The “Braveheart” tourbillon, which is one of the finalists in the tourbillon category at this year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (and the personal favourite of at least two of our contributors), sets new standards in terms of timekeeping thanks to its lightweight construction and over three weeks of power reserve. But this technology, combined with the exquisite decoration of the piece, makes for an eye-watering price tag that puts this extraordinary timepiece within reach of only a very select clientele.
This makes Bovet’s new 19Thirty collection all the more logical and all the more significant. It’s important to stress that this is a complete new collection, with two different cases, three different dial colours and a further three types of numerals, adding up to a total of 18 individual references. The 19Thirty is available with both the Dimier and Fleurier cases (although the latter comes without the convertible function found on the Amaedo models). It is also the first time that such cases come in stainless steel for a Bovet collection.
Pascal Raffy, Bovet’s owner, found the inspiration for the new collection in one of the last pocket watches to be produced by the company. The so-called “easel chronometer” in his private collection is a pocket chronometer that features a fold-out stand and a modest case diameter that is barely bigger than the 42mm of the new 19Thirty collection, a size that was chosen specifically for its universal appeal.
A new movement, the 15 ¾-line calibre 15BM04, has been developed specifically to fill this case. The new manually wound calibre operates at 21,600 vibrations per hour and guarantees a power reserve of seven days using just one mainspring. It has a totally symmetrical construction that is also mirrored on the dial side with the power reserve indicator visible opposite the barrel.
One thing that may seem self-evident, but which is surprisingly rare in the watch world, is that each case type, dial colour and numeral choice is available in combination. In other words you can have the ivory, black or blue dial with Arabic, Roman or Chinese numerals in the Dimier or Fleurier cases, the former with the crown at 12 o’clock and the latter with the crown at 3 o’clock, with the dial rotated through 90 degrees.
The new 19Thirty collection completes the product pyramid of Bovet, which was lacking an entry-level product with what is, at least for Bovet, a relatively simple complication. It is available from around 16,800 Swiss francs excluding tax – still expensive but now accessible to a much broader clientele to discover the exceptional talents of this “manufacture” in the true sense of the French word. Even more incredible in the watch industry is that the watches are already being delivered to coincide with their launch.
Click on the photo at the top of this article to see a slideshow of Bovet 19Thirty collection.