In watchmaking circles, the name Bovet conjures an approach to horology with a distinctly decorative flair. Founded in the Swiss village of Fleurier in 1822, the firm manufactures timepieces that are elaborate, gilded and complex—perfect for lovers of ornate, classical and high-end timekeeping.
The brand embellishes that reputation with its newest wristwatch, the Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two. Like the brand’s previous releases, the Chapter Two tells a complicated horological story in an ornamental style that could never be confused for another maker.
Enclosed within a 44 mm 18k red or white gold case that combines two of Bovet’s signature case styles, the Fleurier and the Dimier, the wristwatch features a flying tourbillon finished to perfection. The surfaces of the bridges that span the whirring mechanical device are hand decorated with a circular “Côtes de Genève” motif.
The artistry on the openworked dial, however, is the watch’s main talking point. With two symmetrical subdials in starry blue aventurine forming a horizontal figure eight—the one on the left indicates the model’s impressive 10 days of power reserve, while the one on the right displays the model’s oversized date—the face of the watch is at once artistic and functional. Gold-tipped hands indicate the hours and minutes, while an index affixed to the tourbillon cage wheel displays the seconds.
Noteworthy is the fact that the model’s hand-wound movement features a single barrel as well as a spherical differential winding system that eliminates the need for excessive winding.
Speaking of winding, pocket watch collectors will recognize in the look and feel of the Chapter Two a characteristic of many Bovet wristwatches: They feature a pocket watch-like construction, with crowns distinctly positioned at 12 o’clock, a throwback to the historic models beloved by the watchmaker’s Chinese clientele nearly 200 years ago.
Available in a limited edition of 39 pieces, the Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two retails for $178,000.