WatchTime New York, America’s largest luxury watch show, returns to the Big Apple in just a few days. As we countdown to the big event, taking place at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall on October 21-23, we’ll be previewing many of the new watches that guests will discover there. Bovet will be joining the event this year, with the brand celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2022. Marking the incredible milestone, the brand is reflecting back on some of its most impressive watches from recent times, among them being the Bovet Récital 22 Grand Récital.
The watch saw its release in May of 2018, with it serving as the third and final part of a trilogy of timepieces that began with the Récital 18 Shooting Star Tourbillon in 2016 and followed by the Récital 20 Astérium in 2017. This triad of timepieces formed what the brand then described as a “poetic watchmaking narrative” that was only completed by the astronomical Récital 22 Grand Récital.
The 46.3 by 19.6 mm case functions as a horological tellurium including a stunning, hemispherical, birds-eye view of the Earth at 12 o’clock and a flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock that represents the sun with a carriage bridge acting as fiery rays shooting out of the sun’s body. Finally, a spherical moon orbits the Earth according to the exact length of its synodic period of 29.53 days.
The half-Earth that displays the Northen hemisphere rotates on its own axis and demonstrates the passage of time on a natural 24-hour cycle. The surface of the Earth is engraved and hand-painted giving the oceans, mountains, deserts, and forests an unmistakable sense of realism. For the first time, Bovet included luminescence in the miniature painting process, recalling satellite imagery of city lights illuminating the night sky. Before the Earth’s surface was polished and finished, Bovet applied several layers of transparent lacquer and then painted clouds and air currents on top giving the appearance of the clouds floating above the Earth. At the base of the globe, a graduated scale displays the hour by means of a three-dimensional polished titanium hand, situated between the tourbillon and the globe.
The sphere of the moon can be found directly around the Earth, just like its outer space counterpart. The mechanism that powers the moon and moon-phase display, which you can see on the Earth’s concentric ring, means it will only need to be adjusted by one day every 122 years. The sphere is divided into two parts: one black, while the second is engraved with the textured surface of the moon. The engraved sections of the second half are filled with a luminescent substance, which makes it possible to clearly see which part of the moon is directly illuminated by the Sun. This approach to the lunar indication is one of the five patents received for the production of the Récital 22 Grand Récital.
The carriage of the solar-inspired tourbillon is raised above the actual surface of the movement — Bovet received another patent for this construction — which allows for an increased level of transparency. The five arms of the titanium bridge feature a rounded hand-finish and frame the regulating organ. By rotating once every sixty seconds, the tourbillon indicates the seconds by a hand affixed directly to the carriage wheel and travels over a scaled twenty-second sector.
To the left of the Earth is the retrograde minute display and, to the right, the nine-day power reserve indicator. Directly underneath the retrograde minutes is a date made of luminous material that features a large magnifying glass to enlarge the date wheel on the bottom portion of the movement.
So, how do you tell the time? First, you use the pointer affixed to the top of “the sun” or tourbillon cage to tell the exact local hours and then you use the retrograde minute for the exact minute. In the image above, the time is approximately 8:26 in the morning. It’s not exactly a normal timekeeping exercise but it is legible and not at all difficult to interpret.
On the caseback, you have a fully functional perpetual calendar that features the hour, day-of-week, date, month, and leap-year indicators. One noteworthy detail is that the date wheel is actually double-sided, which is an interesting idea catering to the perpetual calendar pedant.
Another fascinating detail that might be overlooked given the grand nature of the timepiece is the addition of a pusher located between the upper lugs that simultaneously adjusts all the timepiece’s functions in addition to the ability of the traditional correctors used to adjust each indication individually. For example, if the watch has been stopped for six days, the pusher can be pressed six times to perfectly adjust the perpetual calendar and tellurium functions simultaneously.
When the Bovet Récital 22 Grand Récital was launched in 2018, it went on that year to claim the Aguille d’Or, watchmaking’s highest prize, from the GPHG, helping establish a modern marvel in the grand 200-year history of the watchmaking house. That year it was marked as a limited edition of 60 pieces, with pricing marked at $469,800 in red gold and $502,200 in platinum,
To learn more, visit Bovet, here.
And to purchase your tickets to WatchTime New York 2022, click here.