Everything You Need To Know About Bovet Watches
The History Of Bovet
Bovet may not be known as one of the most famous watch brands in the world, but that doesn’t make it any less prestigious. The Bovet brand is almost 200 years old as the company was founded in London back in 1822 by Edouard Bovet. He was previously working with Ilbury & Magniac, which had sent him to Canton, China, to repair watches. Noticing the potential of the market, Bovet set up their own shop to manufacture watches exclusively for China.
His products, which included utilitarian watches with luxurious embellishments like miniature enamel artworks, quickly became popular in China and came to be known simply as Bovet’s. Bovet was also one of the first companies to showcase the beauty of its movements with decorations and skeletonized views.
The company did exceptionally well in China for the next couple of decades before the Chinese watch market virtually collapsed due to increased competition and locally made counterfeits. The Bovet family decided to sell their interest in the company to their managers in Fleurier, Switzerland. Bovet continued to make pocket watches but at a reduced rate. The Bovet trademark was then sold in 1901 at an auction in Paris. It briefly came under the ownership of the Bovet family again in 1932 but was sold once again in 1948. Favre-Leuba bought the name but ceased manufacturing Bovet-branded watches in 1950.
Parmigiani Fleurier eventually bought the brand in 1989 and then sold it to investors the following year. Bovet watch production didn’t restart until 1994 when Roger Guye and Thierry Ouelevay acquired it. Pascal Raffy, the company’s current president, acquired Bovet in 2001, and he has elevated the brand by obtaining complete control over the entire watchmaking process. Bovet is a member of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie.
What Makes A Bovet Timepiece Unique
Raffy had stayed true to the Bovet ethos even though the company changed hands several times before it ended up in his ownership. He values Bovet as a genuine luxury brand and not an apparent luxury brand that only offers mass-produced products. Twenty percent of Bovet’s timepieces today are one-of-a-kind pieces that are made specifically for a customer. No wonder Bovet watches can now cost upwards of $2 million.
Bovet got its start making pocket watches and that history is evident in its newer models as well. The Bovet Fleurier model, in particular, is a small pocket watch that’s modified for the wrist. It has a big bow at 12 o’clock where the strap is attached. This design language has been a staple for all Bovet watches ever since.
The Bovet Collection Today
The company’s collection now includes models like the World Premiere with the Luminescent Miniature Painting being its defining feature. The Château de Môtiers 40 model, in particular, combines the conventional technique of miniature painting with luminescent material being layered on top. Prices start at $49,000.
The Bovet 19Thirty Fleurier symbolizes the migration of watches from pockets to wrists back in the 1930s. This collection includes eighteen references that stay true to this ethos. They take inspiration from the “easel” chronometer, which was one of the last pocket watches that Bovet made before wristwatches came to rule the roost. The 19Thirty Dimier models have been made with the same concept in mind, but with a more traditional case, that’s complete with four lugs and a crown at the conventional 3 o’clock position. Prices start at $17,000.
Bovet comes into its element with the Fleurier Complications collection, which includes models like the Monsieur Bovet, Virtuoso V, and the Virtuoso VII. The Bovet Amadeo system is unique in its modularity. It allows the timekeeper to be transformed from a wristwatch to a pocket clock. Then into a pendant watch, a reversed timepiece, or a desk clock – all without requiring the use of a single tool. Prices start at $60,000.
The Fleurier Grandes Complications is the personification of Bovet’s Haute Horlogerie vision with models like the Edouard Bovet Tourbillon. The Tourbillon includes a ten-day Triple Time Zon Flying Tourbillon with Hemispherical Earth Maps and Reversed Hand Fitting. It’s housed in an Amadeo convertible case as well and is available in red gold, white gold, or platinum. This watch has been made with collectors in mind, so it will only be a limited edition, with only 60 movements being made. No wonder prices start at just north of $300,000 for this particular timepiece.
Other collections on offer by the company include the Bovet by Pininfarina models. These models have been made in collaboration with the prestigious Italian design studio, the Dimier, and Sporster collections, and the exclusive collection of timepieces for ladies. It does offer something for everyone. Bovet timepieces are sold across the globe by the company’s extensive network of boutiques and authorized retailers.