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Bovet - Récital 18, The Shooting Star®

Bovet Récital 18, The Shooting Star®

This innovative timepiece offers an hemispheric representation of the universal worldwide time and moon phases.

The Recital 18 The Shooting Star® features a 5-day tourbillon, an hemispheric universal worldwide time with selectable time zone and ultra-compact 24 cities indicator, an hemispheric precision moon phase, jumping hours and retrograde minutes.

Based on the principle that observing the stars has served as a basis for defining time since the dawn of humanity, Pascal Raffy and his watchmakers deliberately looked through the wrong side of their loupes. They were able to gain enough distance to observe the rhythm of the Earth’s revolutions on its axis—and of its elliptical journey around its star, or indeed the ceaseless circles drawn by its natural satellite, the moon. The simple change in perspective brought about by taking this step back helped the observers to gain an overview of the dance of the planets and to grasp its complexity with disconcerting clarity.
As well as understanding the various astral phenomena related to the measurement of time, this newfound perspective also enables us to tell the time in all regions of the globe simultaneously. And it was precisely this broader universal vision that governed the development of this timepiece. Seen from space, the spherical shape of the Earth enables us to observe only half of the surface at a time. Thus was born the idea of representing the entire globe in a single hemisphere. A cartographer was specially commissioned to design this atypical and hitherto unknown 3D map of the world.


A first hemisphere was thus chosen to represent the Earth and enable the reading of universal time, which is displayed in three dimensions at 3 o’clock. A hand affixed to the North Pole—that is the axis of our hemisphere—follows its curve. It can be assigned to any one of the 24 time zones selected by the user. At its tip, a concentric ring displays the time in the chosen time zone, while the name of the city corresponding to that time zone appears on one of the two concentric rollers indexed to the hemisphere. The time zone hand is another first. Never before had the manufacturer produced a hemispheric hand, with all the difficulties inherent in the high quality required.
The 24-hour ring that surrounds the globe also enables instant reading of the time anywhere in the world. To link the hand of the second time zone to a specific city, simply press the center of the crown. With each successive press, the needle jumps by an angular value of 15°, representing the exact value of the time zone. This action also activates the rollers and the names of the cities corresponding to the time zones indicated by the hand are displayed in sequence.

The choice of two concentric rollers to indicate the cities offers the two-fold advantage of taking up little space whilst providing exemplary readability. The outer roller displays 11 cities simultaneously, then makes way for a window, which opens an aperture to the second roller—arranged concentrically inside the first roller—and displaying the 12th city. This inner roller then turns in order to display the 13 subsequent cities in the aperture. The whole system is controlled by a column wheel.

The moon phase indicator is also in the form of a hemisphere. Two circular apertures follow the curve of this lunar globe and indicate the age of the moon as seen from the northern and southern hemispheres respectively.
The moon and the starry sky succeed each other in both windows and, although unusual, this representation of the time is both realistic and intuitive. Its highly precise mechanism only requires correction by one day every 122 years.

Each hemisphere is machined in a single piece and their surfaces engraved with the correct relief. The oceans are then filled with luminescent blue material. The craters on the moon are all in white luminous material while the sky and space glow a deep blue in the darkness.


As near to the mainplate as possible, a flat sapphire disc displays the hours, which are revealed when positioned on a lacquered plate. This digital display makes for easy and immediate reading of the time. In the center of the display, a curved dial displays the exceptional five-day power reserve. A third stratum dominates this ensemble. This section indicates the minutes by means of a retrograde hand. The combination of jumping hours and retrograde minutes raises the technical problem of the synchronization of instantaneous jumps—a complication perfectly mastered inhouse and which has already met with resounding success in other timepieces in the collection. As usual, the dials were manufactured in-house. The juxtaposed surfaces of the curved dials result in a perfect surface, whether in white or in aventurine!

The Shooting Star® Tourbillon is perfectly designed for travel because the corrector enables the hour disk to be adjusted without affecting the minutes, seconds, universal time or indexed time zone. The pushpiece is simply pressed and the watch is easily readjusted to the latest time zone being visited.

To drive all of the complications, the two barrels generate five days of power reserve, all controlled by a tourbillon balance oscillating at 21,600 vph. Three blued masses are positioned on the golden serge, inspired by the shape of the arches that adorned the balances of BOVET pocket watches in the 19th century. The DIMIER escapement and its specific centering guarantee exemplary performance. Like all components used in the manufacture of BOVET movements, the Shooting Star® is regulated by a hair spring manufactured in the in-house workshops. Performing each of its revolutions in one minute, the tourbillon features a triple seconds-hand, unusually placed under the tourbillon and following a subtly tampoprinted graduation inside the crystal, for a clear and original display.

The decoration of the movement of this Shooting Star® Tourbillon perfectly matches its originality, technical complexity and innovations: the stars, hemispheres and the carriage and tourbillon bridges are hand-engraved.

The incline that describes the movement between the top of the minutes dial and the tourbillon, and the use of the hemispheres, naturally necessitated a new direction for the design of the case which is completely consistent with the vision of this timepiece. A domed sapphire crystal with a very pronounced curve therefore crowns the case of this Shooting Star® Tourbillon. To open the world of this timepiece to the infinite, the watch middle follows a pronounced oblique incline along the 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock axis. The hours disk corrector is positioned at 12 o’clock, for a supremely ergonomic display and positioning that confirm the symmetry of the watch.
The presence of a total of seven domes, including the four hemispheres of the movement, the dials, the tourbillon carriage and the upper crystal lend the ultimate finishing touch to this timepiece. The 2016 edition is limited to 50 pieces.


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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.

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