Angus Davies provides an in-depth review of the Bovet Récital 15, a watch launched last year by the Fleurier-based haute horlogerie brand founded in 1822 by Edouard Bovet. You can read more from Angus at his Escapement watch blog.
Holding the new Bovet Récital 15 in my hands beside Lake Geneva, I was reminded of a small pleasure I enjoyed as a young boy.
Standing adjacent a local lake, I would cast a stone in the water and marvel as the ripples emanated outwards. The resultant pattern of concentric circles decorating the surface of the water, captured light and evinced all the hues of the chromatic spectrum. It was a spectacle I found beguiling as each wave ebbed to a state of calm, wonderfully demonstrating how nature tends to restore dissonance to harmony.
Concentric circles adorn the back of the mainplate of the Récital 15, which forms the canvas for Bovet’s talented artisans to imbue the timepiece with life. Beauty is imparted to the dial, not with a brush and oils, but, in this instance, tools and finely executed components. The resultant vista is a magnum opus which deserves prolonged appreciation.
Côtes de Genève is the surface decoration I allude to in this pre-amble. It is a pattern familiar to many admirers of fine watchmaking. However, it is the application of the circular Genevan stripes to the reverse of the main bridge, ordinarily hidden from view on a conventional watch, which is extraordinary. Indeed, this alone provides a notable point of differentiation for this prestigious historical brand. However, as I continue to explain, there are many more notable attributes that distinguish this timepiece as truly exceptional.
Bovet has executed the aforementioned Côtes de Genève to an exalted standard. Each curving stripe or wave is beautifully defined, yet wonderfully smooth. Holding a loupe to the eye, the discerning observer will see fine lines which diagonally traverse each stripe; even, smooth and peerlessly presented. Their creation is a matchless, standing testament to the adroit hands which led to their conception.
An off-center dial, biased towards the crown, depicts the hours and minutes. An aperture at 3 o’clock reveals the jumping hours which impart information with sublime, yet succinct communication. The minutes are delivered with a retrograde minute hand, arcing clockwise above a scale marked with Arabic numerals and clean white strokes.