Bovet is synonymous with horological poetry. Their watches can be described as mechanical rhymes where everything fits harmoniously together. Bovet gets over the conventional watchmaking style and pushes the boundaries of the classic watchmaking design with fabulous pieces. Over the years, we were impressed, here at Deployant, by the Bovet Fleurier Tourbillon Virtuoso III Perpetual Calendar, we saluted the modern feature of the meteorite dials and remarked the aesthetics and design, along with the immense mechanical complexity of the Bovet Récital 20 Astérium. Today we have a look at one of the latest Bovet marvels, the Amadeo® Fleurier Virtuoso V – a watch combining the beauty of mechanics with high complications.
Review: Bovet Amadeo® Fleurier Virtuoso V
Bovet is a Swiss maison of artisans. Founded in 1822 by Édouard Bovet, the brand became famous for pocket watches manufactured for the Qing Dynasty. Beautiful miniature painting, engravings, spectacular tourbillons and exquisite finishes strive to honour the rich brand’s heritage. The choice of noble materials and traditional techniques combined with modern touches adorned with dazzling finishes and decorations makes the brand a compelling proposition for those looking to mix mechanical fascination with artistic flair.
The Virtuoso V was introduced in 2015 as the first watch powered by the impressive calibre Virtuoso II. This features a difficult set of complications: a jumping hours and retrograde minutes indication.
The case, dial and hands
Bovet Amadeo® Fleurier Virtuoso V is cased in the higly acclaimed Amadeo® case. Released in 2010, the ingenious case required seven years of development of the BOVET 1822 and DIMIER 1738 technicians. The Amadeo® case can be a used in three configurations: as a wristwatch, as table clock and as a pocket watch for men’s models or as a pendant watch for women’s models. The gimmick requires no specialised tools and no special knowledge. The ease of use is demonstrated in the video below.
For the Amadeo® Fleurier Virtuoso V, Bovet offers two noble materials: red gold and white gold. At a diameter of 43.5mm and a height of 15.7mm, the watch can be considered small for the complexity within. The case wears the clear mark of its pocket watch heritage. The crown is placed at 12 o’clock, under the mobile lug. The protective lug serves to connect the strap or the pocket chain.
The case, in both materials versions, is highly polished. The curved bezel and convex case body give an even more classic taste to the Virtuoso V.
While the case might go unobserved under the shirt sleeve, the strong blue dial will make a powerful statement. The new guilloché dial offers a bigger canvas for the artisan. The metal dial’s base is decorated with a lovely guilloché pattern. The dial is then varnished using a dozen layers of blue lacquer. The dial is then polished to obtain a perfectly flat surface. The result is breathtaking: a hypnotic game of blue light reflections and shades.
The Virtuoso V dial displays only hours and minutes. The jumping hour indication is presented in the centre, visible through a dial’s aperture decorated with a gold frame. The indication is a white printed Arabic numeral on a blue background, respecting the overall theme.
The retrograde minutes occupies the upper part of the dial. A gold hand follows a white printed register adorned with Arabic numerals for each tenth minute.
Between the time indications, a cursive font the name of the watch is printed. The lower side of the dial proudly proclaim the power reserve of the watch to be “5 Jours” – five days power and the “Swiss Handcrafted” – a reason of pride for the Fleurier watch.
The white gold version differs only by the colour of the case and decorations.
The movement Virtuoso II à spécialités horlogères DIMIER 1738 13BM11AIHSMR
The calibre Virtuoso II was introduced in 2015. This movement features jumping hours and retrograde minutes indication. This demanding combination requires a perfect synchronisation between the jump of the minute hand and hour disk. The jumps require energy that could affect the movement’s precision.
On the back side, the Virtuoso II features a second hours and minutes indication. The indication is displayed in a classic mode and can be used as a second timezone due to an independent hours’ corrector. The back side offers a small seconds’ indication employing a twenty seconds blued register and a three hands design. The mighty 5 days of power reserve is laid out on the left side using a five gradations scale.
The movement is rich not only in indications, the decorations are well represented by all the usual haute horlogerie elements and finishes. The back inner bezel is adorned with three caligraphic engravings: “Ce par quoi attestons longue valeur” – What we attest to a long-term value, “Pour servir ponctuelles gentilshommes” – To serve gentlemen punctually, “Faictes de mains de maistres” – facts from the hands of masters.
