t stands to reason that skeletonised timepieces are particularly appealing, because they put all the mechanical complexity on full display. In the 22 years since Mr Pascal Raffy took the helm of Bovet, he has insisted on making sure the movement is visible, its haute horlogerie pedigree open to be admired, while at the same time reinforcing the House’s commitment to the decorative arts. The new Bovet 1822 Virtuoso XI, the very first full skeleton timepiece the House has ever introduced, takes this logic one step further.
- Combining skeletonisation with the highest level of decoration on both sides of the movement’s components: the engravers at Bovet love a challenge, and the engraving of the Virtuoso XI is a triumph of human touch and artistry – even the minute train bridge is engraved. Housed in a 18K white gold case, the movement uses Bovet’s patented double-side flying tourbillon, and the hair spring and regulating organ are entirely made in-house.
The delicate dance when skeletonising a movement is to remove enough material to enhance the aesthetics and completely show the inner workings, while still keeping the movement robust enough to function impeccably. However, Mr Raffy wasn’t content with just applying the art of skeletonisation for this timepiece. He was determined to do something that had never been done before: engrave both sides of the movement’s components.
In normal skeletonised watches, the movements are often tightly packed without much room in between the bridges and wheels, so engraving both sides is too difficult and would be pointless because it would not be visible. With the Virtuoso XI, the movement was specifically conceived and designed from the start to have enough space to engrave both sides of the bridges and plates, and room to admire them, and the result is exceptional.
Production of the Virtuoso XI is severely limited, due to the time it takes to engrave and finish each movement and case, and the meticulousness needed at every step – the artisans at Bovet can only produce one or two a month.
Price on demand