LFT. The movement manufacturer was purchased by Louis Vuitton in 2012, since then creating wildly designed pieces like the Tambour Carpe Diem and Tambour Opera Automata, though it has now clearly shifted away from LV-exclusive, and frankly quite avant-garde, production, taking care of Daniel Roth’s calibres. Spec-wise, it’s a manually wound one-minute tourbillon movement beating at 3 Hz, with an impressive power reserve of 80 hours. Most of the calibre is hidden, but I’ve no doubt LFT will equip its entirety with finishing that the new Tourbillon Souscription displays on its tourbillon cage.

Daniel Roth Tourbillon Souscription pricing and availability:

The Daniel Roth Tourbillon Souscription is a limited edition of 20 pieces, all of which have sold out. Price: CHF 140,000

Brand Daniel Roth
Model Tourbillon Souscription
Reference Number DR0011YG-01
Case Dimensions 35.5mm (width) x 38.6mm (length) x 9.2mm (thickness)
Case Material 18k yellow gold
Water Resistance 30 metres
Dial 18k 3N yellow gold with guilloché main
Crystal(s) Sapphire crystal
Strap Brown calfskin leather with yellow gold pin buckle
Movement DR001, hand-wound, manufactured by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton
Power Reserve 80 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, 60-second tourbillon
Availability Limited to 20 pieces (sold out)
Price CHF 140,000