Bovet is known for its highly finished and complicated movements in wristwatches that can be converted to pocket watches or table clocks. The Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two is a flying tourbillon, with a Côtes de Genève finish on the movement and flying tourbillon escapement with a 10-day power reserve. The latest model keeps these features but gets a modern facelift with a blast of Super-LumiNova, the luminescent material that only debuted in the watch industry in the 1990s.
Usually, it is applied to hands and indexes, but here it is applied to the large subdials and the seconds index ring at 6 o’clock, for a blast of glow-in-the-dark color that thoroughly modernizes the Virtuoso VIII. There is a range of color options: yellow, blue, salmon, turquoise, green or violet. Each color will be produced in a series of eight timepieces.
The movement’s openworked structure is modern, despite its traditional complication: It is packed with 356 components and a flying tourbillon escapement with an impressive 10-day power reserve on a single barrel. It is contained in a 44 mm case with a crown at 12 o’clock, which has become a Bovet signature. Like the movement design, the new titanium case in DLC coating offers a less conventional look.
The case is Bovet’s signature “writing slope style,” which means it is at its thickest at 12 o’clock and then gradually becomes thinner sloping toward 6 o’clock, something that becomes obvious when viewed from the side. A sapphire crystal aperture in the case side opens up a view of the movement. There are two main subdials: one on the left which prominently displays the 10-day power reserve and one on the right with the logo and oversized date in an antique font. Both are larger-than-life indicators for those functions, and together they represent a horizontal numeral 8, symbolizing luck, perfection, and infinity. Hours and minutes are clocked by central hands, but there is no central peripheral index. The large subdial at 6 o’clock displays the tourbillon escapement, which tracks seconds as it rotates against a luminated index. The date is easily adjusted by pressing down on the sapphire cabochon tip of the crown and Bovet’s patented spherical differential winding system means it can be wound with half the number of usual crown turns.
It comes on an alligator leather strap, is water-resistant to 30 meters and will set you back $230,000.