A masterpiece of watch design and exceptional technical complexity, and certainly one for the connoisseur collector, the Monsieur Bovet is a remarkable piece with several distinct personalities, featuring a reversable case, offering two stunning display options, and which can also be detached completely from its strap, transforming itself into a pocket watch, or even standing upright as a small desk clock. Entirely hand manufactured in house it is exquisite in its finishing throughout and a stunning example of independent haute horlogerie.
In every way, a watch which stands out, the Monsieur Bovet is an extraordinary piece with its distinctive yet beautiful styling and the essence of traditional artisanal watchmaking which is evident in every minute detail, and a signature of an independent watch company with a prestigious history which began almost two hundred years ago.
Once famed and revered for the exquisite and exotic pocket watches, much cherished by the noble and privileged of the day for their exceptional beauty and luxurious panache, in the years following its establishment in 1822, Bovet enjoyed significant success and status for over a century until 1939 when thanks to the overwhelming popularity and practical adaptability of the modern wristwatch, the company’s fortunes dwindled and finally stagnated, and it fell into a slumber which lasted more than sixty years.
Brought back to life again in 2001 by its current owner, Mr Pascal Raffy, Bovet has emphatically not attempted to reinvent itself for the modern age, but instead has remained true to the classic styling and hand crafted horologic finesse of those early pocket watches, and in the Monsieur Bovet integrating those defining attributes into a quite magnificent convertible wristwatch.
Featuring displays on both sides, the polished white gold case of the Monsieur Bovet can be easily rotated along it central axis so, depending on mood or occasion, there are two dial options; one which fills the space within the perfectly round case, and the other which utilises the open worked movement as a background to a reduced decentralised dial, showing off the meticulous detailing and beauty of hand manufactured horology, and the craftsmanship of the master artisan watchmaker to captivating effect.
With its crown positioned in true pocket watch fashion at the twelve o’clock position, the Monsieur Bovet is perfectly round and does not have lugs at all, and instead an elaborate and beautifully engineered bow-like strap attachment allows the watch to be rotated through 180ª, or even detached altogether so not only does the watch have a choice of two displays, but it can be separated from its strap to become a pocket watch, or by extending the bezel ring which folds out on a hinge to create a stand, it can even be used as a little desk clock.
On one face, a black dial has finely tapering applied hour indices as well as roman numerals on the quarter hour, encircled by a thin minutes track around the periphery, with ornate hands, and a recessed subdial at the six for the small seconds. The dial is finished with a circular brushed grain, which reflects the light with a shimmer as it moves about on the wrist.
On the reverse face, the time is presented on a small decentralised dial, while below it a three pointed indicator shows the seconds, so the bridges and plate of the movement are exposed, with hand decorated Côtes de Genève which arcs across the surface, with a recess where the power reserve is indicated just above the balance and escapement.
The Monsieur Bovet is entirely manufactured in-house in the same Château de Môtiers where the company was based for most of its earlier history, and where sister company and movement specialist Dimier work side by side with its parent. Boasting a reserve of seven days on a full wind it operates at 21’600vib/h, and while hours, minutes and seconds might be considered as elementary, with both sets of hands-on each face moving counter-directional to each other, this is a deceptively complex feature of the in house Calibre 13BM09AI manual winding movement, which also boasts co-axial seconds for minimal friction and enhanced accuracy.
A truly outstanding watch in every sense, with its interchangeable personalities the Monsieur Bovet reflects the company’s rich history in a piece that is elegant, beautiful and individual.