ovet is a brand I always like to watch carefully because they tend to come up with truly interesting new products and often in a quirky way. What do I mean by quirky? Well let’s take their high-end Dimier Recital collection. This year they released a total of four new Recital watches (often it is maybe just one). Those being the Recital 11, 12, 15, and 16. Why no 13 and 14? Well because according to Bovet those are unlucky numbers in one culture or another. Ok then… So, this is the Recital 12 and it uses a new movement concept. It also happens to be the thinnest Recital watch, being 9.10mm thick. Not “ultra-thin” but still really thin given most Bovet Dimier collection watches.It also has an impressively long and regal sounding name that I happen to be quite amused by. For the most part I will just call this watch the “Recital 12,” but its full name is the “Bovet Récital 12
‘Monsieur DIMIER’ Calibre Virtuoso II Spécialité Horlogère Dimier 1738.” Impressive sounding right? What do they mean by “Monsieur Dimier” exactly? Not really sure. A lot of Bovet design language exists on a plane of existence that I have not yet ascended to. Perhaps someday I will. Until then, I will respect that there are forces at play larger than myself which are both designing and giving titles to these timepieces.The watch itself is a relatively handsome creation that emphasizes mechanical interest as well as Bovet’s more eccentric take on elegance. Complex features are minimized in favor of a more simple movement that is nonetheless pleasant to look at with welcome convenience features. The movement is the Calibre Virtuoso II (13.75-70-A1) and it is a new base movement that does something interesting. The seconds hand pin goes straight through the movement giving it the ability to have a seconds hand on both sides of the dial or offering a view of the seconds hand mechanism from both sides of the movement. In terms of thickness the Virtuoso II is 3.9mm thick. The Recital 13 watch also uses this same base calibre for a similar effect.
In the Bovet Recital 12 you can see the seconds hand gear assembly spinning through the rear of the movement. On the dial side the seconds hand has only a partial distinct dial with numerals, but it does have a three-sided blued steel hand so that you can always track the seconds properly. This is part of a trio of circular elements which include a view of the gear train to bottom and above, a view of the balance wheel. Clearly the design of the movement was for it to be viewed and its detailing and symmetry is certainly enjoyable to observe.To the right of the seconds counter is the off-center dial for the hours and minutes. Against a black dial it is simple and legible with Arabic numerals and lume for darkness viewing. The dial for the time is available both with a black lacquered face as well as a white one. The dial is pleasantly classic and actually incredibly simple for Bovet standards. Though given its smaller sizes this helps legibility quite a bit.Above the hour and minute dial is a power reserve dial. The Virtuoso II is a manually wound movement, but one of the good ones. That is because it not only has a power reserve indicator, but a power reserve of seven days. That week’s worth of power reserve is based on the movement operating at a frequency of 21,600 bph. Given the overall simplicity I would say that the movement as well as the Recital 12 overall have a nice mix of features and aesthetic design choices.At 42mm wide the Recital 12 actually is small given most other Recital pieces, but it wears nicely on the wrist and is very comfortable given the shape of the case as well as the relatively thin profile of the case. The highly polished gold case certainly has a high-end feel to it, while Bovet offers the Recital 12 both in 18k white or rose gold. There is also an option to outfit it with a fully baguette-diamond studded bezel (it is a Bovet after all).I was quite happy with the Bovet Recital 12 actually as a dress watch. It incorporates elements of an elegant watch as a view into the movement for lovers of horological mechanics. It is also undoubtedly a Bovet in style and composure. At this price range there is a lot of competition, but few watches can quite match the rich personality that the Bovet brand has built around it. The Bovet Recital 12 watch will be limited to 150 pieces per gold color