All present and correct. The 19Thirty collection, which Bovet 1822 recently unveiled, takes in each of the signature features that we have come to associate with the brand. From the perlage and circular Côtes de Genève to the openings in the dial, from the symmetrical subdials to the rounded case, no detail has been overlooked so that these, Bovet’s first steel watches, have no reason to feel any less special than their illustrious predecessors. All the more so given their inspiration. Pascal Raffy, who owns the brand, delved into his private collection and returned with an “easel” chronometer, one of the very last pocket watches to have been made by Bovet, in the 1930s, at a time when wristwatches were making ever greater inroads. The 19Thirty collection takes the numerals and hands of this “easel” chronometer and sets them in an uncluttered aesthetic that is further evidenced by the two case options. Firstly the Fleurier case with crown and bow at 12 o’clock, a hallmark of Bovet, and secondly the more traditional Dimier case with its four lugs and crown at 3 o’clock.
To ensure these 19Thirty watches are as precise as they are elegant.
Precision above all
This marriage of steel with a “simple” hand-wound movement, with small seconds and a single barrel delivering a seven-day power reserve, illustrates Bovet’s determination to flesh out the base of its product pyramid. It also explains the rapidity – less than a year – with which the brand brought the project from drawing board to fruition. The economic situation of recent months no doubt played its part in shaping a strategy that sees the 19Thirty collection arrive in stores at the same time as it is officially unveiled. And all of this is taking place just as the Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart sets out on its quest to bring home one of the prizes at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. A Braveheart with flying tourbillon, retrograde minutes, double coaxial seconds, 22-day power reserve and six patents that gives the full measure of Bovet’s expertise.
Whichever end of the spectrum, whatever the timepiece, Bovet has only one concern – the chronometric performance of its movements – and has gone to great lengths to ensure these 19Thirty watches are as precise as they are elegant. The collection spans 18 styles, with a choice of black, blue or ivory dial, Arabic, Roman or Chinese numerals, and two cases. The Chinese iteration is, of course, a tip of the hat to Bovet’s immense popularity in the Celestial Empire in the early twentieth century that won’t go amiss in the Chinese market today.