“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

Fans and butterflies

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There are two things that you can almost certainly expect when visiting Salon Bovet in the Beau Rivage Hotel – sophisticated engineering and breathtaking artistic works, both of the highest quality. In 2018, Bovet Fleurier introduced impressive technical models, such as the Edouard Bovet or the Virtuoso V, but in this article we will focus on entrancing and unique creative pieces.

The artisans of Bovet Fleurier dedicated this January to miniature painting and elevated the Amadeo timepieces with inimitable lacquered dials.

Amadeo® Fleurier 39 “Fan”

Fans have had many uses ranging from practical to symbolic. They help to cool you and keep insects away. They served in religious rituals and display sophistication and wealth. Not negligibly, different fan gestures had different meanings in the language of love and secrecy…

As evidenced by ancient pictorial records and texts, the history of hand fans reaches back to Ancient Egypt and Greece. They were used throughout the Roman Empire as well as in China. The earliest surviving Western fan is associated with Theodelinda, the 6th century Queen of the Lombards. It spread across Europe thanks to Catherine de Medici (1519-89). The fans from this era were mainly rigid hand-screens and softer fans with colourful feathers of various species. Styles have changed with fashion throughout the centuries which resulted in a great variety of decorations with silk, lace, paper, hand-painting or engraving. Patterns included idealised pastoral or romantic scenes and exotic design motifs especially from Japan and China. The frames of the fans were made of ivory, bone, mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell and lacquered wood. An entire museum is dedicated to the art of fans in London.

This very interesting accessory inspired four unique Bovet timepieces. Each dial is painted on a mother-of-pearl base, which is a material Bovet often uses. It’s not just noble and elegant, but due to its reflective properties it highlights the painted details very well. This time artisans applied the polished lacquer method, where painting and firing are done in phases depending on the motifs and colours – similarly to enamel. Each colour is lacquered on a different layer and then fired and polished. The technique results in similar characteristics as Chinese lacquer.

The dials are placed in the 39 mm diameter Fleurier Amadeo case, available in white gold or red gold. The white gold models depict a fan with peacock feathers and another with a delicate lace. The red gold pieces are adorned with red-grey and pink feather fans.


“Eurytides Marcellus” Château de Môtiers 40

Bovet developed the above technique further by featuring gold leaf details and Super-LumiNova. It makes the miniature painting stunningly glow in the dark. Last spring Bovet presented the Château de Môtiers 40 with a beautiful luminescent butterfly and later in November they offered the Bovet Secret Beauty at the Only Watch auction with a luminescent geisha.

The latest addition to the horological Métiers D’Art line is the luminous new Château de Môtiers 40 “Eurytides Marcellus” timepiece with a mother-of-pearl dial. It portrays a zebra swallowtail “Eurytides Marcellus” butterfly sitting on a pink flower. The long-tailed butterfly glows at night in a splendid high contrast, showing her zebra stripes.

The miniature painting is framed in a 40 mm 18k red gold case and is complemented with an alligator strap.


Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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