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BOVET 1822 SIHH 2019 Virtuoso IX

Double Time Zone 10-Day Power Reserve Big Date Flying Tourbillon

When imagining a new timepiece, BOVET 1822 owner Pascal Raffy relentlessly questions his contemporary interpretation to ensure a coherence and harmony with the historical heritage of the Maison.

If, like Mr. Raffy, we look at the watchmaking practice of the Bovet brothers at the dawn of the 19th century, we quickly discover that they perfectly mastered traditional watchmaking and the decorative arts of the Académie. However, at the same time, they expressed a very contemporary and innovative vision, both technically and stylistically.

If art and watchmaking experts recognize the work of the Bovet brothers in all this diversity, it is because the common denominator between academic tradition and this innovative, contemporary vision has always been quality. An uncompromising quality in the service of reliability, chronometry, elegance, and good taste. Achieving this subtle balance is the mission Pascal Raffy has given himself in the design of the Tourbillon Amadéo® Fleurier Virtuoso IX.

This all-new caliber is housed in a 46.30-mm diameter Fleurier Amadéo® convertible case. A true icon of the Maison, the Amadéo® system transforms the timepiece into a reversible wristwatch, a pocket watch, or a table clock without the use of any tools. Additionally, the Virtuoso IX case is equipped with a secret opening mechanism. The case back can be opened by simply applying pressure to the crown. The proven ergonomics of the Fleurier case make this timepiece one that is suited for everyday wear.

In the same vein, its features and complications will always be of use to the collector, both over time and throughout their travels.

Only the minute hand is centered on the dial. The hour hand is offset at 2 o’clock. A second hour hand is positioned at 10 o’clock, making the reasoning behind the separate hand-fitting clear. This 24-hour hand displays a second time zone. Both local time and the secondary time zone thus share the minute hand, which is logically positioned at the center. The secondary time zone is supplemented by an indication with a city name corresponding to the time zone displayed. Two lateral correctors make adjusting and selecting a time zone easy. Additionally, these correctors can take into account the differences between daylight savings time and standard time in the time zones displayed. 

A big date indication is logically part of this combination of complications. Its aperture opens wide without separating the tens from the units. The ingenuity of the Maison’s watchmakers allows the date to be displayed as big as possible while minimizing the space required for its mechanism. The date is logically positioned on the right part of the dial as it is associated with the local time zone. 

The power reserve indicator sits at 8 o’clock, mirroring the big date indicator and brings a sense of balance to the dial. As the Virtuoso IX has over 10 days of power reserve, this information is all the more useful. 

By virtue of the timepiece’s reversibility, it boasts an entirely new face when you turn it over. No dial here. The sapphire crystals provide a view of the movement. On this face, the hours and minutes are centered. The openwork bridges evoke the iconic architecture of 19th century BOVET movements. Their surface is engraved with a sparkling "bris de verre" motif. Once engraved, chamfered and entirely decorated the bridges are coated with a blue CVD treatment, which contrasts beautifully with the rhodium plated platinum. This color combination was already a favorite of the Bovet brothers, who would normally use it on polished mirror-like or finely engraved surfaces for a truly avant-garde concept of time.

On this same face, those with a keen-eye for detail will notice a circular opening at 12 o’clock that reveals an uncommon mechanism. This is the spherical differential winding system, a system that holds two patents. The Virtuoso IX thus gets 10 days of power reserve from a unique barrel. This feature demonstrates how the technicians and watchmakers at Maison BOVET have completely mastered the art of power reserve. The drawback of such a feat would be the time required to wind this type of spring. The differential spherical system ingeniously solves this by halving the number of turns of the crown required to fully wind the timepiece without increasing the torque of the winding mechanism.

For optimal chronometry, the movement is regulated by the patented double face flying tourbillon. In this innovative construction, the tourbillon’s fixed point is at the center of its axis. Its distribution on either side of the balance-spring and escarpment significantly reduces the lever arm effect and improves the chronometry. The variable-inertia balance-wheel is based on the traditional balance-spring made in the Manufacture BOVET 1822 workshops. This is a science that less than ten watchmakers in the world have mastered, and which allows BOVET 1822 to obtain the best performance possible through complete quality control and the pairing of the balance-wheel and balance-spring. Between technicality and aesthetic refinement, the bridge carriage alone requires two days of labor to decorate and to round the arms before receiving the faceted sapphire, which sits magnificently on it.

The true face of the timepiece, the dial, is by definition the most looked at component. With the Virtuoso IX, the Maison’s dial craftsmen once again showcase the extent of their combined talent. The base of the dial is finely guilloched with a sumptuous fan motif. Eight layers of translucent lacquer are then applied before the surface of the dial is polished. The flinqué dial is bathed in blue tones and highlights, reminiscent of the richness of 19th century enamels. As much for readability as for elegance, the hour contours and second gradations have a circular satin and rhodium finish. 

Available in white gold, red gold or platinum, the Virtuoso IX is the culmination of two centuries of uncompromising artisan watchmaking history and watchmaking art in its noblest form. This tradition is backed by numerous innovations, as the four patents of this particular timepiece demonstrate. In keeping with the achievements of the Bovet brothers, these innovations serve: comfort, reliability, precision, elegance and aesthetics.

Because at BOVET, innovation is also a tradition. Since 1822.

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