Bovet’s Recital Watch

The Art and Style of Bovet’s Recital 22 Grand Recital

Upscale Living Magazine - - Content - | BY DELLVIN ROSHON WIL­LIAMS

Purists that they are, Mai­son BOVET are with­out

ques­tion, one of haute hor­logerie’s finest brands .

Fus­ing a re­spect for her­itage and tra­di­tion with vir­tu­osic, highly evoca­tive de­sign lan­guage and ex­cep­tional move­ment, the watch­maker is world renown for turn­ing watch­mak­ing or­tho­doxy on its prover­bial head. So it is only fit­ting

that what BOVET re­veals with the Réc­i­tal 22 Grand Réc­i­tal

Tour­bil­lon Ref. R220001, is not only the man­u­fac­turer’s most

com­pli­cated time­piece to date, but a vis­ual con­tin­uum of su­pe­rior ar­ti­sanal and artis­tic crafts­man­ship. To ap­pre­ci­ate the com­plex­ity of its ar­chi­tec­ture, some con­text is needed: Réc­i­tal 22 is the third stanza of Pas­cal Raffy’s homage to the po­et­ics of me­chan­i­cal move­ment. Re­call the rev­o­lu­tion­ary im­port of the 2016 Réc­i­tal 18 Shoot­ing Star Tour­bil­lon with its ground­break­ing asym­met­ri­cal case and as­tro­nom­i­cal in­di­ca­tions. Fol­lowed by the 2017 Réc­i­tal 20 Astérium, com­plete with the an­gu­lar cas­ing of the Réc­i­tal 18, but an orig­i­nal, patented dou­ble-faced 10-day fly­ing tour­bil­lon with night sky an­nual cal­en­dar, as­tro­nom­i­cal in­di­ca­tions, sap­phire rear dial, and blue quartz dome. Cue Pas­cal Raffy, Owner of Bovet 1822.

“BOVET has al­ways been about unique­ness”, he trum­pets. “Its me­chan­i­cal skills and sen­si­tiv­ity to the fine arts re­main nearly two cen­turies af­ter the House was born. BOVET is very much at­tached to true watch­mak­ing val­ues; the ar­ti­san is the key con­trib­u­tor to ex­press­ing our sense of time in the most beau­ti­ful way. Our fun­da­men­tals are deeply linked to bring­ing more col­lec­tors to the ne­ces­sity of pre­serv­ing and strength­en­ing vir­tu­osi skills in a glob­al­ized world.”

But this has al­ways been a con­stant in the nar­ra­tive of orig­i­nal, fine watch­mak­ing—from the Bovet broth­ers’ nine­teenth cen­tury Silk Road odyssey to the found­ing of Palais chi­nois in

Fleurier, Switzer­land. Hav­ing as­sumed lead­er­ship of the brand in 2001, Raffy has con­tin­ued garner some­what of a cult-like fol­low­ing among col­lec­tors. When asked how he would char­ac­ter­ize his con­tri­bu­tion to the growth the brand, the one-time phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal ex­ec­u­tive was very clear.

“BOVET her­itage is based on tra­di­tion, a deep con­cern for de­tail, and a sense of taste for the most beau­ti­ful ex­pres­sion of time and watch­mak­ing skills. BOVET in­no­va­tions and the 15 patents filed since 2001 il­lus­trate my con­stant quest for per­fec­tion. This is what guar­an­tees both the pros­per­ity and long-term fu­ture of the House. Let me give you one his­tor­i­cal and one con­tem­po­rary ex­am­ple.”

