Bovet 1822 Bovet’s Brainstorm® Chapter One
The unique writing-desk case is for the first time presented in sapphire.
Bovet’s owner Pascal Raffy was clearly delighted to accept the “Aiguille d’Or” trophy for the Récital 22 Grand Récital at last year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève – the first time the company had won the most prestigious prize in watchmaking. But I like to think that, deep down inside, a small and almost mischievous part of this avid watch collector and connoisseur was even more delighted at what he knew would be coming less than six months later.
Bovet presented the Récital 26 Brainstorm® Chapter One at the SIHH earlier this year. The name alone, chosen by Mr Raffy himself, gives you an idea of the technical accomplishment of this timepiece. It may not be the first to feature the unique writing-desk sloped case, but it is the first for which this case has been produced in sapphire crystal. This extremely hard material is difficult enough to machine for a standard round watch case, but the asymmetrical profile of the case middle, the bezel and the crystal posed a particular challenge for the engineers involved. One elegant solution to some of the complexities involved in the construction was to make the case middle and upper crystal into a single component. The back consists of a bezel and four lugs in grade 5 titanium, with the bezel holding a sapphire crystal case back in place.
Récital 26 Brainstorm® Chapter One © Bovet 1822
The unique case of the Récital 26 Brainstorm® was designed to allow all the indications on the watch (hours, minutes, large date, moon phase and power reserve display) to be angled towards the wearer’s glance. But because of the case shape, an entirely new movement architecture was required, with the movement built up in a series of steps and the relevant complications built up on them. This allows the displays to be angled perpendicular to the shape of the curved bezel.
© Bovet 1822
The different indications take full advantage of the extra volume offered by the 48mm wide case. The slightly off-centre hour and minute hands sweep across a subsidiary dial with an opening at 12 o’clock that accommodates the three-dimensional moon phase display (which shows the phase for the northern and southern hemispheres using two blue aventurine discs). The power reserve is shown on a crescent scale between 3 and 4 o’clock and the large date is displayed opposite it between 8 and 9 o’clock. Like the translucent blue quartz dial, the sapphire disc for the units of the big date maintains the theme of transparency and allows the wearer to peer through the movement. The patented double-sided flying tourbillon floats seemingly in mid-air at 6 o’clock and carries a couple of very subtle details: two of the six arms on its carriage end in pointers that are 120 degrees apart, while the other three are screwed to the gear wheel. The gear wheel itself has a discreet pointer 120 degrees from each of the two pointers on the gear wheel. These three separate pointers can be used to read the seconds against an equally discreet scale that has been milled vertically into the lower segment of the dial.
© Bovet 1822
The Bovet Récital 26 Brainstorm® offers an impressive 10-day power reserve from a single mainspring barrel. Rather than heap up additional springs and barrels to ensure such a high level of autonomy, Bovet opts to minimize friction at the heart of the movement, using traditional skills. The emphasis is on saving power rather than adding it. Stocking 10 days of power into a single coiled spring would usually require a lot of winding, but Bovet has developed a patented spherical winding differential that halves the number of turns required to wind the movement.
In addition to the aforementioned blue quartz dial, an openworked aluminium dial in the shape of a propeller is also available. This finely finished dial also offers a glimpse of the movement beneath and can be personalized in accordance with the owner’s tastes, for example with different colours and hand engraving on the “blades” of the propeller. Even the design of the dial itself can be personalised, for example to have the same form as the wheels on the owner’s favourite car.
The Bovet Manufacture upholds the tradition of decorative arts applied to its delicately engraved, chased, enamelled, engine-turned or hand-painted cases, dials and movements, thus passing on the unrivalled knowhow that has been gracing the Firm’s collections and heritage since 1822.Find out more >
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