Introducing The Bovet 1822 RangeBy Bhanu Chopra
Bovet turns 200 years old in 2022, but for the last 20 years the brand has seen perhaps the most significant and creative renaissance in its entire history thanks to the drive, vision and unstoppable energy of its owner, Pascal Raffy. Last year Mr. Raffy’s daughter Audrey joined the family firm so the brand is guaranteed continuity in its vision to honor watchmaking arts and to continue to handcraft timepieces that enthrall even the most demanding of collectors.
It is perhaps fitting that a brand which held so much appeal for the Chinese emperor when it first started in 1822, should today appeal to the many newly minted millionaires that have propelled China to become one of the world’s most powerful and advanced nations. What also holds true is the brand’s continued ability to marry the most sophisticated and superbly engineered mechanisms with faultless, creative craftsmanship to produce watches of pure lustrous wonder and beauty that appeal to those who demand and can afford the best. The new collection for 2021 merely serves to reinforce Bovet’s standing within the high-end watch collecting community.
For 2021 there’s plenty to consider and please the connoisseur, so let’s get to it:
The youngest family in the BOVET 1822 collection, starting at CHF22,700, the 19Thirty collection is considered an entry level Bovet range. 19Thirty is all about ease of use and the Fleurier case is a symbol of two centuries of watchmaking excellence.
The outstanding quality of each Bovet piece is in the manufacturing. Made to Mr. Raffy’s uncompromising standards, the decoration, the components and the complications are of the highest order.
The crown and bow located at 12 o’clock are a nod to 19th-century pocket watches. The 42mm watch comes in a choice of red, gold or stainless steel. The rich crimson dial features guilloché together with a sea of blackened Côtes de Genève on an off-center dial. The large signature crown is a sapphire cabochon.
In addition to hours and minutes, these timepieces display the seconds at 6 o’clock in a perfect echo of 19th-century pocket watches. The movement has seven days of power reserve and yet is powered by a single barrel.
The sapphire glass of the screw-down back lets collectors appreciate every last detail.
Movement: 15BM04 hand-wound movement, 3Hz, 7 days power reserve
Case: 42mm x 9.05mm, 18K red gold or stainless steel
Functions: Hours, minutes, sub-seconds, power reserve display
Strap: Alligator leather in black or red
Price: Stainless steel: CHF22,700 18K Red gold: CHF34,600
Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two in 18K Red Gold
The Brainstorm Chapter Two in red gold brilliantly integrates high-end watchmaking expertise, decorative arts, and innovation into one stunning piece. For 2021 and for the first time ever, the award-winning Recital 26 Brainstorm receives a precious metal makeover in 18k red gold. This multi timezone watch features Bovet’s patented double-sided flying tourbillon, a second-time zone with a twenty-four city disc, a precision moon phase showing both hemispheres, and offers a full 5 days of power reserve.
The Brainstorm Chapter Two employs what’s known as a writing slope case with an asymmetrical profile. The slope of its case and sapphire crystal allows collectors greater appreciation of the display mechanisms as well as increased readability.
This hand finished and hand engraved piece is limited to just five pieces in each declination – blue quartz, green quartz, and blue Aventurine glass dial.
Movement: 17DM06-DT hand-wound, 3Hz, 5 days power reserve
Case: 46mm, Dimier “writing slope”, 18k red gold
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds on tourbillon, 3D moon phase, world time
Strap: Double face alligator leather with platinum thread stitching
Price: CHF 355,000; Limited to 5 timepieces per dial color
Miss Audrey Sweet Art
Bovet claims the new Miss Audrey Sweet Art uses a completely new material and a new process to create a dial never before seen in watchmaking.
That unique material is pure sugar. Contained within a signature 36mm Fleurier Amadéo convertible stainless steel case with hand-set sparkling white diamonds, sugar crystals cover the dial of the Miss Audrey Sweet Art. The idea is to represent the sweetness of love and the purity of a child’s carefree desire for confectionery.
How is the dial made from pure sugar? It’s complicated. First, the pure sugar crystals are prepared so their structure will not change when exposed to light or heat and so that the sugar crystals will not melt. Then the sweet crystals are carefully selected for size, carefully combined with special paints and hand-applied to the dial by one of BOVET’s miniature painting artisans. The result is an intriguing mix of texture and sparkle.
The hands of the dial of the Sweet Art are pure whimsy. They form a heart once every hour, as the minute hand catches up to the hour hand, so as to remind the wearer of the loved ones in their lives.
The case can be transformed into a wristwatch, table clock, or pendant without the use of any tool.
Movement: 11BA15 self-winding, 42 hours power reserve
Case: 36mm, stainless steel, Amadéo convertible system
Functions: Hours, minutes
Price: CHF 25,000
Bovet and Rolls Royce ‘Boat Tail’ Watch/Clock
In another proud Bovet first, two tourbillon timepieces have been engineered, designed, and developed in parallel with the production of a one of a kind coach-built Rolls Royce. Aimed at the Rolls Royce owner and keen Bovet collector, the concept was to design and produce a bespoke Rolls-Royce with two unique BOVET 1822 timepieces, one for a gentleman and one for his lady, that go together hand in glove.
With a Rolls Royce edition known as the Boat Tail, whispered to be commissioned by Jay-Z and Beyoncé, the watch uses the patented Amadeo system. These intricate and ornate timepieces can transform from a wristwatch to a pocket/pendant watch to a desk clock as well as a dashboard clock.
With fully five days of power reserve, the mechanical tourbillon timepieces are ideal for the dashboard installation as they are designed to remain precise even when kept in the vertical position. The mounting system required to mount the timepiece in the dashboard is a first and required years of research, as well as extensive testing.
This project is a particular source of pride for Pascal Raffy: “As a long-time Rolls-Royce owner and lover, I am particularly pleased to have an opportunity to work on such a special bespoke project. Both of the timepieces are able to be placed into a display mount designed specifically for the purpose, effectively making them part of the car and subject to the norms of automobile production standards. Boat Tail is the culmination of a four-year collaboration with our most special clients.”
Made from 18k white gold, the 44mm watch is highly polished for gentlemen while the lady’s is ornately engraved then filled with blue lacquer, each entirely developed in Bovet 1822’s in-house artisanal workshop. Each timepiece has a Caleidolegno hand-applied marquetry front dial, which uses the same wood as the car’s rear deck. These luxury timepieces also feature an aventurine dial with the owner’s sky chart overlaid on top for men while for ladies there’s a miniature painting of a flower bouquet on a mother-of-pearl dial, each hand painted by a specialist artisan in this discipline.
The rumored cost of a Rolls Royce Boat Tail is said to be anything up to US$28 million, so while we don’t yet know the price of the Bovet Boat Tail Watch/Clock it’s safe to assume it’s going to be considerable.
Case: 44mm x 14mm, 18K white gold, Amadeo Convertible System
Movement: Bespoke 60-second tourbillon; manual-wind; 284 components, 5 days power reserve
Functions: Hours and minutes on both sides (reverse hand-fitting); power reserve indicator on front
Bovet in brief: New Automobili Pininfarina Collaboration
Also in production at the Bovet maison is a new collaboration with the Battista, the first car to wear the Automobili Pininfarina badge. This will see a ground-breaking new Bovet timepiece to be unveiled later this year.
“We are two houses sharing the same values, and now we are heading into the future,” said Pascal Raffy. More details to follow on this project.