A curious linguistic anecdote illustrates the prestige that Edouard Bovet’s brand enjoyed in Imperial China from the early 19th century. As purveyor of brightly colored Swiss watches to the Emperor and mandarins, the name Bovet – bo-wei – made its way into the Chinese language as a word for high quality timepieces. In reality, among Bovet’s pocket watches, adorned with a tiny painting of two swans on its own caseback, remains on display as part of these paintings of the Forbidden City.
In 2001, when Pascal Raffy chose to resuscitate the historic brand, one thing was apparent: the original variety of decorative arts – like enamelling, jewel setting, lacquering and the exquisite Fleurisanne hand engravings that enriched almost every surface of these movements – would need to be revived. In less than 15 decades, Bovet has carved a name because of its beautiful artisanship, sophisticated movements, an unlimited number of personalisation options and its renowned’convertible’ pocket watches.
Inspired from the pocket watches which Edouard Bovet crafted for China’s Middle Empire dynasty, together with the crown along with hinged bow at 12 o’clock, the squiggly serpentine hands and thickly decorated dials, the Amadeo Fleurier collection is endowed with a exceptional feature. Simply by depressing a button, the timepiece can be changed to a pocket watch, a wristwatch, a necklace along with a desk clock as a result of its innovative Amadeo system.
Bovet, which has been producing high-end women’s watches since 2011, unveiled a model of their Amadeo® Fleurier household at Salon Bovet in Geneva that January. Slightly smaller in size and thinner than her red and white gold sisters, the 36mm convertible stainless-steel case of’Miss Audrey’ includes a stunning guilloché lacquered dial in turquoise or light purple, a diamond-set bezel, a bow and four diamond indices.
Following in the footsteps of last year’s Récital 9’Miss Alexandra’ Tourbillon, this year’s Récital 11 is a showcase for Bovet’s impeccable horological credentials, with its 7-day tourbillon and Moon stage module that needs but a one-day correction every 122 years.
The 41mm oval-shaped dial frames the abilities of Bovet’s in-house artisans, using its mother-of-pearl guilloché dial, chased motion and Moon stage counter. The exact cartography of the Moon has been recreated with a luminous material inserted into the hollow craters, and the black sky has been chased to suggest the existence of stars. Beady-eyed observers will observe the unusual form of the hour and minute hands, which form a heart once united.
Pascal Raffy is as exacting in regards to the quality of his moves as he is obsessive over aesthetic finishes. To prove his point, have a look at the new Tourbillon Virtuoso III, a Grande Complication tourbillon movement with a five-day power book and retrograde perpetual calendar. It will come as no surprise to discover that Bovet is co-founder of the Fleurier Quality Foundation, the FQF, an independent label that certifies the aesthetic and chronometric precision of a watch, adopted by other brands such as Chopard.
Raffy’s business acumen has gone beyond historical nostalgia. With the acquisition of his possessions and dial up provider – christened Dimier 1738 – along with his Haute Horlogerie watchmaking workshop, housed in the historic Château p Môtiers at Fleury, it’s fair to state that Bovet is practically self-sufficient.
Bovet’s Récital 11 Miss Alexandra Tourbillon is a showcase for Bovet’s impeccable horological credentials, with its 7-day tourbillon and Moon phase module that requires but a one-day correction every 122 decades.