True watch collectors know the house of Bovet 1822. Bovet watches are steeped in tradition, driven by excellence in craftsmanship and a real passion for watchmaking on the part of the owner, Pascal Raffy. During the launch of the brand’s first USA boutique late last year in New York City, where artisans demonstrated miniature enamel paintings and the art of hand-engraving of the Fleurisanne motif, and again recently in Geneva, I had the good fortune of speaking with Raffy about his love for watchmaking and his desire to “express time as beautifully as possible.” He is a very interesting man – but that is another story for another time (stay tuned).
Today, we bring you a close-up look at the result of that passion and quest for excellence in the new Recital 12 “Monsieur DIMIER.” While 2014 has been an exciting year for Bovet with the unveiling of seven new novelties, the one I find most exciting is the Recital 12 “Monsieur DIMIER.” This timepiece is the result of five years of research and development. For its creation, Raffy challenged his team of watchmakers to develop and build an in-house non-tourbillon movement that stays true to the Bovet tradition of precision and craftsmanship. Because Bovet is so well known for its tourbillons, the challenge was not taken lightly. The Dimier Manufacture team rose to the occasion unveiling the new mechanical hand-wound movement named the Virtuoso II.
The Recital 12 is actually a reverse hand fitting of the new in-house Virtuoso II movement (which can be adapted later down the road for added complexities). The reverse fitting reveals the manually wound movement’s meticulously finished gear train and oscillating weight on the dial side, as well as the single barrel seven-day power reserve indicator aperture and triple seconds hands—all visible thanks to an off-center lacquer hour and minute dial at 3:00. The Recital 12 is the thinnest Bovet timepiece yet with a thickness of only 9.1mm and a 42mm diameter case, making it extremely wearable, easily slipping under sleeve cuffs and comfortably laying on the wrist. It is offered in either 18 karat white or red gold and with either black or white lacquer time subdial.
The sister to this timepiece is the Recital 15, which also uses the same in-house movement, but with a slightly different arrangement. The front of the Recital 12 is actually the back of the Recital 15 and vice versa. Once again, Bovet plays with its unique ability to reverse its timepieces (as in its Amadeo collection that allows the easy transition between wristwatch, pocket watch and table clock). Could it be possible that the next evolution will be a merging of this new reversible non-tourbillon movement and the Amadeo concept? The Recital 12 Monsieur Dimier hits Bovet stores and authorized dealers next month. It is created in a limited edition of just 100 pieces each in the two colors of gold. The Recital 12 watch retails beginning at $43,700 for the non-diamond, leather-strap version and goes up from there.