Earlier this year, in January during the SIHH in Geneva, Bovet 1822 unveiled some pretty spectacular watches. It is difficult to say this but, that’s nothing new. This independently owned brand is known for creating some of the most beautiful masterpieces in art and craftsmanship on today’s market. Even for a veteran watch journalist with 30 years of experience, this brand still humbles me.
The pure depth and perspective that goes into the case, dial and three-dimensional presentation of time is definitely to be appreciated. Bovet 1822 — owned and run by Pascal Raffy (also known as a perfectionist) — knows nothing short of perfection.
The brand — under Raffy’s vigilant leadership –now unveils a new timepiece: the Amadeo® Fleurier Vrituoso VII Retrograde Perpetual Calendar watch. Based the Amadeo case, that first was unveiled to the world five years ago in 2010, the new double-sided timepiece is easily converted from wristwatch (with either side showing), to pocket watch and small desk or table clock.
We have written about this watch in depth on Forbes.com and you can read all the details here, but we wanted to bring you a close-up look at this beauty that we got to spend an entire weekend enjoying.
First, the aesthetics. It may sound cliche’ but there is no other way to put it: this watch is simply beautiful. The hand engraving, angling, beveling and polishing of the movement alone stirs the heart. Then, there is the fact that each dial side has its own personality … one more visionary and the other more classic. Each dial also has a multi-tiered element to it– offering great depth and dimension to the piece. On the wrist- even for a small wrist — it sits like a king waiting to be admired and envied.
Next, the technology. There is no getting around this, either: the technology and functionality of the watch is equally as enviable. To begin with, both sides offer the hours, minutes and seconds in addition to other functions. The seconds indication, at 6:00, is a marvel in and of itself. Then, the added functions incorporate power reserve indication and the coveted perpetual calendar — precise for 400 years before needing an adjustment.
The perpetual calendar indications on this watch are laid out differently than most perpetual calendars (no surprise to those who know Bovet 1822 owner, Pascal Raffy). On the side with the perpetual calendar indications, instead of the calendar information taking center stage on the dial, the hours and minutes are displayed on the central dial. The perpetual calendar indications are then read off of large sapphire disks surrounding that center time dial — adding not only to the technical advancement of the watch but also to the transparent beauty.
The names of the days and months are printed in either black or white on the outlying sapphire disks for easy legibility. The retrograde calendar hand sits beneath the hours and minutes dial so that only the arrow pointing to the date is visible. Opposite that date indication that lies at 6:00, the leap year disk sits harmoniously balanced at 12:00.
The reverse dial of the Virtuoso VII features the hours and minutes dial off-centered at 12 o’clock. The patented seconds mechanism displays the seconds on the same axis and on both sides of the movement. For more details on the watch, and its history, please read our article on Forbes.com.
CASE: Amadeo® convertible 43.3mm; 18-karat rose or white gold
Gold Weight: 76.74gr (red gold) / 79.50gr (white gold)
Strap: Full skin alligator
Buckle: 18K red or white gold ardillon
Pocket Watch Chain: Gold or rhodium-plated silver chain
Water resistant: 30m
Caliber 13BM12-AIQPR Hand-wound; frequency: 21’600v/h
Power reserve: 5 days
Dial: Black or white polished lacquered with Roman applied numerals
Functions: Hours, minutes, sub-seconds (patented co-axial seconds), day, retrograde date, month, leap year, power reserve indicator, reversed hand-fitting (hours, minutes and seconds)
18-karat 5N rose gold: $79,000, with diamonds: $88,600
18-karat white gold: $82,800), with diamonds: $92,000