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Bovet 1822 - What to Take Away?

Bovet 1822 What to Take Away?

Introducing the Virtuoso XI, Bovet’s first fully skeletonized timepiece

Looking through the sapphire crystal of Bovet’s latest Virtuoso timepiece is like stepping through the wardrobe in C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  There is a whole world to get lost in that goes way beyond the world of fine timekeeping. 

Since it was founded in 1822, Bovet has always given as much importance to the decorative elements of its timepieces as it has the mechanics. Engraving, miniature painting, enamelling, gem-setting, sugar crystal dials, and movement finishing are pushed to the limits alongside chronometric precision, choice of complications, and user experience. The proof is in timepieces such as the Battista Tourbillon, the Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two, and the Orbis Mundi that we have covered on WorldTempus recently and showcase just what the Bovet Manufacture can do.

With timepieces at this level, Bovet’s artisans could just produce more of the same, but there is never a cap on creativity at Bovet; it is blue sky thinking all the way as this new Virtuoso XI proves so eloquently. 

The Very First Fully Skeletonized Bovet Timepiece

Surprising as it may seem, this is the first fully skeletonized timepiece by Bovet. The movement is based on the Virtuoso VIII patented double-sided flying tourbillon calibre with its 10-days of power reserve and a patented spherical rewinding system that cuts the winding time by half. 

What to Take Away?

Virtuoso XI © Bovet 1822

For the Virtuoso XI, this calibre has been totally reimagined and reengineered with the removal of the grand date and the repositioning of the gear train to allow a maximum amount of openwork in the most aesthetic way. Knowing how much material to remove from each component is an art in itself as take away too much and the movement will cease to function properly. It is a balancing act that requires an incredible amount of skill 

What’s the Difference?

But what’s the difference between Bovet and any other high-end skeletonized timepiece, you may ask? The main difference is that the Virtuoso XI is not only open-worked and decorated on one side, but on both sides of the movement, which is particularly rare. The next difference is the level of decoration on this timepiece, in particular the hand-engraving that adorns every single plate, bridge, and surface. Bovet’s artisans have decorated the movement with the Maison’s signature Fleurisanne motif, a pattern that finds its inspiration in the leaf decoration found on ancient Greek columns, and a task that takes around 60 hours for each timepiece. This additional work also adds to the rarity of piece as only one to two pieces can be produced each month.

What to Take Away?

Virtuoso XI © Bovet 1822

All the details

For the details, the Virtuoso XI comes in a 44 mm white gold writing slope case that can also be hand-engraved, highly polished, or set with diamonds. It is fitted with a black alligator leather strap and is water-resistant to 30 metres. It is certainly a piece to behold, and once you start looking at it, you really get lost in a mechanical wilderness. It is a bit like the wardrobe to Narnia, once you go through it, you are in a whole different world and you will want to linger just a little bit longer to soak up all the magic. 


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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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