with Mr.Daniel Roth.
Having seen quite a few examples of Philippe Dufour's work and had the pleasure to meet and talk with him, I am in awe of the standard of his work.
I believe Mr.Daniel Roth puts at least the same level of passion and art into his new watches (Jean Daniel Nicolas) as Mr. Dufour does with his and they are certainly more hand-made by the watchmaker himself if that is important to you.
As to who is 'the best', however, is not an easily answered question - not least because the Jean Daniel Nicolas watches are so rare (to date only two finished examples)and not all of the finishing is directly comparable.
Phillipe Dufour's geneva waves for instance, look flawless,even under high magnification.
Daniel Roth does a more technically harder type of wave, one that highlights the slighest imperfection and the flaws will show.He is aware of this and has deliberately chosen the harder route just because it is the most difficult thing to do - even if the waves do not look as perfect as the more classical form. Again, as with the polishing, his philosophy is, 'Clients may not know the difference but I do and that's what is important.'
A great a watchmaking house as Patek certainly is,it is unfair to compare them to,or expect them to finish to, the levels obtained,at great time and expense, by watchmaking artists like Philippe Dufour and Daniel Roth.