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Bovet 1822 - Récital 22 grand récital

Bovet 1822 Récital 22 grand récital

Both Tourbillon and Tellurion*

Watchmaking was born out of astronomy; measuring time began when people started observing the stars. As its name suggests, Bovet’s Récital 22 performs a remarkable watchmaking recital, bringing together the movement of the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun in a captivating, heavenly dance trio.

Ever since humankind first started to take an interest in the passage of time and measuring it, our lives have been governed by the regular movements of heavenly bodies. The notion of time as we know it today is based on human perception, while its passage is measured on the basis of the Earth’s cyclical movement with respect to the stars and planets.

Bovet has explored this theme in a fascinating series of astronomical watches that offer a poetic take on time, bringing into play both art and science in equal measure. Unveiled in 2016, the first instalment was its Récital 18 Shooting Star, a tourbillon boasting a five-day power reserve, jumping hours, retrograde minutes, double hemisphere moon phase as well as a world time display. One year later came an invitation to explore the stars: the Récital 20 Astérium, a watch regulated by a flying tourbillon with a 10-day power reserve plus equation of time, seasons, moon phase, and annual calendar indications. The Récital 22 Grand Récital constitutes the grand finale of this exceptional trilogy, offering a celebration of the three heavenly bodies that dictate the rhythm of our lives: the Earth, Moon and Sun.

Récital 22 grand récital

Récital 22 Grand Récital © Bovet 1822

Within this miniature tellurion, the Sun is represented by a patented double-sided flying tourbillon that rotates above the movement as if in mid-air. The tourbillon cage’s five rounded arms take the form of sunbeams. The 60 seconds it takes to complete its rotation allow seconds to be displayed by means of a marker fixed directly to the cage wheel, which moves across a 120° arc graduated in twenty-second increments.

At 12 o’clock, the Earth indicates the hours on a 24-hour basis. The especially realistic map on its surface is first engraved, then hand-painted, complete with a luminous coating. Beneath the globe, the time is denoted by means of a polished titanium 3D hour-markers, located between the tourbillon and the globe. The astronomically precise moon phase (which requires correcting only once every 122 years) rotates around the globe’s circumference. The power reserve and retrograde minutes are indicated on the two sectors located either side of the globe.

Last but not least, the date is displayed at 7 o’clock, beneath a magnifying glass. Rather than a conventional, straightforward date, this is a perpetual calendar. Only the date, the main piece of information needed for everyday use, is displayed on the dial side, while all the other information provided by the perpetual calendar required to set the watch is on the rear, together with another display of the date – a feat made possible by the use of a two-sided disc activated by a retrograde mechanism with a tiny, patented rack.

Although the calendar indications can be corrected individually using the correctors incorporated into the caseband, the Récital 22 also includes a quick and ingenious correction system: the rectangular pusher located between the lugs at 12 o’clock allows all of a given day’s indications to be moved forward at once. This means that if the watch has stopped for three days, three pushes are all it takes to reset the perpetual calendar in its entirety.

Récital 22 grand récital

Récital 22 Grand Récital © Bovet 1822

The movement inside Bovet’s Récital 22 Grand Récital is the manual-winding 17DM05-TEL calibre. Comprising no less than 656 components, it operates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour, while barrel provides a power reserve of up to nine days. The movement is housed in the Dimier ‘writing-desk’ case, whose sloped, asymmetrical design is inseparable from the movement’s structure. This unique architecture opens up a new opportunity for the 3D take on reading the time invented by Pascal Raffy and Bovet’s watchmakers, and allows the watch to fit snugly on the wrist despite its imposing dimensions: 46.3mm in diameter and 19.6mm thick.

As well as being impressive from a technical point of view, the Grand Récital is also a masterpiece of arts and crafts. The three-dimensional mechanical microcosm is literally bathed in light, revealing a host of captivating details. Vividly embodying the brand’s demanding ethos, every aspect of production and finishing is quite simply outstanding.

The Récital 22 Grand Récital de Bovet won the acclaimed “Aiguille d’Or” award at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2018.

*This year GMT Magazine and WorldTempus have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years of the Tourbillon in  The Millennium Watch Book - Tourbillons, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book - Tourbillons is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English.


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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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