The Edouard Bovet Tourbillon pays tribute to the origins of Bovet watch making tradition fuelled by a major event in 1818 four years before the official establishment of Maison BOVET.
In 1814, the experienced watchmakers Frédéric, Alphonse, and Edouard Bovet left their home village of Fleurier, bound for London, to develop their sales skills. There, Edouard Bovet displayed remarkable talent combined with a visionary mind.
This far-sightedness led him to board the Orwell, a ship belonging to the East India Company, on April 20, 1818 that took him all the way to Guangzhou, carrying four timepieces whose technical and aesthetic qualities were hitherto unseen. As the Swiss journal of watchmaking reported, a Chinese collector bought the four pieces for 10,000 Swiss francs each, which is the equivalent of 1,000,000 Swiss francs today. The enthusiasm for the Bovet brothers’ watchmaking quickly reached the Emperor, and then his court, and before long their work had captivated the nation. The impact was such that Bovet (pronounced Bo-Wei) became synonymous with high-end watches in the everyday Chinese language.
As well as laying the foundations of the Maison BOVET, Edouard Bovet’s success inspired his peers back in Fleurier, who soon began imitating his work. Their work was so good that all of the watchmakers in Fleurier and its surrounding villages began to specialize in the so-called Chinese watch, providing them with decades of prosperity and a reputation that has endured to this day.
The Edouard Bovet Tourbillon marks the bicentenary of this key event in BOVET’s history and that of Swiss watchmaking. The Maison’s watchmakers have revisited the tried-and-true architecture of the flying tourbillon, introduced into BOVET collections in 2015, to offer a new and prestigious rendering of this classic feature.
The Edouard Bovet Tourbillon is powered by a single barrel that ensures its impressive autonomy of over ten days, despite its many complications and 472 components. Using this same power, three different time zones can be displayed based on an entirely original configuration that offers complete and intuitive readability, with the local time zone occupying the center of the timepiece. In addition to the hour and minute hands, a dome indicates the day-night cycle. This dome turns anti-clockwise to represent reality as closely as possible, with the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.
Each of the two additional times displayed correspond to any one of the earth’s twenty-four-time zones, set according to the user’s preference. Each window displays the name of the chosen city and the time in this same zone via a hand that moves over a 24-hour dial. This hand follows the contour of a hemispherical dome representing the Earth and naturally passes over the meridian of the chosen time zone. To minimize power consumption and optimize the timepiece’s chronometry, the two domes are made of titanium. This choice of material makes the craftsmanship of these domes more complicated, both technically and artisanally. The dome’s surface is engraved to represent a world map, which has been specially redesigned to take up the hemispherical surface of the dome. The surface of the oceans is lowered in order to receive the blue Super-LumiNova, which is delicately applied by hand.
Promoted by Pascal Raffy since 2016, this new vision of the movement architecture perfectly complements the patented hemispherical displays to offer a three-dimensional reading of time. As such, the hands of the central display have been manually curved, allowing them toliterally fly over the displays of the secondary time zones.
The Edouard Bovet Tourbillon is housed in the emblematic Amadeo convertible case. Patented in 2010, the Amadeo system transforms a timepiece into a reversible wristwatch, a table clock, or a pocket watch without the use of any tools. This feature requires the time to be displayed on both sides of the movement and in the case of the Edouard Bovet Tourbillon, the second face presents hand-engraving that adorns each detail of its surface. It features a dial displaying the hours and minutes, synchronized with the display of local time. This offset dial has been re-sized for increased readability. The power reserve indicator completes the time-related information displayed on this face of the timepiece.
The movement continuously and simultaneously drives no less than eight hands and three hemispherical displays. For exceptional efficiency, ensuring an exemplary power reserve and chronometric prowess, each component has been made according to the strictest rules of watchmaking. The pivots have been burnished and the teeth of each moving part have been cut by hobbing with the greatest respect for artisanal tradition, as conceived and practiced by the Bovet brothers at the dawn of the nineteenth century.
The tourbillon therefore enjoys optimized power that is practically continuous over the certified ten days of power reserve. To further increase the timepiece’s chronometric qualities, the patented double-sided flying tourbillon was chosen. This new vision of the tourbillon considerably improves its chronometry by minimizing friction and lever-arm effects and enhances its aesthetic appeal. As such, the entire carriage of the tourbillon appears to float freely in the air, its attachment to the movement made almost invisible by its small size.
Tourbillon is crafted according to precise calculations to work in perfectly isochronous tandem with the variable-inertia balance wheel. The regulating mechanism thus formed oscillates at 18,000 vibrations per hour. In response to the hemispherical time displays, the carriage bridge brings balance to the timepiece with its three-dimensional double vault. Here too, titanium was chosen to make the carriage as light as possible. This choice of material did not make the task easy for the artisan decorators, but they still succeeded in mounting the bridge arms despite their shape and the particularly restrictive properties of titanium.
For this timepiece, the Maison’s dial-makers designed and manufactured a dial that feature original, blue-lacquered guilloché.
The winding mechanism has been calculated and designed to ensure that only 75 turns of the crown are needed to provide ten days of power reserve. Similarly, each secondary time zone has two correctors with which their display can be adjusted quickly and intuitively, both when first setting the timepiece and when traveling.
Available in red gold, white gold, or platinum, the Edouard Bovet Tourbillon offers exceptional ergonomics despite its dense mechanics.
With collectors in mind, the limited edition restricts the number of movements that will be manufactured, independently of how they are defined. Only sixty movements will leave the manufacture’s workshops, ensuring a level of exclusivity that reflects the excellence of this historic timepiece.
Model: Amadeo® Fleurier Edouard Bovet -Day Triple Time Zone Flying Tourbillon with Hemispherical Earth Maps and Reversed Hand-Fitting
3 Times Patented
Type: Amadeo® convertible system
Thickness (With Glasses): 17.20mm
Thickness (Without Glasses): 13.50mm
Material: 18K red or white gold or platinum 950/1000
Water resistance: 30m
Full skin alligator
Buckle: 18K red or white gold ardillon
Chain: 18K red or white gold
Amadeo® Convertible case
Double face tourbillon
Radial guidance display mechanism
Caliber 16BM04-TT Hand-wound
Diameter: 16 1/2’’’’
Frequency: 18’000 vph
Power reserve: 10 days
Tourbillon: 1 minute
Hours, minutes, seconds on tourbillon, day/night indicator, 2nd and 3rd time zone with hemispherical earth maps, 24-hour hand and 24-city disc and reversed hand-fitting (hours, minutes and power reserve indicator)
Limited edition of 60 movements