Pascal Raffy loves timepieces, has an extraordinary passion for attention to detail, and is a hard taskmaster – if it were not so, then Bovet 1822 would not have become the thriving high-end watchmaking company that we see today. Under his patronage, Bovet, one of the most successful and authentic of all the “re-awakened” watch companies is becoming ever-popular among enthusiasts and collectors throughout the world, eager for their technical, superbly crafted models.
Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Virtuoso III – A Watchmaking Quandary
The creation of the Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Virtuoso III presented a quandary – how to present a tourbillon and a perpetual calendar together on a dial, when such a pairing often struggle for domination. Mr Raffy had two very clear requirements, that the perpetual calendar should be readable and that the view of the tourbillon should not be compromised. This design required a re-think of the possibilities, and the result is a masterful display of watchmaking prowess.
Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Virtuoso III – Horological Trickery
A retrograde perpetual calendar display was chosen – not positioned in the usual centre dial location, but on the periphery. This choice enabled the hours and minutes to take up the more obvious central space, slightly reduced in size but no less readable, leaving an ample free portion for the exceptionally large days and months which are cleverly printed onto sapphire discs allowing a splendid view through to the mechanism. As a further aid to legibility, the calendar’s hand was placed beneath the hours and minutes dial with only its arrow visible on a graduated scale. The horological trickery of such a diminutive arc retrograde display required a specially devised millimetric rack – no easy feat but then, Mr. Raffy has the talented team of Dimier 1738 at his disposal. At the 12 o’clock position the leap year cycle and the power reserve are also indicated, adding to the wealth of information packed in to this stunning face. The exceptionally large tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock forms an alliance with the circumference of the dial to represent the fortuitous number “8” and there is depth and beauty to be discovered in its arrangement.
The Final Flourish – Reverse Hand-fitting
If that were all then this such a compendium of fine features and innovations would make for a marvellous timepiece of heirloom quality – but, this model also offers it wearer the astounding versatility of a reverse hand-fitting, allowing for the hours and minutes to be displayed on the rear side. Thanks to the ingenious Amadeo case, this piece has the ability to convert from wristwatch to table clock to pocket watch effortlessly, without the need for fiddly tools so in fact, the inclusion of a tourbillon with this particular model is not simply a demonstration of adept watchmaking, but an authentic aid to accuracy as the timekeeping abilities are challenged by its multi-positional capability. The reverse hand-fitting is displayed on a lacquered dial with twin plates offering the possibility of personalisation. As with everything which leaves the Bovet workshops expect meticulous attention to detail, and for this piece the Fleurier motif has even been included on all the surfaces of the bridges and plates.