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Bovet Pininfarina

La Bovet by Pininfarina Collection, risultato della partnership nata nel 2010 tra le due Aziende, si arricchisce di una nuova gemma: il flying Tourbillon OTTANTASEI. Questo quarto Tourbillon segna una svolta significativa nello sviluppo della Collezione evidenziando, al tempo stesso, codici di design distintivi. Il Tourbillon OttantaSei è disponibile in titanio e in oro rosso 18K in un’edizione limitata di 86 orologi. La Bovet by Pininfarina Collection è composta da altri tre Tourbillon (OTTANTA, OTTANTADUE and OTTANTATRE) e due Cronografi (Sergio e Cambiano).Il Tourbillon OttantaSei rimane fedele alle linee essenziali che caratterizzano la Collezione ma, al tempo stesso, afferma il proprio carattere grazie ad innovazioni tecniche e a evoluzioni stilistiche. La parola “light”, con la sua connotazione ambivalente di luminosità e di leggerezza, è stata la parola d’ordine in ogni fase di sviluppo di questo progetto. Prendendo ispirazione dal mondo dell’aviazione, i team di Pininfarina e Bovet hanno studiato soluzioni capaci di rendere il Tourbillon distintivo e molto confortevole al tempo stesso. La cassa dell’orologio incarna pienamente questa filosofia: quattro ampi cristalli di zaffiro coprono le principali superfici, mentre elementi a contrasto in titanio e oro tracciano i contorni essenziali della struttura.

Il risultato evoca il vetro che circonda la cabina di pilotaggio di un aereo o di un elicottero. L’accurata lavorazione e la delicata metallizzazione dei cristalli di zaffiro permettono una straordinaria vista del movimento, vera anima dell’orologio, mentre il tocco di eleganza sinonimo delle due società è presente attraverso le parole ‘Pininfarina’ e ‘limited edition’ incise a laser sulle superfici interne concave delle pareti dei cristalli di zaffiro. Le viti disegnate da Pininfarina, usate in tutti gli orologi della collezione, sono un’ulteriore caratteristica distintiva. L’evoluzione stilistica è abbinata a un’importante innovazione tecnologica che garantisce 10 giorni di autonomia all’OttantaSei.For 2016, Swiss Bovet presents the latest timepiece as part of the brand’s ongoing design collaboration with the famed automotive (for the most part) design firm Pininfarina in Italy. aBlogtoWatch debuted the first watch from this relationship back in 2010 with the Bovet Pininfarina Ottana Tourbillon. Since then, there have been a range of relatively affordable models, and for 2016, we return to a glitzy tourbillon model which has an interesting new design with the Bovet Pininfarina OttantaSei 10-Day Tourbillon watch.The most distinctive design feature of the OttantaSei (means “eighty-six” in Italian) watch is how the case looks and feels. At 44m wide and 12mm thick, the specs alone do not really communicate what this wide and proportionally thin case feels like on the wrist. Because the sides of the case are fitted with sections of transparent sapphire crystal, this feels so little like how most watch cases do. It feels more like a display cage for the movement contained within.The Bovet Pininfarina OttantaSei 10-Day Tourbillon watch is also quite light – especially in the two titanium versions. I must admit that given the “bow style” crown position at 12 o’clock, it wears in a quite large fashion, but it isn’t uncomfortable. Bovet claims that even in gold, the case only weighs 51.66 grams (without the strap). The entire point of the design was to make the Bovet Pininfarina OttantaSei 10-Day Tourbillon light-looking… and light-feeling.There are a total of four sapphire crystals on the case, and the use of flat crystals on the top as well as the flat planes on the sides make the watch feel like a large coin on your wrist. Laser engraving is used on the sides of the case to print the “limited edition” and “Pininfarina” labeling, while the partial seconds indicator scale is printed on the one of the main crystals and read on the opposite side. Unlike some of the convertible Bovet watch cases I’ve reviewed in the past, the Bovet Pininfarina OttantaSei 10-Day Tourbillon watch does not transform into a pocket watch, pendant, or desk clock. The case is water resistant to 30 meters.Inside the Bovet Pininfarina OttantaSei 10-Day Tourbillon is a new movement known as the caliber 17BM03MM. Manually wound, the movement operates at 18,000 bph (2.5Hz) and has a long power reserve of 10 days in one barrel. To view and operate the movement is real beauty. Bovet decided to keep things as simple and classy as possible by offering the time on a subsidiary dial, large-diameter tourbillon (which doubles as the small seconds indicator), and a power reserve indicator.There is also a special system on the winding stem which can be observed just under the Bovet logo that was developed by Bovet a few years ago and, in addition to looking really nice, is said to increase winding efficiency so that the user does not need to wind the crown as many times to fully charge the movement. Note the small sapphire crystal plate on the crown which happens to have the Pininfarina logo on it (for the first time in this watch collection, I believe).Design wise, the 17BM03MM movement is a stunner, with dark-gray-finished plates and attractive texturing and finishing. All the Pininfarina watches have a decidedly modern edge to them compared to a lot of the classic or Old World, “artistically dense” design style that many people associated with Bovet.Even as a ritzy tourbillon-laden timepiece the Bovet Pininfarina OttantaSei 10-Day Tourbillon still feels like a sport watch with the highly legible hands and indicators as well as the very light feeling on the wrist. The rubber strap has a nice deep blue Alcantara-lining, and allows for an overall very comfy fit – an even comfier fit if you have really large wrists given how the larger-feeling case fits.The movement architecture and skeletonization is pure “haute horology” with a range of fine yet modern decorative details and finishing. I am aware that the design of Bovet timepieces makes them not suitable for everyone, but I still believe most watch lovers can easily rally behind the execution of technique and skill in these watches. Moreover, how often to have a watch that so conspicuously features a large flying tourbillon and also has brightly SuperLumiNova-painted hands (note that on these prototype models, the hands were hand-painted so the lume appears uneven).Bovet will produce the Bovet Pininfarina OttantaSei 10-Day Tourbillon as a limited edition of just 86 pieces. That includes all three case styles which are available as the reference TPINS002 in 18k red gold, the TPINS001 in natural titanium, and the TPINS003 in DLC-coated black titanium. Last, it appears that Bovet has also updated the warranty on their watches (at least some of them) in light of moves by other watch industry players, so the Bovet Pininfarina OttantaSei 10-Day Tourbillon