“First, the patent of a chrono­graph dat­ing back to 1889 in­di­cat­ing hours, min­utes and sec­onds or, on de­mand, the time of a se­cond-time-zone. To create this dou­ble func­tion­al­ity, a true fly­back mech­a­nism was in­vented 14 years be­fore the in­au­gu­ral flight of the Wright broth­ers. Se­cond, the six patents of the Brave­heart Tour­bil­lon also come from this phi­los­o­phy. To re­spect the soul of the pocket watches, I wished to dis­play the se­cond at 6 o’clock on both faces of the time­pieces. To suc­ceed, three patents were filed for the sole tour­bil­lon, and one ex­clu­sively for the co-ax­ial sec­onds’ dis­play mech­a­nism. The spher­i­cal dif­fer­en­tial gear on the stem of the wind­ing sys­tem en­abling the gear ra­tio to be dou­bled, and the num­ber of crown ro­ta­tions re­quired to ob­tain the 22 days of power re­serve, were also halved.” This makes the Réc­i­tal 22, a com­bi­na­tion tour­bil­lon, per­pet­ual cal­en­dar, and tel­lurium, all the more im­pres­sive. The as­tro­nom­i­cal the­ater is pre­sented in a Tel­lurium-Or­rery. The sun rep­re­sented by the fly­ing tour­bil­lon, whose car­riage bridge evokes fiery rays. While the hemi­spher­i­cal earth ro­tates on an axis en­tirely its own, dis­play­ing the hours on a nat­u­ral 24-hour cy­cle, a spher­i­cal moon or­bits the earth ac­cord­ing to the ex­act length of its syn­odic pe­riod: 29.53 days.

Were that not enough, the beauty of the sun is height­ened only by the tour­bil­lon car­riage that has been raised above the sur­face of the move­ment. Its orig­i­nal patented con­struc­tion, char­ac­ter­ized by its cen­tral at­tach­ment, en­dows the piece with a par­al­lel arith­metic of ex­quis­ite chronom­e­try and un­ri­valled trans­parency. The five arms of the ti­ta­nium car­riage bridge sur­round­ing the reg­u­lat­ing or­gan is a three-di­men­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the sun that show­cases the fin­ish of the bridge’s five arms. Ro­tat­ing once ev­ery sixty sec­onds al­lows the tour­bil­lon to in­di­cate the sec­onds by a hand—af­fixed di­rectly to the car­riage wheel—and trav­els over a scaled twenty-se­cond sec­tor.

What is more, the sur­face of the earth, rep­re­sented by a hemi­sphere, is en­graved with del­i­cately-wrought, metic­u­lously ex­e­cuted hand­painted maps of oceans, moun­tains, deserts, and forests. Réc­i­tal 22’s stand­out fea­ture, how­ever, comes in the form of a 2017 tech­nique in­tro­duced by BOVET in which ar­ti­sans be­gan to in­cor­po­rate lu­mi­nes­cent sub­stances into minia­ture paint­ings, thereby mak­ing the earth ra­di­ant in the dark. Suc­ces­sive lay­ers of trans­par­ent lac­quer are then ap­plied to the globe be­fore fin­ish­ing.

But it’s not just the artis­tic de­tail­ing that makes Réc­i­tal 22 a com­plex me­chan­i­cal mar­vel. A patented dou­ble-sided fly­ing tour­bil­lon reg­u­lates its man­ual 17DMO3-TEL cal­iber; sprung bal­ance and es­cape­ment en­hances are place on ei­ther side of the cen­tral at­tach­ment to en­hance the time­piece’s over­all me­chan­i­cal and aes­thet­ics, mak­ing the tour­bil­lon’s at­tach­ment to the move­ment prac­ti­cally in­vis­i­ble; and an in-house man­u­fac­tured vari­able-in­er­tia bal­ance wheel en­sures the ac­cu­racy of the move­ment os­cil­lat­ing at 18,000 vi­bra­tions per hour with a min­i­mum of 472 parts.

Avail­able in 18K pink gold or 950 plat­inum, the 5-grade ti­ta­nium case’s de­sign was in­spired by the shape of a writ­ing slope. Turn the watch over, and you can peer through its large sap­phire crys­tal. The viewer is also en­treated to a vast bridge dec­o­rated with Côtes de Genève, around the tour­bil­lon’s axis. The Réc­i­tal 22 Grand Réc­i­tal is a 60-piece a lim­ited edi­tion with al­li­ga­tor or leather strap, 46.30 mm in di­am­e­ter and 19.60mm in height.

If Raffy is right, that true lux­ury means “unique­ness of de­sign, clear iden­tity, and ul­ti­mate fin­ish­ing lim­ited quan­tity”, then, the over­all ar­chi­tec­ture of the Réc­i­tal 22 time­piece de­liv­ers on im­pec­ca­ble hand-crafted qual­ity and ex­clu­siv­ity. Not only is it vir­tu­osic and el­e­va­tory, it opens a new win­dow to three-di­men­sional in­ter­pre­ta­tions of time dis­plays. A true mod­ern, me­chan­i­cal mar­vel.

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