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Bovet Amadeo

It is impressive the number of high-end watches that Bovet comes out with on an annual basis. Among the most complicated models they have recently released, most of them have Amadeo-style convertible cases, and many fall under the Virtuoso family – like the Bovet Virtuoso VII that I reviewed here. This model looks a bit like an Amadeo Virtuoso piece, but isn’t; instead, what we have here is the Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart – and it feels a lot like a Virtuoso but with a cooler name. Let’s check out what interesting surprises Bovet put into this rather exclusive timepiece.
The name “Braveheart” conjures up a lot of memories for me – all of which revolve around the classic Mel Gibson movie about him fighting the English in Scotland. I think of the great fight scenes, the cool face paint, and the incredible sound track. Sadly, the masterpiece of a score was done by James Horner who recently passed away, quite young, actually. I had a chance to meet him one time and he was a super sweet guy. Anyhow, knowing that most people would imagine the film, what relevance does “Braveheart” have to this watch?
I’m actually not entirely sure, but I think it has to do something with the fact that this watch doesn’t use a regulation system like that in most other watches – and there is a series of at least three important parts to it. First is the fact that rather than using a traditional hairspring like most mechanical watches, the Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart uses a cylindrical hairspring as part of the regulation system of the watch, which timepiece lovers also often happen to warmly refer to as the “heart” of the watch. Is a cylindrical hairspring “braver” than a standard flat one? Maybe, if you are a watchmaker…
Does a cylinder-shaped hairspring do something different or better than a flat one? Well, theoretically, a cylindrical hairspring offers a bit more isochronism, which means more consistent accuracy over time. You might recall seeing cylindrical hairsprings on other watches from companies such as the Jaeger-LeCoultre, with the Duometre Spherotourbillon and the Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique Quantieme Perpetual Calendar. In terms of real-world performance, I don’t really know if the Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart or other timepieces with cylinder-style hairsprings are more accurate, but they look really cool, and when anything in a mechanical movement appears more three-dimensional, we all benefit as a result.
The second interesting element to the in-house made Bovet Dimier caliber 17BM02AI22J (sexy name, right?) movement is the fact that it also doesn’t use a traditional balance wheel. In fact, it isn’t really a wheel at all, but rather, a “felly.” This three-prong balance device has three weighted sides, and the idea was to both reduce weight and improve aerodynamics to reduce air drag. Bovet also designed the “balance felly” to be fully adjusted for inertia to ensure the best performance. This patented device within the movement is a further point of visual interest and mechanical distinction helping the beating heart to be that much more brave.
Of course, the entire regulation system spins on its own axis, as it is a tourbillon. It also happens to be a flying tourbillon with a new system (also patented by Bovet) which is designed to increase efficiency as well as improve the view of the tourbillon from either side of the case. Recall that because this Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart watch has an Amadeo-style case, the wearer can choose to wear the timepiece with either side being on top… and yes, the watch has a dial to read the time on each side.
All of the above areas of uniqueness are said to be about improving chronometric performance, but of course, Bovet (like most watch makers) does not make actual claims about accuracy. In a sense, to most collectors, the actual performance is less important than the idea that the movement was designed to perform better and is thus unique (and has an interesting story). I’d actually like to see a return to brands mentioning actual performance ratings rather than merely waxing poetic on how hard they worked to create an accurate watch. It Is like they get the consumer all excited about this cool technology to increase the accuracy of a mechanical watch and there is no reward at the end of explaining how accurate they are.
So we will never know if the six patented elements inside of the Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart make for a truly high-performance mechanical timing machine or rather one that is just designed to theoretically work better. Despite the performance enhancing tech, the movement inside of the Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart actually has a rather low 18,000 bph (2.5Hz) frequency. If the watch had all that new stuff and was at least a 4hz movement, I think I would be a bit more impressed.

