Our thematic selections

Hall of Mechanical Virtuosity 2020


Español Français
July 2020

Hall of Mechanical Virtuosity 2020

In the absence of real-life watch fairs in 2020, with their greetings and handshakes, laughter and controversy, we invite you to browse through our Print Watch Fair special report. Here is our “Hall of Mechanical Virtuosity”, that includes horological creations by Bovet 1822, Jaquet Droz, Ulysse Nardin and Purnell.

1. VIRTUOSO VII by Bovet 1822

Usable as a wristwatch with a reversible strap, as a pocket watch or as a desk pendulette, the Virtuoso VII is a textbook example of what Bovet 1822 does. Technically perfect, its reversed hand-fitting enables it to display the hours, minutes and seconds on its two faces, one of which also shows the date, weekday, month and leap year. The whole thing is driven by a single mainspring barrel that provides the handwound movement with a power reserve of five days. Artistically, the dials of its two faces, set in a case of red or white gold, perfectly fulfil the high standard of decoration to which Bovet 1822 has accustomed us since its renaissance under the aegis of Pascal Raffy: sumptuous guilloché dials in a dark iridescent red, engravings, finesse and finishes accomplished entirely by the in-house artisans of a company that limits its exclusive production to 800 watches a year.


Inspired by a drawing made by H.-L. Jaquet- Droz for his famous automaton Le Dessinateur in 1774, the small Loving Butterfly automaton flits through a forest of gold above a dial made from petrified wood 140-180 million years old. An exquisite, poetic timepiece, limited to 28 precious copies.

3. FREAK X MAGMA by Ulysse Nardin

Made from a seismic combination of ultralight carbon fibre and red marbled epoxy resin, each Freak X Magma is unique. Masculine, angular and lava red, it is ultra-light, scratchresistant and streamlined. The combination of sandblasted and polished effects on the bezel with a satiny smooth dial reflects a volcanic environment. The red applied Super- LumiNova allows the wearer to tell the time even in the pitch dark. The open case back of this boutique-only edition lays bare the UN- 230 self-winding movement.


Behind the optical folly of this three-axis tourbillon movement, known as the Spherion, is the dishevelled genius of Eric Coudray, the maker of its precursor, the Gyrotourbillon by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Without going into detail here, the idea, based on the so-called Potter Escapement, is to have one fixed escapement and to distribute the escapement and balance between the two cages. To this spectacular horological ingenuity, which seeks to escape the effects of gravity, are added the rainbow gems set nanotechnologically into the cages of this jewellery version.

Click on the image to enlarge / PDF
Click on the image to enlarge / PDF
Our data base contains over 100,000 pages and 70 years of fully searchable issues, up to the most recent publication. A treasure trove for all knowledgeable professionals and aficionados.