I can recall my excitement when in the Château de Môtiers I first encountered the Mandarin Duck, my favourite Bovet antique pocket-watch. In the 19th century Bovet made its reputation by engineering skills, but foremost by artistic qualities. Éduard Bovet together with his brothers Alphonse, Frederic and Gustave established the company with the deliberate mission to produce artistic pieces for the Chinese market. The miniatures, painted in the workshops near the hydraulic plants of Geneva, still leave me speechless.
When Bovet was reborn in the new Millennium Pascal Raffy’s equally strong vision determined the direction of the company, appending the DNA strands of the brand in the same spirit but in a contemporary style. He placed technical virtuosity in the focus infused with the desire to delight.
Bovet continues to explore new territories in terms of developments as well as design – just think about the Pininfarina line, for instance.
Bovet Amadeo by Ilgiz Fazulzyanov
In 2014 Bovet started a collaboration with Ilgiz Fazulzyanov, an extremely talented Russian jeweller and enameller to create one-of-a-kind Amadeo 43 and 39 marvels with the power to fascinate.
Ilgiz has incredible eyes and taste which guide his hands flawlessly, helping him to accomplish things like cutting facets on natural pearls and setting them in jewellery. He works with gemstones, metal and Grand Feu enamel and draws inspiration from Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Impressionism and his national heritage.
The unique cooperation made a stylish entrée last year with the Bovet Amadeo 43 – Conquest from Rider of the Apocalypse series made with Grand Feu enamel and the Bovet Amadeo 39 ladies timepiece with Grand Feu poppy flowers in a diamond meadow.
In 2016 the Salon witnessed the arrival of new artworks, being the continuation of the aforementioned themes in various styles. The ladies’ line wears the touch of nature in the form of floral motifs, while the pieces dedicated to men depict the other three horsemen War, Famine & Death.
The four Riders of the Apocalypse are mentioned in the New Testament. In the Book of Revelation it is said that the scroll of God was sealed with seven seals, four of which were opened by Lamb of God, or Lion of Judah, which summoned the Conquest, War, Famine and Death on four horses. They were to set a divine apocalypse upon the world before the Last Judgement.
The architecture of the Amadeo timepieces sets a perfect stage for a special performance. There are no indexes or scripts, only the serpentine hands sweep over the miniatures. The depth is emphasized by the polished inner surface of the bezel, which reflects the paintings.
The burdock and poppy flowers are breathtaking. Not only the in terms of the details of the workmanship but also the mood and tone, which stand in such a contrast with the dark and powerful horsemen. Ilgiz’s affection for the arts of the early 1900s can be clearly observed in the beautiful Secessionist purplish burdock, which became my instant favourite.
Bovet and Ilgiz Fazulzyanov will exhibit these unique pieces at the Assumption Belfry Gallery in the Kremlin between 31 March and 31 July.
Flying Tourbillon OTTANTASEI by Pininfarina
The long-standing creative relationship between Bovet and Pininfarina has produced timepieces, which cry out for racing gloves. Both companies have quite a character that merges in the Ottanta, Cambiano and Sergio models.
Pascal Raffy and his team revealed OttantaSei, the new piece in Ottanta family, which to me is the most thrilling member so far. I just love the airy design which suggests the weight of a feather, but the experience is even more unbelievable. The titanium case is less than 16g and even together with the sapphire panels that embrace the movement it offers unmatched comfort. The sun has a hall to play among the wheels and bridges that are finished perfectly in the calibre that incorporates 34 different shades of the grey-scale within the 12mm thin case.
The manufacture chose a completely skeletonized design, including even the single barrel behind the power reserve indicator, which holds energy for 10 days of consistent operation. The tension of the more than 1-meter-long mainspring can be observed with the naked eye. Similarly to the Amadeo Fleurier Braveheart introduced last year, to reduce the required winding time, engineers developed a differential mechanism, which halves the number of crown rotations needed.
The OttantaSei is available in an 86-piece limited edition in titanium (either plain or DLC-coated), and in an 86-piece limited edition in 18k red gold.
Récital 18 – The Shooting Star
How does time passing on the Moon by observing it from the Earth? And how does it pass on the Earth by looking on from outer space? Récital 18 opens new perspectives on the trip, which perhaps everyone has already made at one point in their minds.
Two hemispheres envision the constant movement of the two globes. The Earth is shown from star heights facing the North-pole, but now the hemisphere contains the lands south of the Equator, too. The globe turns clockwise and by running your eyes along any chosen longitude until the circular scale you can read the time at any place. You may select a city by pushing the button on the crown, which moves the hand in the direction of the settlement and turns the two concentric rollers containing the names of the 24 main cities to the appropriate position. The hand continues its route with the globe.
The pusher incorporates a protection device transmitting the energy into an intermediate spring – when released a measured and constant energy is transferred to the fine time-zone mechanism. The two concentric rollers are operated by a column wheel and carry 24 city names – 11 plus an empty one on the outer cylinder and 13 on the inner.
The second revolving hemisphere is a moon-phase indicator. The two circles above allow the reading of the Moon’s age in the Northern and in the Southern hemisphere simultaneously. The craters are filled with luminescent material, just as the oceans on the Earth.
The hour on the present location is displayed by a jumping sapphire disk superimposed on a lacquered plate close to the centre of the timepiece. The retrograde minute hand walks its path on the arch at 12 o’clock.
The captivating tourbillon, which adheres to the strict aesthetic codes of Bovet, beats the rhythm of the moving Universe.
Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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