Historically speaking, pocket watches from the 18th and 19th centuries have both been a display for fine mechanics and decorative arts. Think of mechanical innovations such as escapement technology, winding mechanisms, calendars, chiming mechanisms, combined with gem-setting, miniature enamel painting, cloisonné and champlevé enamelling – this is what comprised Haute Horlogerie in the days of yore. In those times, Edouard Bovet was considered a master of his craft – a master watchmaker creating exquisite timepieces containing high-performance movements within their often bejewelled, enamelled and engraved cases. The Bovet of today pays tribute to its roots in pocket watches with its Fleurier Collection, and for Geneva Watch Days 2021, Bovet takes the covers off new dial colours for its 19 Thirty model, as well as showing off the Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two with modern black DLC coated cases and Superluminova Dials
19 Thirty – New Guilloche Colours
Turquoise was chosen by Bovet CEO Mr Pascal Raffy for the latest colour variation of the 19 Thirty, as it represents Wisdom, Good Fortune, Health and Protection – an apt selection for today’s climate. For both the time dial and the subsidiary seconds dial, a unique guilloche pattern is utilised – akin to that of peacock feathers – and is subsequently filled in with numerous layers of lacquer (around seven layers). After drying, the dials are then polished to reveal their lustre, providing a unique colour-changing effect depending on the way the light hits the dial. Bovet has already unveiled a red colour version of this watch in February 2021, and plans on using this technique for other colours – a rich blue and a deep green (akin to that of British Racing Green).
Executed in the distinctive Fleurier case, the crown is situated at 12, set with a real cabochon cut sapphire (0.72 carats), along with a pocket watch-style bow that was inspired by a vintage pocket watch from the 1930s. Made of stainless steel, the 42mm case also sits close to the wrist, with a 9.05mm thickness. The bow and the lugs are also articulated, ensuring a great ergonomic fit for many wrists, despite its large dimensions. The dial also features two hemispherical cutouts that complement the symmetry of the watch – on the left is a cutout exposing some of the barrel covering, and on the right is a recessed area for the power reserve indicator.
In terms of the movement, the watch boasts an impressive 7 day power reserve – all from one barrel. The front of the watch also features circular Cotes de Geneve, although it is also available with a blackened finish, or with “Fleurisanne” style engraving.
The turquoise, blue and green dial variants will be available in red gold or stainless steel, and the red is available in stainless steel only. All watches will be limited to 60 pieces in each colour worldwide. All of this comes together for a pocket watch-inspired wristwatch that does a great job of displaying the history and heritage of an oft-forgotten era of watchmaking.
Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two DLC-SLN
Originally unveiled in 2020, the Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two has undergone a modern interpretation of its dial and case, whilst losing nothing about the fine mechanics housed within. The main attraction compared to its classical brother is its case in DLC coated grade 5 titanium, giving a modern black lustre, as well as colourful SuperLuminova dials. Available in a myriad of colours (Yellow, Light Blue, Salmon, Turquoise, Green and Violet), the dials are fully painted in these colours, and glow a bright green in low-light conditions, drawing your eye to the dials in the day and the night.
Like last year’s model, the watch features a 44mm case that is sloped towards the wearer for ergonomics, and is in the brand’s Fleurier case that pays tribute to its pocket watch past. Not only is the power reserve indicator and large date subdials painted in coloured SuperLuminova, but the seconds track near the tourbillon also features this colouring, providing a lot of visual symmetry to the dial. The two dials also form an infinity or a figure of 8, undoubtedly an auspicious symbol for all cultures.
In terms of the movement, the watch features a double-faced flying tourbillon that appears to float with no apparent attachment to the mainplate of the watch. Beating at a traditional 18,000 vph, the beat rate of the watch echoes that of old pocket watches that inspired the Fleurier collection. The bridges are decorated with circular Cotes de Geneve, and are blackened, in line with the modern aesthetic of this release. The movement also features a power reserve of 10 days, all from a single barrel, and has a power reserve indicator on the dial side at 10 o’clock. At 12 o’clock, a large differential gear can be seen – Bovet has received two patents for this differential gear, which helps with winding the large barrel more efficiently (half the number of turns it would normally be). A large date can be seen at the 2:30 position, and this indication can be adjusted without taking the watch off the wrist – a simple push of the crown will move the date forward by one day.
Limited to 8 pieces worldwide, the Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two DLC SLN is the modern pocket watch made for the wrist, displaying a combination of Bovet’s pocket watch heritage and modern watchmaking.
Bovet has certainly released some refreshing timepieces – for those in search of something truly different, the aesthetic of the Fleurier collection provides a significant deviation from the established modern norm of the wristwatch. With intriguing mechanics, and a respect for tradition, Bovet continues to impress the watch community, whilst retaining its distinctive style.
Tech Specs – Fleurier 19 Thirty Guilloche:
Limited Edition: 60 Pieces
Case: Fleurier case, 42mm in 18K Red Gold and Stainless Steel models, Sapphire cabochon set into crown
Strap: Full-skin alligator, stitching matched to the colour of the dial
Buckle: 18K Red Gold or Stainless Steel Ardillon
Water Resistance: 30m
Movement: 15BM04, hand-wound movement, 21,600 vph, 7 days power reserve, hours, minutes, sub-seconds, power reserve indicator
Dial: Guilloche, red, blue, green, turquoise with Roman numerals in white with silver or blackened circular Cotes de Geneve or hand engraved Fleurisanne motif elements.
Tech Specs: Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two DLC-SLN
Limited Edition: 8 Pieces
Case: Fleurier case, 44mm in Titanium
Strap: Full-skin alligator
Buckle: Stainless steel with DLC coated pin buckle
Water Resistance: 30m
Movement: 17BM06-GD, hand-wound movement, decorated with blackened Cotes de Geneve, 18,000 vph, 10 days power reserve, hours, minutes, seconds on flying tourbillon, big date, power reserve indicator