Bovet this year has made major headlines in 2021 with the announcement of its collaboration with Rolls-Royce and the subsequent release of a bespoke, dashboard mounted timepieces. Then, not two months after that captivating announcement, the maison returned to its stock-in-trade of producing luxurious, horologically complex mechanisms for the wrist with the release of the Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two Reimagined DLC-SLN.
This year, as part of the WatchTime New York 2021 taking place October 22 to 24 at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall, the esteemed, Fleurier-based maison will showcase the second of these releases, placing this haute horlogerie creation in full view of a connoissieur crowd for perhaps the first time.
For background, the Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two Reimagined DLC-SLN revisits Bovet’s original Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two tourbillon, launched in 2020, with the goal of bringing its design into a sportier and more contemporary context. Overall, it speaks to a growing effort by Bovet to expand into even more interesting areas of materials, colors, treatments, and displays, and hence to grow its base of prospective customers.
The launch comprises six new colorways, each limited to eight total examples. They include yellow, blue, salmon, turquoise, green, and violet options; the salmon and blue editions are pictured here. Each of the colorways features a heavy use of Super-LumiNova on the dial, allowing the otherwise very traditional-looking design to surprise and delight as it glows brightly in the dark.
All of the watches in their various colorways use the same 44-mm case, made of grade 5 titanium and coated in a black DLC, the idea being that the dark shading will contrast most noticeably with the bright, vibrant colors on the dial. The silhouette of the case is likely familiar to those familiar with other timepieces from the House of Bovet, drawing its inspiration from classic pocketwatch designs and incorporating a 12 o’clock crown and a pair of signature lugs that connect to a black alligator leather strap.
On the dial proper, the intricate and luxurious finishing, textures, and colors exemplify Bovet’s well-earned reputation as a purveyor of haute horologerie. Hours and minutes are indicated by a pair of central hands, while a seconds counter merges with a flying tourbillon displayed in an aperture at the traditional 6 o’clock position. A big date with some of the watch’s information resides on a right-side subdial, and the 10-day power-reserve indicator parallels it on the left. Overall, the aesthetic manages to be both playful, with a colorful areas of Super-LumiNova, and also quite serious in its obvious technical complexity, proving that Bovet can walk that fine line between modern and traditional quite well.
Inside the watch, and powering its various operations, is the Bovet Caliber 17BM06-GD, hand-wound and very finely decorated, most notably with a blackened côtes de Genève motif, among many other types of finishing. The movement, as mentioned, amasses an astonishing 10-day power reserve in a single barrel and beats at a frequency of 18,000 vph. As per Bovet tradition, its mechanical beauty is on display behind an exhibition caseback.
The Bovet 1822 Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two DLC-SLN is priced at CHF 200,000 (about $216,000 as of posting), with production highly limited for each colorway.
To see the new Bovet 1822 novelties, live and in person, in addition to many more great watches launched this year, be sure to attend WatchTime New York 2021 from October 22 to 24. To learn more and purchase tickets, click here!