Nevertheless, the manually-wound movement does have a long 22 days of power reserve (along with a handy power reserve indicator). More so, the movement displays the time differently on each side of the watch. One has a dial for the time with traditional hour and minute hands, while the other side has a traditional hour hand that is topped with a retrograde minute hand. The movement also happens to be quite beautiful not just in design but also in decoration.On the latter front, you have a welcome amount of polishing and finishing, but also some lovely hand-engraving – which, thankfully, doesn’t feel like “too much.” Also, note the view on one side of the dial of the crown winding system that uses an interesting looking “spherical” gear to wind both of the large mainspring barrels at the same time. Given the dual-sided and skeletonized view of the movement, you can not only see right through it, but you can also see the movement’s operating parts in extremely exposed detail.The Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart case is a larger 45.2mm wide and available in 18k red gold, 18k white gold, or platinum. Moreover, among those models are a range of limited edition or piece unique models going up to over a million dollars in price. Again, the Amadeo-style case is designed to be convertible, which means you can wear the watch with either side up, and use the watch as a pocketwatch, pendant, or desk clock. The Amadeo case is, of course, inspired by traditional pocket watches which one reason why the crown and “ribbon-style” crown guard are at 12 o’clock.
Impressive and interesting, the Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart watch is nevertheless exclusively an exotic treat at an exotic price. I don’t know if I’d wear one everyday (assuming I could afford it) but somewhere among these many interesting and nicely detailed tourbillon watches made in-house at Bovet is something for every aspirational (or actual) luxury watch owner. All the iterations of the watch are limited editions of 30 pieces, and there is one piece unique model in platinum with a matching bracelet that is covered with diamonds. Price for the Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart watch

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Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Virtuoso

Every luxury watch brand — no matter its level of technology and complication, no matter the affluence of its intended audience — makes a great effort to justify the often eyebrow-raising price tags on their most high-end models. Many tout their in-house movements, or high levels of hand decoration on the movement and/or dial. Others point to their complex, precious-metal cases with elegant finishing. There are exceptionally long power reserves, rare combinations of horological functions, and clever breakthroughs in micro-mechanical technology. And of course, there is collectibility brought about by the sheer rarity of a limited-production timepiece. The Bovet Fleurier Virtuoso V, whose price comes in at just under $70K, offers all of the above, as well as substantially more — namely, a patented case construction that makes it truly four timepieces in one.
Bovet’s Amadeo convertible case system allows the watch to be used as a wristwatch (one with two distinctively different dials; all of the pieces in Bovet’s Virtuoso series, in fact, are designed to provide information on both sides of the movement), a pocketwatch; or a small table clock. After reversing the case to display the opposite dial side, both ends of the strap can also be easily detached and reattached, by means of two push-pieces on the bow over the winding crown and a hinged bezel; the included gold-plated silver pocketwatch chain can also click easily into place to replace the top half of the strap, allowing the owner to channel his inner 1920s gentleman and carry the watch in a vest or jacket pocket. The same hinged bezel that folds out to disengage the bottom half of the strap also can be deployed as a stand to position the watch on a table or shelf.
The horological complications provided by the watch’s technically stunning and lavishly decorated Virtuoso II caliber include jumping hours, retrograde minutes, reverse hand-fitting, and a double co-axial seconds display. It’s probably best that we savor this horological smorgasbord one dial side at a time.

