Known for its watches with intricately adorned dials, Bovet 1822 debuts a timepiece that binds tradition and innovation.
Bovet is a new that I believe has been overlooked by many and does not get the recognition that it deserves. Ironically, their layouts could be divisive, but it’s hard to deny the technical prowess behind them. At SIHH 2017 before this season, Bovet released yet another super-complicated bit known as the Bovet Récital 20 Astérium. Though the watch might look complicated, its complexity actually hides really functional complications.The Bovet Récital 20 Astérium is available in red gold, white gold, and gold. The situation is big, measuring 46mm round and 18.3millimeters in height. It’s a big watch and one which has lots of wrist existence, but what is really interesting about the case is it is wedge-shaped. The cause of this is to accommodate the movement, which has a terraced structure, a characteristic that you seldom find in watches. The expansive sapphire crystal is also heavily domed to give space for the exceptional movement architecture.During very first impressions, the Récital 20 Astérium looks imposing and complex. The dial is active and there are layers upon layers of details, indicators, and screens. But it’s actually rather simple to browse and sensibly laid out as soon as you know what’s what. On the dial side at 12 o’clock, you have a large domed piece of translucent quartz that shows the constellations. The watch can be customized to reveal constellations in the northern or southern hemisphere, and the constellations are laser engraved and full of Super-LumiNova to aid legibility at night time. Underneath, there is a disk on which the hours have been published.
The novel Château de Môtiers 40 “Papillon” flutters with a butterfly motif that combines the Swiss horologer’s decorative craftsmanship and modern luminosity.
Coupled with its distinctive and elaborate lug construction, we have here a huge watch with lots of wrist presence.But beyond that, what is unique about the case design is that it is tapered such as the Bovet Récital 18 Shooting Star and Récital 20 Astérium – meaning it’s in its thickest at 12 o’clock and then slowly becomes skinnier toward 6 o’clock. Bovet calls this “a likely crystal aperture” Whatever you call it, it is very cool as it is something you do not see much in additional watches.The dial is completed in typically Bovet style, and that is to say it is both very classical and elaborate in its own styling. What captures your attention first would be the two big sub-dials in 10 and 2 o’clock. Time is read with the two slightly off-center hour and minute hands. At 6 o’clock is the dual face flying tourbillon. Bovet also provides a choice of dials and owners are going to be able to choose from black lacquer, ivory , or blue aventurine.The movement within continues to be designated the 17BM03-GD, and it’s lavishly hand-decorated into Bovet’s usual high standards. The plates and bridges are chamfered and polished, the disc plates are sunk and chamfered, and numerous bridges have been painstakingly engraved by hand.The flying tourbillon deserves special mention because the bridges are made from titanium to decrease inertia and magnetism. But more importantly, they’ve been shaped to resemble wings and also have been mirror-polished to accomplish maximum sheen.Aside from being beautiful to check at, the motion also has some practical features. The 10-day-long power book means owners want not end them regularly, but this kind of long power book usually requires dull winding too.
To the right, you get a retrograde minutes screen and an extremely discreet power reserve indicator. To the left, you have the equation of time indicator and the moon phase display.At 6 o’clock, there is Bovet’s signature double face tourbillon, which uses an elaborate construction comprising 2 degrees of columns and bridges to make the illusion of this tourbillon floating in mid century. The end result is quite stunning. The tourbillon produces a revolution every minute and there’s a marker directly above the tourbillon cage which allows owners to read the moments at 20-second intervals.If you believed the Bovet Récital 20 Astérium was striking on the other hand, wait until you see the rear of it. The back of the watch includes what Bovet calls for an annual calendar but it really follows the sidereal year. What it actually does is monitor the length of time it takes for the Earth to complete one revolution when measured against stationary stars. Consequently, the single central hand requires 365.25 days to finish a revolution on the back of the watch. And, as it travels, it points to the season, solstice, equinox, zodiac, and month indications that are marked on the expansive freshwater crystal.Look closer through the sapphire crystal and you can see the exceptionally decorated Caliber 17DM02-SKY. It sports a single mainspring but because the motion is so efficient and also because the equilibrium beats in a leisurely 2.5Hz, the Bovet Récital 20 Astérium has a very long power reserve of 10 days or 720 hours.It goes without mentioning that the Caliber 17DM02-SKY is thoroughly finished. A unique type of finishing that they use is a kind of engraving called bris de verre, which loosely translates to “broken glass.” This provides surfaces a textured polished look that closely resembles the tremblage engraving found on A. Lange & Söhne’s ‘Handwerkskunst’ pieces.
A perpetuation of the maison’s watchmaking art, the watch features a mother-of-pearl dial with a miniature butterfly that lights up in the dark. The delicate image blazes up as light goes down thanks to layers of luminescent paint.
The butterfly of the Château de Môtiers 40 “Papillon” speaks of the watch’s exquisiteness, which required a painstaking process of refinement. Operating on a miniscule canvas, craftsmen needed to coat the luminous materials in a manner that guaranteed details preserve their richness day and night. Think of this requirement as if the artists needed to simultaneously create two separate paintings and then plaster them together. Doing so, however, presented a challenge. To ensure their work remained meticulous, with each stroke of their brushes, artists had to move from a lit room to a dark one to scrutinize their progress.
While the dial, stripped of any time markers and complications, astonishes with its masterpiece of a decoration, the rest of the watch is equally luxurious. Propelled by a 11BA15 caliber, the 40mm self-winding timepiece boasts an 18k red gold case. The bezel and bow sparkle with 109 round-cut diamonds that cue to Bovet’s gem-setting creativity.
Flaunting almost two century of history, Bovet is renowned for its artisanal techniques like engraving and miniature painting. Since 2006, the horologer’s legacy has charted new grounds with Manufacture Dimier 1738 under the visionary guidance of owner Pascal Raffy. Raffy’s dedication to old-time lavishness and modern practicality has sprouted creations like the Amadeo convertible system, which invokes the 19th-century pocket watches that Bovet produced for the Chinese emperor.
Once again, you see use of the very cool tiny ruby wheels utilized to ensure that the dome turns with minimal friction.At the cover of the dial is the indicator for the time using an included power reserve indicator. Bovet obviously designed the dial of the Bovet Recital 18 Shooting Star to have four “hemispherical” quadrants consisting of the four round areas that are the GMT globe, moon phase indicator, tourbillon, and upper display for the time. This latter section includes complications as well such as the retrograde display for the minutes and the jumping hour index. In terms of “odd” screens for your time go, this is truly decently legible and, of course, a workout in complication for complication’s sake. That is, after all, why you could spend a few hundred thousands dollars onto a mechanical watch, right?Dial and motion, as stated above, are more or less merged into a single and the result is (at least in my opinion) a glorious combination of mechanical and artistic layout. Not only is the design of this in-house made Bovet quality 17DM01-HU movement aesthetically intriguing, but it offers the viewer so much to look at in terms of how the mechanism works. On top of that, there is a great deal of hand-decoration as well as engraving to love. Turn over the watch, and the majority of the rear of the Bovet Recital 18 Shooting Star is full of hand-engraved stars and other “views from space.” The fantasy-like “skyscape” is attractive and features segments in 18k gold.Given that the “visibility” subject of the movement, an individual can intimately see the performance of the tourbillon from either side of this situation. Bovet printed a part of the second scale on the rear of the sapphire crystal so as to read it in the front – another little but appreciated detail which shows the effort of the tiny watchmaker gnomes in activity.