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Bovet by Pininfarina

While I’ve watched over the last decade as Pascal Raffy has deftly transformed modern Bovet into a serious mid-sized brand with a comprehensive collection of largely in-house developed and manufactured timepieces, some with quite sophisticated complications, few of the brand’s models have caught my attention.

And that hasn’t been from a lack of eye-catching art and innovation on Bovet’s behalf; it’s just that the ornate and intricate artwork that the brand is so well known for comes across as a bit too busy for me. My personal taste tends towards simplicity in aesthetics, while aficionados of Bovet (and there are many) seem to appreciate more elaborate design. To each his own.

But then along came the Bovet Ottantasei by Pininfarina, which for me a near perfect watch.

Engineered for comfort
For me, watches are to wear and enjoy so I place a premium on comfort and being able to see (and appreciate) as much of the movement as possible.

Display backs, open dials, and skeletonized watches all pander to my desire to be able to observe the inner workings of wristwatches, but my nec plus ultra are those timepieces that have been developed from the ground up to showcase the movement.

My Holy Grail of such rare timepieces is the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique (see The Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique: What’s Friction Got To Do, Got To Do With It!?). But the Technique has one major drawback for me: its 48 mm case diameter makes it too large for comfort on my small wrist.

What are the chances of another watch coming along that has been developed to display as much of the movement as possible, featuring interesting horological innovations, and is comfortable to wear on a smaller wrist?Bovet and Pininfarina
While Italian design house Pininfarina (see Pininfarina: The Mecca Of Supercar Design And The Bovet Ottantasei) is perhaps better known for designing many, if not most, of the most sensually streamlined supercars on the planet, the company also designs everything from motor yachts to skyscrapers. And as it turns out, watches as well.

The partnership between Pininfarina and Bovet began in 2008. To date this has resulted in the following models: Ottanta Tourbillon (2010), Cambiano Chronograph (2011), the second-generation tourbillon Ottantadue (2012), the third-generation tourbillon Ottantatre (2013), Sergio Split-Second Chronograph (2014), and the Ottantasei Tourbillon (2016).Bovet Ottantasei by Pininfarina
The brief from Bovet to Pininfarina for the Ottantasei was, indeed, brief:

Maximum transparency/minimum weight (think aerospace)
Slim and ergonomic
Ottanta visual identity
Flying tourbillon
It’s impossible for me to exaggerate just how far both Pininfarina and Bovet pushed the limits in each of those categories.But, I can’t help but feel that when developing the Ottantasei, Pininfarina and Bovet reduced the watch and movement to nearly absolute perfection . . . and then took off a tiny bit more. A tiny bit too much. And that vexes me all the more because this watch is otherwise flawless in what it sets out to do.

And when I say they “took off a tiny bit more,” I mean “tiny bit” as measured in atoms, not grams. But that’s enough.To put the development of the Ottantasei into some context, on one hand we have Pininfarina, a world-class, if not world-leading, design company with an enviable curriculum vitae. Then we have Bovet 1822, a brand I’d describe as being guided strongly by “tradition,” but quite untraditionally with its own full manufacture in Dimier 1738 – and it is one of very few brands to even have its own hairspring manufacture.

If Pininfarina can imagine something, then chances are that Bovet can make it.In Pininfarina’s world, the word “cars” actually means “supercars,” so it should come as no surprise that the designers likened “maximum transparency/minimum weight” (think aerospace) to the adrenaline-filled worlds of supercars, supersonic jets, and helicopters.More glass is better; it’s all about the view. Though in the case of the Ottantasei, this means the view is from the outside in rather than from the inside out.Ottantasei has no less than four sapphire crystals: the upper and lower (display back) having quite complex forms to ensure maximum strength for minimum thickness, while the two side windows are so long that the effect is of a sapphire case with a thin metal frame.That back crystal does more than offer a tantalizing look into the reverse side of the movement: it supports the movement. In a clever method of reducing height to an absolute minimum, the movement is fixed to the back crystal; both are fitted into the case as one.

