Bovet bestows this watch with a plethora of elegant elements. The central area of the off-center dial is open worked, revealing the finely finished components beneath. Two blued screws, positioned above and below the dial, secure the upper part of the dial to the main plate. While being functional, their form is nevertheless beautiful.
Positioned to the left of the dial is an open-worked second’s display. The slim seconds hand interfaces with a marked circlet, detailed with white strokes and Arabic numerals. However, it is the central area of the seconds display which arrests attention, with a spell-binding view of the snailed wheels openly revealed. Moreover, this central area provides the wearer with a view through the movement, according a lightness which is truly magnificent.
The arrangement of the off-center dial and its smaller sibling, the seconds display, resembles a figure of eight in a state of repose. A numeral often linked to good fortune by Chinese society, I suspect that this is no coincidence. Indeed, Bovet has strong historical ties to China, dating back to 1818 when Edouard Bovet first visited Canton and sold four watches promptly after arriving.
In the upper portion of the dial, an oval shaped cartouche resides, stating the brand’s name and the year Edouard Bovet established his company in Fleurier.
The 18-carat red gold case measures 42 mm in diameter. Its proportions appear perfect and afford a comfortable fit. Despite the timepiece being very special, it remains highly wearable and indeed suitable for daily wear.
The crown has a charming decoration encircling its form, something in common with many Bovet timepieces. Moreover, a cabochon adorns its vertical flank.
The caseback is secured with eight screws. A large sapphire crystal grants a wide-angle perspective of the majestic movement residing within the case.
Enveloping the movement, presented on an inner flange, is a statement presented in French text. It reads, “Faictes de mains de maistres, pour servir ponctuels gentilshommes, ce par quoy attestons longue valeur.” This means, “Made by the hand of masters, to serve punctual gentleman, which attest our core values.” The statement remains apt to this day, but can be traced back to the 19th century when it was first made by Bovet Freres & Co. S.A
Bovet and its sister company, Manufacture Dimier 1738, are known for creating beautiful movements, harnessing much watchmaking expertise. However, this movement represents a new stage in the company’s history.
The hand-wound movement is the result of five years development work which commenced in 2008. While the company has created tourbillons in-house for some time, the Caliber Virtuoso II Spécialité Horlogère DIMIER 1738 (13.75-70-001-HMSR), represents the first time the brand has made a non-tourbillon movement, totally in-house, crafting each component including the balance spring.
The wearer will note the blued triple seconds hand, visible via the exhibition caseback, rotating in the opposite direction to the hand located dial side. This is remarkable as both share the same axis. The know-how is patented and the ingenuity is laudable.
Another function depicted on the movement is the power reserve indicator. By incorporating the function to the rear of the watch, the balance and equilibrium of the main dial is not compromised. Bovet, never fails to optimize the aesthetics of every element of this watch.
A spiral-shaped motif adorns the barrel cover of the mainspring, expertly executed and delightfully refined. The movement features a single barrel delivering a stated power reserve of 5 days. The frequency of the movement is 21,600 vph (3Hz).
However, it is the finissage which is an aspect I find especially appealing. The bevelled bridges shine on their angled profiles. The wheels on the openly disclosed gear train feature perfect circular graining. While several bridges adorn the movement, the curving lines of the Côtes de Genève motif depicted on each, perfectly align.
Bovet has created a purist’s movement, produced to an impeccable standard.
Some mechanical watches, while featuring an attractive exterior, often incorporate a rather ordinary movement, hidden from view. The movement perfunctorily powers the functions of the watch, but with an absence of finesse.
Bovet evidently does not subscribe to this ethos. The dial, case and movement share equal aesthetic importance. There is no discernible compromise. Every aspect of this timepiece is distilled to a punctilious standard.
As I become lost in a sea of concentric circles which adorn the numerous surfaces of this watch, I am once again reminded of my youth and the optimism I exhibited as a young boy. I dream of a day when the culmination of my professional career can be marked by the ownership of a timepiece such as this, with its concentric dials granting a perfect harmony, evident from every perspective.
- Model: Bovet Récital 15
- Reference: DTR15-42RG-000-W1-01
- Case: 18-carat red gold; diameter 42.00 mm; height 12.80 mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 meters); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Jumping hours; retrograde minutes; Seconds cage (coaxial reverse seconds-hand), power-reserve indicator.
- Movement: Caliber Virtuoso II Spécialité Horlogère DIMIER 1738 (13.75-70-001-HMSR), hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600 vph (3 Hz); 41 jewels; power reserve 5 days.
- Strap: Black alligator leather supplied on 18-carat red gold pin buckle
- Limited Edition: 60 pieces in 18-carat red gold. Also available in 18-carat white gold