Initially launched in 2006, Athys II timepiece is a classic beauty with pure lines embodying a wealth of horological tradition, inspired by the pocket-watches of yesteryear. Its ultra-thin Frédéric Piguet Calibre 151 on a Lépine type “hour-minute seconds” base has been specially adapted to the wristwatch format.
Surprising by its exceptional size and superbly harmonious thanks to the arrangement of its bridges decorated with Côtes de Genève, this entirely hand-decorated manual winding movement can be admired through the broad transparent opening on the back of its double ellipse case. The small seconds at 9 o’clock, positioned directly in line with the crown, are displayed using the brand’s distinctive three-arm hand.
In 2008, the Athys II, returned with a black dial. Launch in 2006 the Athys II entirely lives up to the values cultivated by the craftsmen that conceived it. Through a sparing, understated and refined presentation ensuring optimal legibility, it focuses on the essentials of time measurement and those of the brand itself, offering those with a taste for fine watchmaking a promising gateway into the horological wonderland of Daniel Roth.
In harmony with the Manufacture-made spirit of the brand, this signature model is equipped with a traditionally built mechanical ultra-thin Frédéric Piguet movement, originally conceived for 1950s pocket-watches. Recognised as the ultimate 16-lignes manual-winding movement, it has been specially adapted for Daniel Roth to the requirements of a wristwatch by moving the attachment point on the index of the balance-spring and the mobile stud-holder.
Demonstrating the brand’s consistent concern with precision, the modified Calibre DR 206 is adjusted in 5 positions rather than the usual 2 applied to pocket-watches. The small seconds at 9 o’clock is actually part of the main gear train and is therefore, not subject to the play of the gears, as it might be the case with an indirect small seconds. Adjusting the movement to this model also involved creating a special open area inside the case middle at 9 o’clock in order to leave space for the larger seconds hand, offering a majestic stature to the seconds display. The two-arm balance oscillates at a cadence of 21,600 vibrations per hour and the mainspring placed in the barrel ensures a power reserve of 43 hours.
The power of details
Crafted in the Vallée de Joux, Switzerland, a haven of complicated horology, the high-end finishing of the rhodium-plated 20-jewel movement is eminently worthy of the time-honoured tradition of excellence perpetuated by artisans in the region. The bridges are decorated with Côtes de Genève, with concave chamfering and 2N gilt engraving on the barrel-bridge, while the mainplate is circular-grained.
The hand-chamfered screws feature countersunk polished and bevelled slots, while the surfaces are satin-brushed and drawn out with a file. These few examples provide a fascinating insight into the spirit and dedication to detail of the craftsmen who are determined to ensure that a movement is perfect from all angles, including those that are invisible to the naked eye.
A superlative stage-setting
Setting the stage for such a paragon of horological perfection, the characteristic Daniel Roth double-ellipse 41 x 43 mm case is superbly crafted in accordance with the finest horological traditions. The case-middle and back are carved from a single block of material and meticulously polished, while the lugs are hand-soldered to the middle, thus preserving the purity of the ridges and projecting angles.
Its transparent sapphire crystal back, secured by six pentagonal screws, enables one to admire the intricacies of its inner workings. This magnificently unobstructed horological vision, a rarity on watches in this category, is particularly inspiring thanks to the exceptional size and classical beauty of the movement occupying the entire space available and thus completely in tune with the current trend towards large watches.
Clarity and purity
The pure black-lacquered dial is extremely readable thanks to the large Roman numeral hours and the minute circle with its Arabic numerals. The seconds indication features a sunray motif radiating from the axis of the three-arm hand right through to the graduated segments. Within this distinctive and visually appealing mode of display, each of the arms is a different length and moves steadily and clearly over one of the three superimposed 120° segments, graduated from 0 to 20, from 20 to 40 and from 40 to 60.
Athys II thus admirably embodies the major Daniel Roth signature features: double-ellipse case, flame-blued steel arrow-type hands, Roman hour numerals, a fascinatingly original and eminently legible dial, impeccable finishing, exquisite movement decoration. Moreover, the distinctive Daniel Roth crown which appeared for the first time last year with seven flutings, either convex or recessed, imparts a characteristic touch to this timepiece. Such an inspiring introduction to the world of Daniel Roth will undoubtedly lead enthusiasts to seek a closer acquaintance with a brand so unmistakably dedicated to horological perfection.
Athys II in a nutshell
Exclusive Daniel Roth model equipped with the unique manual-winding Calibre DR 206 beating at 21,600 vibrations per hour, based on a Lépine type pocket-watch movement modified for a wristwatch and impeccably finished with hand bevelling and Côtes de Genève. Central hour and minute hands, Roman hour numerals, railtrack minute circle with Arabic numerals and signature three-arm seconds hand at 9 o’clock. 43-hour power reserve. Double-ellipse case in 18-carat red or white gold with transparent sapphire crystal back. black-lacquered dial. Alligator leather strap with classic gold pin buckle. Water-resistant to 3 atm.