One of the most extraordinary horologic creations from any manufacturer in recent times, the Récital 22 Grand Récital by Bovet is a breathtaking piece of sophisticated and immensely complex innovation, in which the display of time is illustrated in a three dimensional perspective, where the earth rotates in its 24 hour cycle while the moon orbits around it and the sun is depicted in a captivating animation, and even that is only part of the story of this incredible, award winning masterpiece.
An imposing wristwatch in every regard, the Grand Récital is encased in a 46mm case of polished 950/1000 platinum, which tapers wedge-like from top to bottom, so the dial is tilted towards the eye, and has been designed as an integral part of the movement which beats within, to accommodate and accentuate the myriad of indications and tellurium-orrery features of the sun, moon and earth on display.
The watch is entirely manufactured in house, and is based around its perpetual calendar mechanism, and so it features day, date, month, year and leap year, with the moon phases too, although most of these indications are revealed on the underside.
Up on top, beneath the exaggerated dome of sapphire crystal, the dial is a three dimensional extravaganza of mechanical complexity. It is dominated by a beautiful blue and green demi-globe which is orbited by a little spherical moon which rotates all the way around it, passing through the changing phases as it goes in its cycle of precisely 29.53 days. An astronomic trilogy is completed with the sun characterised in the magnificent flying tourbillon, with a tiny golden sun motif atop of the tourbillon cage turning once every sixty seconds. The hand painted earth is rotating too, and around its edge the twenty-four hours are marked and align with the tip of the bridge which separates earth from the sun.
Thus the current hour is indicated, while to the left of the globe the minutes are shown in a retrograde display on one of two semi-circular dials which create the symmetric balance of the face of the watch. The other is marked from 9 to 0 and shows the remaining power reserve in day units, while immediately below, another conical spindle performs the same task in a graphic display. The other function on the face side is the date which is viewed through the circular aperture to the left of the tourbillon.
Turned over, and the sapphire caseback reveals not only the beautiful hand decorated arcs of Côtes de Genève striping, but a compendium of complications too, as here the day, date (again), month, and leap year cycle, as well as even the current hour are displayed.
A feat of horologic engineering and exceptional hand crafted finesse, the hand winding movement is comprised of no fewer than 636 individual components, and it is therefore impressive that the fully-wound barrel has a nine day power reserve, but that is due to the utterly exacting precision of fit and finish of each and every one of those parts, to ensure smooth and frictionless interaction, and thereby less demanding on the energy supply.
A spectacular masterpiece of exquisitely executed haute horlogerie by an independent company which manufactures each piece in-house, in the centuries old tradition of hand crafted artisanale watchmaking, the Récital 22 Grand Récital by Bovet has won plaudits and acclaim from around the world, but most significantly of all, the cherished Best in Show Aiguille d’Or award for outright watch of the year in the 2018 industry ‘Oscars’ ceremony, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.