With a long and notable history spanning back almost two hundred years, the fortunes of the Bovet watch company have enjoyed significant ups and some pretty low downs over the decades, eventually being passed around through the hands of a succession of new owners at the end of the twentieth century like an unloved pet, before finally being acquired in 2001 by Pascal Raffy, the man who would take the brand by the reins and wrest it into a vivacious specialist jewel in the crown of traditional Swiss watchmaking.
Calling on a 1930’s Bovet ‘easel’ pocket watch from his own personal collection for inspiration, the 19Thirty Fleurier is a beautifully manufactured piece in this classic style, and representative of the uncompromising standards Raffy has instilled in this once again flourishing watch brand.
Encased in a gleaming round 42mm case of polished stainless steel, its pocket watch lineage is instantly obvious, and its profile pure and unbroken, thanks to the position of the crown (and bow strap attachment) at its top. A single lug at the bottom and the 1930’s original look is complete.
Beneath the gently domed sapphire crystal, the view is breathtaking. Amidst the radiating arcs of immaculately finished Côtes de Genève which adorn the bare metal surface, the time only display is shared across two circular brushed blue dials which are affixed by four blue screws to the dial plate. Among the subtle touches which have been lifted from Raffy’s own beloved ‘easel’ piece, the stylised arabic numerals and elegant hour and minute hands are faithful reproductions of the original.
The slightly smaller decentralised seconds dial is signed ‘7 Jours’ in calligraphy, proclaiming the very impressive seven day power reserve, considering there’s only a single barrel. The reserve is displayed in one of two recessed semi circular panels either side of the dials.
On the underside, the manual winding masterpiece entirely fills out the inner case. As the new ownership had acquired and rebranded as Dimier an old movement company (they also own the dial factory too), the Calibre 19Thirty is entirely designed and manufactured in house and the levels of hand worked finishing is superb. The large plates have bold Côtes de Genève arcs and they open on the polished gears and the beating balance and escapement, surrounded by blue screws and rich pink rubies.