Philippe Dufour’s Daughter Danièla Makes Her First Simplicity (Plus Video)
by Ian Skellern
While Philippe Dufour loves watchmaking, when his daughter Danièla first expressed an interest in watchmaking at the tender age of 12 he tried to dissuade her.
So to show she was serious, she made him a wall clock in the shape of a wristwatch for his birthday.
Over the following years, Danièla’s resolve to follow in her father’s horological footsteps never faltered and she went on to study watchmaking at the renowned school in Le Sentier, qualifying (finishing her studies) earlier in 2021.
Now working alongside her father in his atelier, Danièla has completed her first watch: a 20th Anniversary Simplicity, no less.
After working as a one-man-show alone in his quiet workshop for over a decade, earlier this year Philippe Dufour went into partnership with Lebanese jeweler/gemologist and passionate watch collector Claude Sfeir, who has also been a longstanding member of the jury of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG).
With Sfeir’s involvement, the Philippe Dufour “brand” has become a family affair with Daniela at the bench and wife/mother Elisabeth handling communication.
The first fruit of the partnership is the 20th Anniversary Simplicity, a limited edition of 20 pieces (plus one for the family) and the 37 mm prototype No. 00 that sold at auction for CHF 1,361,000. The first ten of the limited edition of 20 pieces were allocated, while the second ten future owners were selected by a lottery as demand was so high.
The Watches TV has posted an excellent interview with Philippe Dufour, and Danièla makes an appearance at 12 minutes in, explaining some of the difficulties of being Black in the predominantly white and very conservative Vallée de Joux and studying to be a watchmaker with such a famous father: when she did something right it was credited to her dad; if she made a mistake then she must not have listened to her dad.
Working for one of the world’s greatest watchmakers is certainly going to put a lot of pressure on Danièla Dufour, but her steadfast resolve to be a watchmaker over the years shows that she has the determination to succeed.
We wish her the very best of luck.
Quick Facts Philippe Dufour Simplicity (original edition)
Case: 34 and 37 mm cases in platinum, white gold, and pink gold; one example gem-set with white and pink diamonds
Dials: silver or dark grey guilloche with applied indices and white lacquer with printed Roman numerals
Movement: manually wound proprietary Philippe Dufour caliber
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Price: original production prices 48,000 to 64,000 Swiss francs
Limitation: 206 known examples
Production dates: 2002 to 2015