Bovet is a brand that we haven't feature enough at WCL but the Bovet Récital 18 The Shooting Star is one of those mystical watches that can't go unattended. A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of being around this fascinating timepiece and we couldn't miss the opportunity to work on a hands-on review of our favorite watch from this manufacture. Bovet was formally established in Fleurier in the canton of Neuchâtel in 1822 by Edouard Bovet and his three brothers Alphonse, Frédéric and Gustave. Rapidly, Bovet became one of the most prominent watch companies supplying the Chinese Empire with refined and sophisticated timepieces in the nineteenth century along with other brands like Jaquet Droz. In 2001, 179 years after being found, Mr. Pascal Raffy became the sole proprietor at Bovet Fleurier SA and took the brand to the next level. The Bovet Récital 18 The Shooting Star in 18K rose gold is a perfect example of that. Perhaps what we like the most about the Récital 18 The Shooting Star is the fact that the watch is fitted with a traditional watch case instead of the Bovet Amadeo system —a case construction that that offers the ability to turn the wristwatch into a desk watch or a pocket watch. Originally available in a limited edition of 50 pieces in 18K white gold, the 18K red gold version we have here is even more special and more beautiful. Fitted with a case measuring 46 mm in diameter, this is an exceptional timepiece designed with modern watch case size preferences in mind.
The Bovet 1822 Récital 18 The Shooting Star is not only very impressive from a visual standpoint but it's also a true horological feat that is one of the finalists for the GPHG 2016 —Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève. This 5-day Tourbillon is also equipped with jumping hours, retrograde minutes, triple hand seconds indicator, power reserve indicator, a hemispherical universal time with 24-city revolving dual roller and hemispherical double moon phase indicator.
Without a doubt, the Bovet 1822 Récital 18 The Shooting Star is one of the greatest complications we've reviewed and a watch that is definitely one of our favorites to be awarded a prize at the upcoming GPHG 2016. Offering a new interpretation of universal time with a map representing the entire Earth contained in a single hemisphere, has been specially created for this timepiece. This half-globe located at 3 o'clock rotates over 24 hours inside a fixed ring divided into 24 zones. For enhanced comfort and functionality, an assignable time zone is indicated by a hand that follows the chosen meridian, its tip pointing to the time in the chosen time zone. Meanwhile, a concentric dual-roller city indicator clearly displays the name of a city situated on the meridian indicated by the small white hand. This universal time zone hand is a first for Bovet as never before had they produced a hemispheric fully curved hand. By following a straight line from the center of the globe the tip of the hand will point to the exact time in the selected time zone.
The outer roller displays 11 cities simultaneously, then makes way for a window, which opens an aperture to the second roller—arranged concentrically inside the first roller—and displaying the 12th city. This inner roller then turns in order to display the 13 subsequent cities in the aperture. The whole system is controlled by a column wheel.
Providing a useful complement to the universal time indicator, a highly precise double moon phase indicator with north and south rings —Nord/Sud— in a half-globe is located at 9 o'clock. Enhanced realism has been created by the engraved lunar reliefs and oceans. The surface of the moon is outlined in white superluminova while the sky and oceans have been meticulously coated in blue superluminova.
Supported by a hand-engraved bridge, a 60-second tourbillon with seconds indicator is located at 6 o'clock. And just like the cherry on top of the cake, the bridge supporting the tourbillon is fitted with a brilliant-cut diamond in a gold chaton.
At 12 o'clock one can see the jumping hours indicated by a sapphire crystal disc with black Arabic numerals. The jumping hours are positioned right underneath the power reserve indicator that is located below the retrograde minutes indicator. Blued hands accentuate the time reading operation against a white background. All parts of the dial were created in-house by Bovet and the attention to detail is simply impressive.
The Case, Crown & Pusher
Fitted with an 18K rose gold case with satin-brushed finish and mirror polished lugs and bezel, the Bovet Récital 18 The Shooting Star features a crown with black sapphire cabochon integrated pusher and second rectangular pusher located between the lugs at 12 o'clock. These pushers are perfectly designed for travel because it allows the wearer to make adjustments to the time indication without affecting the minutes. To select a second time zone, the wearer needs to press the pusher at the center of the crown. With each successive press, the needle jumps by an angular value of 15°, representing the exact value of the time zone. This action also activates the rollers and the names of the cities corresponding to the time zones indicated by the hand are displayed in sequence. The pusher at 12 o'clock will set the jumping hours as necessary for home/local time.
The Bovet 1822 Récital 18 The Shooting Star is fitted with a very supple brown alligator strap with rolled edges and fitted with a beautiful matching pin buckle.
Entirely hand engraved, the movement of the Bovet 1822 Récital 18 The Shooting Star is a true masterpiece and a real treat for the eyes. This manual wound movement equipped with two barrels provides a power reserve of 5 days when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph —3 Hz. Three blued masses are positioned on the golden serge, inspired by the shape of the arches that adorned the balances of Bovet pocket watches in the 19th century. The Dimier escapement and its specific centering guarantee exemplary performance. Of course, like all components used in the manufacture of Bovet movements, the Shooting Star is regulated by a hair spring manufactured in-house —an art mastered by less than ten watch manufactures around the world. Performing each of its revolutions in one minute, the tourbillon features a triple seconds-hand, unusually placed under the tourbillon and following a subtly tampoprinted graduation inside the crystal.
Additionally, two patents were filled by Bovet for this amazing truly in-house movement. One concerned the adjustable ruby runners that enable the rotation of both hemispheres by liberating their central axis and the second for the ingenious corrector system integrated into the crown that delivers constant and separate power to the two mechanisms it drives, ensuring a perfectly optimized and secure ensemble.
All the components making up the movement and exterior of this timepiece were developed and manufactured by Bovet and its Manufacture Dimier. The movement itself is entirely hand-engraved with a poetic vision of the stars and in an exceptional manner.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the Bovet 1822 Récital 18 The Shooting Star in 18K red gold is simply out of this world and a timepiece that leaves you in awe as you stare at it. The watch wears a couple millimeters smaller and more like a 44 mm timepiece. This exceptional timepiece is a perfect example of what a true watch manufacture can accomplish when the sky is the limit. Beautiful, exceptional, superb and very special are some of the words that come to mind when strapping this timepiece to your wrist.
Sticker Price $315,000 USD. For more info on Bovet click here.