From Fleurier to London to Guangzhou — it was a journey that created a whole new movement. 2018 marks 200 years since Swiss watchmaker Edouard Bovet arrived in China, carrying four timepieces “whose technical and aesthetic qualities were hitherto unseen”.
Bovet’s creations were an instant sensation, capturing the attention of local collectors and the royal court. Maison Bovet had arrived. The watchmaker’s success even went on to inspire his peers in Fleurier, creating a new category of Swiss-made “Chinese watches”.
To mark this key event in its history, Bovet released the Edouard Bovet Tourbillon ahead of SIHH 2018. The watch displays three different time zones in a new configuration — the local time zone occupies the traditional centre of the timepiece and includes a dome to indicate the day/ night cycle, while the additional time zones are displayed on two hemispherical domes that represent the Earth — the surface of each dome has been engraved with a world map, with the oceans part lowered and hand-coated with blue SuperLuminova.
A window that shows the name of the city also frames each dome — this can be adjusted using correctors on both sides of the case. The central hands are curved and fly over the protruding domes.
Functions: HMS, day/night, 2nd and 3rd time zones, 24-hour hand and 24-city disc / Case: Amadeo convertible system / Diameter: 46mm / Material: 18k red or white gold or platinum / Strap: Full skin alligator / Water resistance: 30m / Reserve: 10 days
The Edouard Bovet Tourbillon is based on the flying tourbillon architecture Bovet introduced in 2015. However, the brand adds that the comparison stops there — the movement has been fully redesigned and is truly original. The hand-wound calibre 16BM04-TT is assembled from 472 parts and operates at 18,000 vibrations per hour, a “frequency dear to the Bovet brothers and to purist watch collectors”. And in response to the hemispherical time displays, the carriage bridge brings balance to the timepiece with its three-dimensional double vault.
The brand chose titanium to make the carriage as light as possible, but concedes this choice of material didn’t make the artisan decorators’ task any easier.
And despite the triple-time zone complication — the movement has to drive eight hands and three hemispherical displays — the Edouard Bovet Tourbillon manages an impressive autonomy of more than 10 days with a single barrel. Bovet adds that the winding mechanism has been calculated and designed to ensure that only 75 turns of the crown are needed to provide these 10 days of power reserve. Moreover, the domes are made of titanium to minimise power consumption and to optimise the timepiece’s chronometry, while the pivots have been burnished and the teeth of each moving part have been cut “by hobbing with the greatest respect for artisanal tradition”.
The Edouard Bovet Tourbillon is housed in the innovative Amadeo convertible case that transforms the wristwatch into a table clock or a pocket watch, without requiring any tools. It also turns the timepiece into a reversible wristwatch — the second face featuring a dial displaying the hours and minutes, synchronised with the display of local time. This offset dial has been resized for increased readability.
Bovet fans will also appreciate that the one-minute rotation of the balance and cage is visible from both sides, while the clever design creates an illusion that the tourbillon is floating in the air.
The watch is available in red gold, white gold, or platinum. Only 60 pieces will be made.
The Amadeo Fleurier Monsieur Bovet goes from wrist to pocket to pendant watch