Tuesday, August 25, 2015

播 威 - Bovet, the first brand in China

I came across Bovet when I was introduced to the Fleurier Quality Foundation of which they and Chopard are a founding members.

For a timepiece to bear the Fleurier Quality Foundation (FQF) seal, they must be finished to the highest standards both in terms of chronometry as well as finishing of the movement. Since then, I help a friend acquire the Amadeo 45 Chronograph, a wonderfully cool timepiece that one can put on the wrist, keep in the pocket as a pocket watch or display it on the desk as a desk clock.

So when the folks at Sincere Haute Horlogerie (thanks guys!) invited me for an evening with Mr. Pascal Raffy, Owner of Bovet, I jumped at the opportunity to find out more about the brand and what it represents. Along with him also came a master craftsman, Mr. Andre Martinez, master painter.
 photo Bovet Master Craftsman 01_zpsfuvkortb.jpg

We started the evening exploring the existing range of Bovet timepieces and shown here is the Amadeo Fleurier Monsieur Bovet. This timepieces features a 7 days power reserve and the Amadeo convertible system which allows the timepiece to be changed from a wristwatch into a pocket watch, or a deck clock.
 photo Bovet Amadeo Fleurier 43 01_zpsbff20utj.jpg

And the reverse also features a time telling function with both dials in black polished lacquer which Mr. Raffy tells me is done in-house.
 photo Bovet Amadeo Fleurier 43 02_zps4wpzilpe.jpg

Next up is the Amadeo Fleurier Virtuoso V - why V? Well, it features a 5 days power reserve with Jumping Hours, Retrograde minutes and double coaxial seconds. The Virtuoso V series is released in a limited edition of 100 pieces. If you look closely at the bottom of the timepiece, it does not only say Swiss Made but clearly states Swiss Handcrafted. And Mr. Raffy is proud of all his timepieces and insists that they are all handcrafted timepieces.
 photo Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Virtuoso V 01_zpsisqxmwvj.jpg

Again, the dial is white polished lacquer - both front and back. This hand engraved timepiece is also done in-house. An impressive timepiece.
 photo Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Virtuoso V 02_zps91kamitk.jpg

Then we met with the man himself! Mr. Raffy explains why he calls his creations timepieces and not watches. Watches tell time but a timepiece not only tells the time but also evokes an emotion and is a work of art. Mr. Raffy is very animated and passionate about his timepieces. Here explaining why the concept of the dual face timepiece for the Amadeo series... when one sits across you in the office and you place the timepiece on the desk, both you and your guest across the table can see the time - what an ingenuous development!
 photo Bovet Pascal Raffy 01_zpsoarhwtap.jpg

Mr. Raffy promptly took out his timepiece and placed it on the desk - insisted I sit down to make his point. And it is difficult to argue with his logic. He promptly handed us his personal piece - the Braveheart! How did the name come about? One has to be brave to make such a timepiece with 6 patents and the work of art comes from the heart. A magnificent timepiece to say the least.
 photo Bovet Braveheart 01_zpsdoo3dpd6.jpg

What are the six patents? The Amadeo multiple configuration system, a double display movement, a double face Tourbillon, a rigid structure felly balance wheel, spherical winding and Tridimensional toothing with multiple gearing.
 photo Bovet Braveheart 02_zps7smgpgst.jpg

But what is even more amazing about this timepiece is the 22 days power reserve and Mr. Raffy tells me it only requires less than 160 winding of the crown and without any tool. Featured here is his personal piece with his name painted and piece unique. And what a hefty timepiece it is... Embellished with 408 baguette diamonds of the highest quality (15.91 carats) and also a diamond in the centre of the Tourbillon. Take a look at the baguette diamonds on the case.
 photo Bovet Braveheart 03_zps3csfhoev.jpg

Being piece unique, Mr. Raffy chose to have the dial depicting Madonna and the Baby - hand painted of course.
 photo Bovet Braveheart 04_zpsw5hhvu0v.jpg
 photo Bovet Braveheart 05_zpsj7xggsei.jpg

And what a sport Mr. Raffy is - he took out his Braveheart timepiece and strapped it on to Joe for him to try - unfortunately not take back (thanks Ben for this picture).
 photo Bovet Jokoh 01_zpsypy07b93.jpg

An exciting evening for many of us - first time meeting Mr. Raffy and first time really having a better understanding of what the brand is. Mr. Raffy told us much of the expertise is in-house and that they hold very high standards for their watchmakers. He spoke passionately about the brand and what a timepiece means and I can see that they are translated through to the Bovet timepieces. We particularly like his Braveheart timepiece and also the 1930 which I will be doing a separate post on. Stay tuned!

All photos taken by iPhone 6.