The 44 mm diameter case weighs just 51.66 grams (< two ounces) in red gold and a feather-light 15.54 grams (0.54 ounces) in grade 5 titanium. And at just 12 millimeters thick, the Ottantasei is very comfortable on the wrist, even a slim wrist. The familiar design elements of the bow, the 12 o’clock placement of the crown, the visible screw heads, the typical bezel, and the single lower lug at 6 o’clock all ensure that the Ottantasei is firmly – and visibly – rooted in the Ottanta collection.Bovet Caliber 17BM03 features the most complex main plates ever created by the manufacture, one in perfect balance between being as light a possible while being strong enough to contain and control the long ten days of power stored in the mainspring.The movement has been awarded three patents: two related to the winding system and one to the flying tourbillon.The main advantage to a flying tourbillon is that its construction does not require an upper supporting bridge so it is easier to see and appreciate the highly animated mechanism. But supporting a structure at only one end usually means added tension, as it isn’t naturally balanced.What Bovet has done is to support the flying tourbillon from near its center instead of its base, which allows for the mass of the lower balance and upper tourbillon cage to balance each other out.This system also allows better views and appreciation of the components comprising the regulator, with the tourbillon cage on full view from the top and the balance from the back.The three-dimensional power reserve indicator is also quite interesting. As the spring barrel slowly unwinds, it turns a wheel that rotates a polished steel cone around a central threaded screw, moving the cone up and down the screw.A small lever tracks the vertical position of the cone, transmitting the information to a long lever with a rack that rotates the power reserve indicator. The system is simple, reliable, and interesting to watch, especially when the movement is in the process of being wound.While a fully wound watch with a ten-day fill of power is a wonderful thing, it takes quite a lot of winding to fill the empty “tank.” So Bovet’s engineers developed a patented winding system with a spherical differential and reduction gearing allowing the mainspring to be wound twice as fast for the same number of turns. The system also reduces the number of components required, reducing friction and increasing reliability.The profile of the specially developed three-dimensional gear was awarded a patent as it allows for gearing, even multiple gearing, to connect efficiently at a multitude of angles.Not only is the movement sketetonized on all horizontal surfaces to ensure that there is absolutely no excess weight, the vertical surfaces have also been sketetonized. And as virtually all of the movement is visible from all angles, bridges and plates have anglage on all four faces of the components (two horizontal, two vertical) rather than the more usual two.I particularly like the curved lines in the clous de Paris engraving visible through the display back. Traditional clous de Paris is usually a grid pattern set at right angles; however, not being aware of all the centuries of horological tradition, on seeing the proposed finish Pininfarina’s designers thought it would look better still if the engraving followed the curves of the bridges. And so it came to pass.

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bovet 1822

Bovet Fleurier SA is a Swiss brand of luxury watchmakers chartered May 1, 1822 in London, U.K. by Édouard Bovet. It is most noted for its pocket watches manufactured for the Chinese market in the 19th century. Today it produces high-end artistic watches with a style that references its history. The company is known for its high-quality dials, engraving, and its seven-day tourbillon. The original Bovet watches Replica were also among the first to emphasize the beauty of their movements with skeletonized views and highly decorative movements. Bovet watches were also among the first to include a second hand while the company has a tradition of employing women artisans, which is rare for traditional watch making companies in Europe. Pascal Raffy is the current owner.Bovet 1822 Swiss handcrafted timepiece Dimier Récital 22 Grand Récital with 9-day Flying Tourbillon Tellurium-Orrery and Retrograde Perpetual CalendarBovet 19 Thirty Pascal Raffy, esteemed owner of Bovet 1822 and Dimier 1738, wowed followers when he unveiled a fresh collection in the second half of 2015. Crafted with both expertise and passion, 19 Thirty Bovet watches present classic watchmaking at its finest.Bovet 19 Thirty Pascal Raffy, esteemed owner of Bovet 1822 and Dimier 1738, wowed followers when he unveiled a fresh collection in the second half of 2015. Crafted with both expertise and passion, 19 Thirty Bovet watches present classic watchmaking at its finest.Bovet is a historic Swiss watch manufacturer established in Fleurier and Canton, China in 1822, failing by 1950, and resurrected as an independent in 1997. Bovet (1822-1950) Jean-Frédéric Bovet was a Fleurier watchmaker in the late 18th century. His son, Edouard Bovet, completed a watchmaking apprenticeship there and moved to London soon after.Bovet 19 Thirty Pascal Raffy, esteemed owner of Bovet 1822 and Dimier 1738, wowed followers when he unveiled a fresh collection in the second half of 2015. Crafted with both expertise and passion, 19 Thirty Bovet watches present classic watchmaking at its finest.Bovet Fleurier S.A. was founded in 1822 in London by Édouard Bovet and initially produced watches almost exclusively for the Chinese market. Édouard worked with three brothers, Alphonse, Frederic and Charles-Henri to manage shipping and production, and demand soon outstripped supply causing the company to contract with other Swiss watchmakers such as Guinand and Juvet Fleurier.