Baselworld 2015: Daniel Roth Carillon Tourbillon

Baselworld 2015: Daniel Roth Carillon Tourbillon

An exceptional sound and a contemporary face for a rigorously structured and elegant Haute Horlogerie creation

The term “Grande Complication” might have been specifically invented for the new Carillon Tourbillon, Daniel Roth Collection, a three-hammer timepiece playing a three-note tune and which admirably epitomises the qualities one expects from such a model. Qualities such as beauty, purity and precision are indeed the very values that have governed the development and production of this standout creation entirely crafted in the workshops of the Manufacture Bulgari. The latter is in fact the watch brand currently offering the broadest variety of striking watches, whether they feature two, three or even four hammers in the case of the Grande Sonnerie (grand strike) versions. 

Calling upon the full range of technical and aesthetic skills for this Carillon Tourbillon, the Swiss master-watchmakers have also left plenty of scope for Italian inspiration, the guiding force behind Bulgari creations and notably evidenced in the profile with a refined architecture exuding a particularly powerful presence. Bulgari belongs to the select circle of great watch manufacturers capable of conceiving and producing Grande Complication watch models from start to finish. In a world of simplification, and sometimes oversimplification, there is nothing ordinary about proclaiming mastery of complexity and sophistication – thus providing additional proof of the feats that the ever-creative House is capable of accomplishing in its workshops.

A sophisticated layout. Among the subtle elements a watch may offer, one of the rarest is the carillon function for striking watches. This term defines a striking mechanism playing at least three notes. To achieve this, the Bulgari Carillon Tourbillon uses three hammers – one of the most refined and therefore most uncommon configurations. The Bulgari watches have lavished infinite care on making them as slender as possible so as to ensure the most delicate and melodious of sounds.

The energy stored by the watch is distributed to this impressively sophisticated movement, built around the most prestigious regulating organ: the Tourbillon. The mechanical hand-wound Manufacture Calibre DR3300 comprises 327 parts artfully arranged around the large tourbillon carriage. The two horological complications – the tourbillon and the carillon featuring an exceptionally pleasing chime – are entirely complementary. A true marvel of ingenuity and a token of watchmaking prowess that delivers the mechanical power through two barrels. One keeps the striking mechanism running and is automatically rewound when the latter is armed, while the other guarantees a minimum 75-hour power reserve.

Perfect resonance. The gongs of the Carillon Tourbillon are delicately fashioned in several successive stages. These entirely hand-crafted special-shaped gongs serve to achieve a perfect and absolutely identical sound quality. They are bent and shaped by hand before being fired again and hardened at a temperature of around 900 degrees. They are then carefully cleaned and polished before a second firing in the furnace at a slightly slower temperature. These meticulous operations requiring both patience and mastery result in a metal boasting vibratory qualities that ensure perfect resonance. The artisans also pay close attention to the toothing of the driving levers in order to create the best striking chords for the minute-repeater thanks to the three carillon hammers.

The architecture of Calibre 3300, the cut-out of the bridges and the positioning of the various parts are designed to be original, contemporary and contrasting so as to reveal the finesse and beauty of the mechanism. Moreover, the decision to rework the overall design also targeted the watch functions. The dial is suspended from the inner bezel ring and topped by a faceted sapphire crystal that that is extremely complex to machine and polish. It serves to enhance the resonance of the striking mechanism while also providing enhanced lateral visibility of the mechanism. The striking lever has also been reworked and repositioned to ensure an optimal grip. Finally, the case itself has been redesigned and slimmed down.

Stunning architecture. Alternating between polished steel parts – hammer, gongs, tourbillon carriage – and  openworked surfaces, the finely decorated mainplate and bridges are given an elegant NAC surface treatment, an alloy exclusively composed of noble metals: platinum, rhodium, ruthenium and indium. As always at Bulgari, beauty stems from order and architecture.

This new version of the Carillon Tourbillon watch provides a fresh interpretation of this exceptional model, featuring a slimmer pink gold case and subtly reworked to deliver enhanced legibility, while maintaining the signature characteristics of its original design, notably including the minute-repeater slide on the left-hand side of the case.

More rigorously restrained than ever and graced with clean-cut, straight hour-markers, this highly contemporary new version sheds the complex ornamentation of its predecessor to achieve greater maturity, elegance and finesse. The facetted sapphire crystal globe ensures even more precise readings and avoids any glinting – resulting in an extremely pure watch in which everything seems infinitely simple and perfectly accomplished.

Eloquent proof that a Grande Complication model deserves to be endowed with the very finest qualities.