On one side, an off-center, white lacquered subdial — with gold hands, gold Roman numeral hour appliqués, an applied gold Bovet logo and a cursive-script “5 Jours” indicating the power reserve — draw the eye at 12 o’clock. Sensuously curved bridges surround it in a flowing embrace. At 9 o’clock, a blued hand indicates the watch’s power reserve: when it’s pointing at the “+” that means the watch is fully wound and ready to run for five days; when it’s hovering near the “-” it’s time to wind the mainspring. Cursive script can also be found on the dial’s flange, which is decorated with an inscription in French: “Faictes de mains de Maitres pour servir ponctuels Gentilshommes, ce par quoy attestons longue valeur,” which translates to “Born from hands of Masters to serve punctual Gentlemen, by which we certify enduring value.”
Between the 8 and 9 o’clock position, we get a view of the oscillating balance wheel, rhythmically beating at a leisurely frequency of 21,600 vph. Directly across from it, the center wheel and its bridge are in plain view. Balancing out the elegantly symmetrical dial architecture is the small seconds cage at 6 o’clock, with a wheel-like triple hand, each “spoke” covering 120 degrees, sweeping across a 0-20 curved scale. Tilt the watch to the side and glimpse into the seconds aperture through a loupe, and you’ll see this watch’s patented technical marvel — its co-axial seconds display with reverse hand-fitting, which allows the seconds to continuously run clockwise on both sides of the movement. Which brings us to the other side of the dial…
The watch’s other face offers even more lavish decorations, with a more unconventional and (to be honest) slightly less intuitive means of telling the time. The seconds are once again positioned at 6 o’clock, but here with a single blued hand sweeping across a 0-60 scale. Radiating outward from the seconds cage and curving voluptuously toward the large subdial at 12 o’clock are a series of layered plates, with alternating lacquered and hand-engraved finishes, held (and highlighted) by blued screws. The bright white lacquered subdial at 12 o’clock indicates the time via a jumping hour numeral in a centered aperture and a single retrograde minutes hand pointing at a 0-60 scale. Inscribed numerals in an elegant font appear at each 10-minute mark, with small but legible indices in between. At the start of each new hour, the numeral in the window changes, while the hand simultaneously jumps back from 60 to zero to begin timing the next hour. As Bovet points out, it’s a rarity in watchmaking to combine these two functions (jumping hour, retrograde hand) — perfectly synchronizing the jump of the hour disk with the flyback of the minute hand is an immensely difficult feat — and it makes for an effective and suitably dynamic visual for timekeeping, as you can see in the below video:
The five-day power reserve, which we have mentioned in passing thus far, is another important asset, and notable for the fact that it stores all this energy in a single mainspring barrel. This, the brand says, helps the balance’s frequency to remain stable over the entire power-reserve period. Of course, from a practical standpoint, a five-day reserve means winding the watch less frequently, which means putting less wear and tear on its gears overall. Some, like myself, will find fewer occasions to wind the watch to be an asset for another reason: the one aspect of this piece that I found less than ideal was the actual winding of it, by means of the onion-style grooved crown at the top of the case. Of course, this unusual positioning of the crown is a hallmark of Bovet that goes all the way back to its pocketwatch days, but on this wristwatch, ensconced under the curved bow that attaches the top half of the strap, the crown is a bit challenging for larger fingers to grasp and turn. That said, the winding system itself is quite efficient; just a few dozen turns moves the little power-reserve pointer up the scale to the plus side. Another elegant detail emerges here, too: blue sapphire cabochons in both the center of the crown and in the bolts on the sides of the bow.

All of this watchmaking artistry is contained within a gleaming, polished 18k rose-gold case measuring 43.5 mm in diameter and 11.8 mm thick; rather modest proportions, relatively speaking, for a timepiece of this level of complexity, but certainly large enough to draw admiring eyes from across a room, which, trust me, it will.
The black alligator leather strap — which is, of course, actually two specially equipped strap segments that allow for ease of switching in the Amadeo convertible case system — fastens this substantial but not-too-weighty timepiece to the wrist with a simple, elegantly curved gold buckle bearing an engraved Bovet logo. It’s best to be careful, however, if (as I was) you’re unable to resist demonstrating this watch’s cool convertibility to fellow watch lovers in a public space: the unattached strap loop can very easily slip off and get lost. We had a minor panic at my office when it fell off during photography and we needed all hands on deck to retrieve this tiny but crucial piece of the package before the cleaning crew arrived.

Such practicalities aside, however, perhaps the most appealing of this watch’s many attributes — and to return to my earlier statement about four timepieces in one — is its versatility. While I confess I didn’t spend a lot of time with the Virtuoso V in its pocketwatch or table clock mode, I did switch from “classical” dial to jumping-hour dial quite often, depending on my mood and surroundings. Since I had the pleasure to wear it during several work-related trips, I was also able to use its two dials to keep track of two separate time zones; the jumping hour disk can be adjusted independently with a corrector in the side of the case.

The Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Virtuoso V is a limited edition of 100 pieces, priced at $68,500 — or, if you’d prefer, $17,125 each for the quartet of exceptional gold-cased timepieces you receive in this horological ensemble.
With its latest interpretation of the Virtuoso V, Bovet 1822 replaces the original stepped arrangement seen in the 2015 model with a guilloché-decorated blue dial that covers the entire surface of the movement. Adding purity to the design, this solution also enhances readability.After decorating the metal base with a guilloché motif, the artisans of the Maison applied a dozen layers of translucent blue lacquer, before finally polishing it to give a perfectly flat surface. This process creates depth and reflections adding appeal to the timepiece.The Virtuoso V integrates two complications that are difficult to combine: jumping hours and retrograde minutes. In fact, the jump of the hour disk must be perfectly synchronized with the jump of the minute hand.

Belonging to the Fleurier Complications Collection, the Virtuoso V is fitted with the patented Amadeo convertible case, allowing it to be transformed into a reversible wristwatch, a table clock, or a pocket watch, without the need for a single tool.As a result, hours and minutes can be found on both sides of the 21,600 vph hand-wound movement. A power reserve indicator completes the indications by displaying a remarkable autonomy of five days, ensured by the use of a single barrel.