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Bulgari Daniel Roth Tourbillon 8 Jours - Two faced
Presenting a wide and varied range of timepieces, Bulgari has been an established maker of watches since their founding in 1884. Although the company has Greek antecedents it is now long established in the heartland of haute horology, La Chaux-de-Fonds. Its purchase of Daniel Roth and Gérald Genta added a further dimension to its production. The eponymous collections deliver the highest tradition of Swiss watchmaking and are masterpieces of creativity and manufacturing skill, testament to Bulgari’s commitment to excellence.
Daniel Roth has watchmaking in his genes. Having completed his formal studies he spent time with Audemars Piguet and then Breguet although he eschewed relocating from his home in the Le Sentier to La Chaux-de-Fonds. His fourteen years with the Chaumet brothers and Breguet came to an end when the company was sold and he began producing watches in his own name.
The uppermost face is at first striking in the unusual framing of its elements.
The bridge for the Tourbillon with its straight arms is positioned horizontally across the dial immediately catching your gaze. Look more closely and you will see an unusual triple arm second-hand.
Hidden on the reverse of the upper dial is a second dial featuring the power reserve indicator and date. This is viewed by pressing the release beneath 6 o'clock between the inter-horns and allowing the case to pivot at 12 o'clock.
Looking at the upper dial, simple batons depict the hours from 1 to 4 and 8 to 11. Roman numerals are used to indicate 12 o'clock. No indices or numerals feature between 5 o'clock and 7 o' clock, this area being reserved for the aperture which accommodates the tourbillon cage, with exquisite guilloché work featuring Clou de Paris engraving.
The seconds are presented in three banks of numerals, their passage indicated by the aforementioned three-armed blued seconds hand. Scrutinise each arm of the second hand and you realise that they are differing lengths, each corresponding with the bank of numerals showing the relevant seconds range.
The bluing is a feature of the hours and minutes hands, another indication that this is haute horology par excellence.
It was in 1989 that Daniel Roth presented the first tourbillon with a double face and the Daniel Roth Tourbillon 8 Jours, also featuring a double face, arrived later in 2002.
Daniel Roth’s name appears just below the sturdy, off-centre, blued hour and minute hands. The Bulgari name features on the dial, arcing the brushed centre, running from 1 o' clock to 3 o' clock.
This is unmistakably Daniel Roth in its style. It has that round-edged, stepped rectangular shape which is characteristic of his work. Constructed in 18-carat white gold it contrasts with the silver coloured guilloché work on the dial and the blued hands. Yellow gold or rose gold would appear sickly. White gold is perfect.
The case’s diameter is 43mm, avoiding the recent trend for the over-sized case.
The individually carved inter-horns are welded, bold, rectangular but slightly rounded which echoes the general tiered shape.
The simple crown is set conventionally at 3 o’clock and so does not detract by competing with the unconventional shape.
Then flip it over! Enjoy the view!
A simple date display and power reserve feature on the second dial.
The movement so elegantly housed is delicately handcrafted with perlage and Côtes de Genève. The finissage is exemplary with hand decoration, elegant guilloché and painstaking chamfering.
A Tourbillon is the pinnacle of complications, yet this is more complex than many with two plates sandwiching much of the workings in between them.
The upper plate is visible from the time side of the dial (upper dial) and the lower plate is is visible from the calendar side of the lower dial. In between the two plates is the going train and the spring barrels.
The twin spring barrels provide a power reserve of 8 days, harnessing much energy.
A very special movement indeed.
The watch is complemented with an alligator strap and an 18-carat white gold ardillon buckle.
It may have two faces but there is a simple honesty to this model. It is haute horology exemplified, exquisitely packaged, resplendently refined.
- Model: Bulgari Daniel Roth Tourbillon 8 Jours
- Model reference: BRRW43WGLTB
- Case: 18-carat white gold; diameter 43mm; height 12.90mm; sapphire crystal to front and case back
- Functions: Hours; minutes; subsidiary seconds; date; power reserve; Tourbillon
- Calibre Reference: DR5300
- Calibre: Manual Wound; 21,600 vph (3 Hz); 25 Jewels; Power reserve 192 hours; Côtes de Genève; perlage; decorated by hand with guilloché treatment and chamfering finish; in-house manufactured movement.
- Strap: Black alligator leather with 18-carat white gold ardillon buckle.