The movement Virtuoso V is balanced, offering a pleasant symmetry. The balance wheel is balanced visually by the gear train. The colours are well chosen and the visual impact is very pleasant. The balance cock and the bridges are embellished with a sublime Côtes de Genève brush and discrete chamfering. The mainplate and the inner bezel is sand-blasted for a frosty look.
Calibre Virtuoso V offers an impressive power reserve of five days, achieved with a single barrel and a 3Hz balance wheel. The movement is using 41 jewels, a fact engraved on the cock-bridge.
The Competitive Landscape
Bovet Amadeo® Fleurier Virtuoso V is a rare bird. The uncommon combination of the case characteristic with its dual face and impressive complication can be met only on the Bovet watches. While there are in the wild haute horologerie watches with two faces, there is none with a three-way convertible case.
If we abstract the case and focus on the mixture of complications we have a wider selection of watches to consider for this competitive landscape.
A spectacular blend of jumping hour and retrograde minute functions can be found at Ulysse Nardin Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon. This machine combines elements from sailing with elements from watchmaking in a harmonious manner. The dial decorated with thin strips of wood arranged so that it looks like the wooden deck on the ship. The centre is dedicated to the retrograde chapter ring that uses a blue aluminium hand and sailing inspired nanowires for minutes indication. Two concentric discs construct the digital hour indication. The watch is powered by the Caliber UN-630, an exclusive work of watchmaker master Christophe Claret. The movement function on the duality of two barrels and two gear trains. One is used for the timekeeping and the other one is used to power the hungry complication. The Grand Deck is finished on a high level. It is a pleasant Haute Horlogerie piece that the push the boundaries of the ordinary in watchmaking.
We have reviewed three years ago the interesting Bulgari Papillon Tourbillon Central. Signed by Daniel Roth, this Jumping hours watch has a non-tourbillon version. The watch features an interesting minutes indication and second time-zone. Unfortunately, the Papillon is not part of the actual collection. From the older collection of other brands, we would like to remember the Vacheron Constantin Saltarello, the Chronoswiss Delphis and the Gerald Genta Retro watches.
Bovet Amadeo® Fleurier Virtuoso V is a beautiful watch. The double face is a nice to have feature. Its like owning two watches. If we consider the possibility to use it as a pocket watch or table clock, the watch suddenly gains a set of useful travelling characteristics.
The Amadeo® Fleurier Virtuoso V is an exquisite companion on the wrist. The watch has a substantial weighty feel, but not one which is tiresome, rather one which helps you remember that you have a the watch on your wrist.
The purist might love this watch for it’s design, finishes and complications. The Amadeo® Fleurier Virtuoso V has a elegant, good taste demeanour about it that requires a proper sartorial accompaniment. The striking blue dial offers a great visual treat.
Bovet Amadeo® Fleurier Virtuoso V Specification and Price
Bovet Amadeo® Fleurier Virtuoso V Reference is available red and white gold with or without diamonds and is available for:
– 18k red gold: CHF65,000 or approx. SG$100,800
– 18k red gold set with round-cut diamonds: CHF76,000 or approx. SG$117,900
– 18k red gold set with baguette-cut diamonds: CHF143,000 or approx. SG$229,500
– 18k white gold: CHF68,000 or approx. SG$105,500
– 18k white gold set with round-cut diamonds: CHF79,000 or approx. SG$122,600
– 18k white gold set with baguette-cut diamonds: CHF146,000 or approx. SG$234,300
Calibre: Calibre Virtuoso II à spécialités horlogères DIMIER 1738 13BM11AIHSMR
Dimension: Ø 13 ¾’’’
Number of components: xx
Frequency: 21.600vph / 3Hz
Power Reserve: 5 days
Functions: Jumping hours, retrograde minutes. Reversed hand-fitting (hours, minutes and seconds), power reserve indicator.
Type: Amadeo® convertible
Material: 18K red or white gold
Gold Weight: 83.06gr (red gold) / 86.05gr (white gold)
Dimensions of the case: Ø43.5mm, thickness with glasses 15.70mm / without glasses 11.80mm
Water resistance: 30meters, 3atm
Dial: Blue guilloché
Material: Full skin alligator
Buckle: 18K red or white gold ardillon
Chain: Gold-plated or rhodium-plated silver