The self-winding Bvlgari Daniel Roth Grande Lune (ref. 101845) offers unrivaled accuracy of its moon phase complication. Although now coming with an appended brand name of the Italian fashion and jewelry house, the Grande Lune delivers the familiar shape and dial decor and is still powered by the same Frederic Piguet Lepine-type hand-wound movement that was modified and decorated in-house.
The new Grande Lune is not so new. It is a re-edition of the gorgeous Daniel Roth Athys Moon 2134 timepiece that was first revealed in 2009.
After the Daniel Roth brand was ultimately absorbed and digested by Bvlgari, the Italian-based jewelry network started to churn out “facelifted” versions of the existing models created by the Swiss brand.
Being mechanically identical to the aforementioned Athys Moon 2134, the refreshed model features different styling of its dial, which, giving Bvlgari’s designers their due, is simply gorgeous.
The original featured a dial that was busy with larger than life Roman numerals and three chapter rings for the minute hand, date and second (the last one thanks to a special three-armed design of the seconds indicator was divided into three sectors) sub-dials.
The new version looks a lot less cluttered with only one Roman numeral left on its split-level dial. The latter features white-lacquered and black gold satin-brushed surfaces that provide supreme background for the 18-carat rose gold coated hands and hour markers.
With the huge moon face orbiting the visual axis of the dial, you cannot but notice that the selling point of this timekeeper is its moon phase complication.
Of course, there is plenty of watches on the market –both affordable and ultra-luxury ones– that feature this not especially useful, but very pleasant to look at function.
However, most of them usually come equipped with rather simple add-on modules that are usually comprised of only two moving parts: the first wheel and pinion and a 59-toothed moon disk.
Due to natural limitations of the setup, this module completes the complete rotation of the moon in 29 days and 12 hours, while the real lunar cycle lasts for 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds. Every 32 months the device accumulates a one-day differential between the real and displayed cycles forcing the owner to manually correct the reading.
To solve this problem, several serious watchmaking brands have introduced more sophisticated moon-phase mechanisms with the moon disks equipped not with 59 but with whole 135 teeth increasing the complication’s accuracy from 32 months to 122 years.
Among those, are the gorgeous Perrelet Big Central Moonphase, massive Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Equation of Time, futuristic De Bethune DB25 Moon Phase, and the sophisticated Chopard L.U.C Lunar Big Date chronometer.
To further step up the accuracy of the mechanism, Daniel Roth has also added to the module an extra 7-toothed star. With this extra part, the complication’s precision has been increased from 122 to 125 years, but that is overkill since I can’t imagine a watch that will keep on ticking without a single stop for such an extended time.
See also: Daniel Roth Papillon Chronograph
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Photos: Bulgari / Daniel Roth
Bvlgari Daniel Roth Grande Lune (101845) specification
Price: $34,000 (Retail)
Movement: Caliber DR2300, hand-wound, 21,600 vph, 32 jewels, based on Frederic Piguet Lepine-type with Daniel Roth complication, Swiss Made
Complications: Date, moonphase, three-handed seconds subdial
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: 18-carat Rose gold
Shape: Tonneau / Ellipsocurvex
Size: 44.0 mm
Dial: Split-level, white-lacquered and black gold satin-brushed
Numerals: Roman, rose gold, applied
Hands: Rose gold, polished
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Brown Alligator strap with 18-carat rose gold pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective