Bovet updated the 19Thirty collection with new dial colours in 2021. Here is our hands-on review of the 19Thirty in red gold case and a brilliant dark green dial.
Review: hands on with the new Bovet 19Thirty in red gold green dial
The retail price for the Bovet 19Thirty in red gold is set at: SGD 57,000 / THB 1,391,600 (inclusive tax and duties). The Stainless Steel model retails at 33,400 / THB 779,000. Each colour variant is limited to 60 pieces only. Bovet retails in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore and Gaysorn Village, Bangkok. Viewing is by appointment only in Kuala Lumpur.
The collection for the 19Thirty was introduced in 2015, and conceived as an “everyday” watch. was expanded in 2021 with a new entry level model. Available as time only with power reserve indicator, the watch is in the style one is accustomed to with Bovet. One which is neither demure, nor even discreet. But a watch which speaks volumes. Not loud per say, but one which extends a personality of design, elegant contrasts, delicate finishes and one which will always stand to dazzle.
The novelty introduction is available as two models in red gold and stainless steel cases, both with multiple colour options for the dial, including the green dial as reviewed. The dials are guilloché dials which carry the deep colour achieved with a lacquer process. The model in the stainless steel case represents the entry model to the world of Bovet. In addition, all Bovet offerings are customisable, and other variants can be made available after consultation.
The case, dial and hands
The case used is what Bovet calls its Fleurier case. A design which is inspired by pocket watches of the 19th century from the Val Traverse (where Fleurier is located) area. And we must say, aesthetically, it does evoke the feel of the belle époque. The Lépine style arrangement, with the crown with its own articulating bow at 12 o’clock is a direct nod to these pocket watches. The case is round with curved bezels making it smooth to the touch. As the case is in red gold, the entire case features a shiny polished surface, which is befitting a high end time piece. The aforementioned crown is onion shaped with engraved gadroons. It carries a sapphire cabochon, and is used for winding and time setting. Around the crown, Bovet fitted a bow which articulates around a torpedo shaped extension to the case at 12 o’clock. On the opposite end of the case, a structure extends to hold a pin to which the lower strap is attached. As we noted in our review of the 44mm Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two which use the same Fleurier case design, the watch wears small. The dual articulation points allows the straps to wrap around the wrist to make this smaller 42mm case to also wear smaller and more comfortable than the dimensions might suggest.
The dial is constructed in two levels. At the upper level two discs intersect to form a figure of 8. The larger, upper part bears the hour and minute time indication, while the lower is used for the continuous seconds hand. The discs are mounted with blued screws on the movement plate. The plate is decorated with circular Côtes de Genève. An aperture at 3 o’clock reveals the power reserve indicator, and another for balance shows an empty polished disc at 9 o’clock. In some variants, this disc is engraved with patterns.
The sub-dials carrying the hour minute display and the continuous seconds hands are framed discs with a central guilloché piece which is finished in green lacquer. The pattern is applied using a rose engine in the Manufacture, and filled with layer upon layer of translucent green lacquer. Once the lacquer has dried, it is polished so that the pattern of the guilloché can be revealed and catch the light as the timepiece moves. Depending on the angle one looks at the dial and the incidence angle of the light, the dial can appear to change colours from almost black, to very dark green to a brilliant fresh green. Numerous colour options are available . From the deep green we see in our review watch, to a turquoise, a rich blue and a brilliant red. Each colour is limited to 60 pieces, and our review sample is in a gorgeous green. .
Indices on our review sample is a white transfer-printed Roman numerals for the hours indices, and Arabic for 15/30/45/60 for the seconds. Variants for the hour indices in Arabic numbers or Chinese characters or customised versions featuring other indices.
The movement is a hand wound Caliber 15BM04, which features a 7 day power reserve on a single barrel. The movement is visible from the case back and showcases a curvaceous main plate in two parts which carry the barrel, and some parts of the train. The balance and the fourth wheel is carried on its own curved cocks. The entire top plate and cocks are decorated with circular Côte de Genève, with the circles lining up with each other while traversing from plates to cocks. The edges of the plates and cocks are properly anglaged. The bottom plate is applied with tiny, well executed perlage.
Overall finishing, as is typical for Bovet movements is top grade. All the haute horlogerie elements are addressed very well. The traditional finnisage techniques is respected and well executed.
The competitive landscape
Bovets are rather unique watches. So competition is thin, or perhaps even non-existent if we try to match either aesthetics with complications. So we will not attempt this task. But perhaps explore a more descriptive approach which may be informative if not evaluative.
The aesthetics are not like that of Jacob & Co nor of Louis Moinet. These houses feature designs which are more bombastic, and where the watches call attention to themselves. Bovet is rather more subtle while still calling to itself and perhaps a bit flamboyant. Perhaps more akin to Jaquet Droz than any other watch. “Whispering loudly” or “shouting quietly” are terms which comes to mind. While still respecting the classical lines, and traditional techniques, it exudes a quiet exuberance not frequently seen elsewhere. As we said in the Virtuoso VII Chapter Two review, “The aesthetics is perhaps a bit unusual but well balanced and superbly executed. The visuals are enough for the Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two (and the 19Thirty) to be instantly recognisable on the wrist of someone across the room – with its crown at 12 adorned with its sapphire cabochon, with its bow articulating to wrap the strap around the wrist, with the matte finished titanium (polished red gold) case with many nuanced design details, and the magnificent double blue sub-dials (guilloché green lacquered). But yet, as impressive as it sounds, the watch still manages to maintain a discreet decorum. A nice balance, we say.”
The 19Thirty aesthetics evoke the typical love it or hate it reactions. The watches combine a well balanced mix of classical watchmaking with a panache for bold, strong aesthetics.
And for us, the 19Thirty represents a good entry point where the technical parts of watchmaking merges with the artistic. And the result is works of art.
The watch was photographed in the Bovet boutique in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore recently. Fujifilm GFX 50S II with Hasselblad HC 4/120 Macro and HC 2.8/80 with H26 extension tube attached via the H Adapter G. Profoto strobes.
Bovet 19Thirty Specifications
References: NTR0046, 18K red gold NTS0046, stainless steel
Material: 18k red gold or stainless steel
Crown and strap bolts set with saphir cabochon 0.72ct
Strap: full skin alligator in black or red
Buckle: 18k red gold or steel ardillon buckle
Water resistance: 30m
Type: Hand wound movement
Diameter: 15 3⁄4 ’’’
Frequency: 21,600 bph
Power reserve 7 days
Functions Hours, minutes, sub-seconds, power reserve indicator
DIAL Guilloché, red with Roman numerals in white, decorated with blackened Côte de Genève