Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On

Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On

Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On

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.

Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On

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?

Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On

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...

Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On

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.

Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On

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.

Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On

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.

Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On

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.

Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On

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.

Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On

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.

Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On

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.

Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Tourbillon Braveheart Watch Hands-On Hands-On

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 as seen here is $557,700 in 18k red gold. It is $569,200 in 18k white gold, and models with diamonds range in price from $632,500 - $646,600. The piece unique Braveheart in platinum (with bracelet) and diamonds is $1,161,500. bovet.com

What do you think?
  • Interesting (1)
  • I want it! (1)
  • I love it! (1)
  • Thumbs up (0)
  • Classy (0)
  • I can’t tell from the photo if the crown wheel (the winding stem part visible through the hole) runs a planetary gear system to wind the 2 barrels or not. But if so, that would be very cool and of course allow the torque to be applied to which ever barrel needs proportionately more umph. As Pascal Raffy says, these are pieces for collectors. Even if I could afford it, this would probably get more “take from the vault (if I had one) and show people” time than actual wrist wearing time. Art that does not have to justify itself as a watch (even though it does tell the time). So the accuracy would be interesting to know but not a deal breaker for actual buyers I’m guessing. And I really don’t see the “Braveheart” connection in the least. They could have called it the “Wallet Flattener” just as easily. But I’m glad it exists.

    • iamcalledryan

      They may take our money, but they will never take our freeeeeeeeeedoooooooom

      • WINKS

        …while getting hung and quartered.

        • Shinytoys

          yes, but gently and tastefully done…

  • Santiago

    I want to think that those 2.5 Hertz are just a question of aesthetics: you can see the movement of the spring better than with a rate of 21,600 alt/hour. Is it because it is technically more difficult than 21,600? Could be, but Minerva has done the same for the exo-tourbillons we’ve seen this year and they seem to be quite a dexterous bunch of people. Seeing a marine chronometer beating at 14,400 is a real pleasure so if you can keep the rate low without affecting massively the performance the result, aesthetically speaking, is far better.

    Having said that, perhaps there is someone here that is actually a watchmaker and can effectively certify that I am talking out of my derrière.

    • Longer power reserve with a lower frequency. That’s where he 22 days come from.

      • egznyc

        Well that’s certainly part of it. But geez that’s over three weeks! While a larger watch, this still seems extraordinary.

        • iamcalledryan

          Check out the Lange 31!

          • egznyc

            Thanks for this tip! Wow – it’s been done. Not surprised that it was Lange, which has my greatest respect. I don’t think their 31 looks as elegant as their Datograph, and it’s a fairly large watch, but what a technical accomplishment!

      • Santiago

        Indeed, hadn’t thought of that, thanks Mark. The Lange 31 comes with a special key to wind the watch (so does the Hublot La Ferrari and its electric winder but I hate putting Lange and Hublot in the same sentence).
        I wonder how long it takes to wind this lil thing here?

        • You mean how long will it take your “watch valet”/”man servant” to wind it? Don’t worry, he only has to do it once every 3 weeks. Just be sure to put it on his schedule. I think Fraser used to have Vlad do this in addition to driving duties before he left to open that taco stand in Atlantic City (or some such)…

          • Shinytoys

            You have man servents? I’m moving to the Hula state 🙂

          • I meant Santiago, not me. I have to take out the garbage myself, so obviously no man servant around here (no, wait…there is and it’s me).

    • egznyc

      I’m with you – if you’re not overly concerned about accuracy (and who would, with all there is to look at here!), then slower action of the beating “heart” will provide better eye candy.

  • iamcalledryan

    Would prefer to just call it a pocket watch – but oh my, what a stunning piece this is.

  • BIG CHRONO

    Does purchase include a top grade thief proof, weather resistant, ornate adorned museum display case?

  • egznyc

    Very cool indeed, even if I will never have the pleasure of owning one or probably even seeing one out in the wild. Too much a collector’s piece for that. But why would they spoil it with all the sparkly diamonds???

    • iamcalledryan

      Well you can flip it to show the other side – which is totally inconspicuous 😉

  • SuperStrapper

    I noticed this watch made the finalists cut in the tourbillon category of the 2015 Grand Prix. As this price, I don’t see why it wasn’t considered for ‘petit aiguille’ as well!

    • Shinytoys

      + 1 for using “petit aiguille” in it’s proper form 🙂

  • With a name like the Bovine Armadillo Flowery Turbocharged Braveheart, you can’t go wrong. I’m no fan of the baroque over styling, but the movement and two-faced concept are very interesting.

  • Ryan Boehm

    I like it, even with the diamonds. Not too fond of the lugs though.

    Would be nice to have but I’ll keep dreaming.

  • resonator resonator

    I’m trying hard to think of a more minimalist tourbillon, not only in design, but also amount of materials used. Gorgeous hand engraving on those bridges, cocks, etc. I love Bovet, but they are a little too fancy pants for my likings. Lotta’ great eye-candy here in the last 24 hours!

  • Sevenmack

    Hate the gold case on that version. But the dial is superb, gorgeous. The skeletonization is a wonder to behold. Time for the book deal.

  • Raymond de Mystère, fils

    Gaudy to the max. Gag me with a spoon. No class. No restraint. Oversized bling worthy of Larry King’s living room. Save your half a million and buy a house instead. This is an abomination. How can it be reviewed in a serious light? It’s a joke…on us.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      My goodness, dont hold back Raymond ! . its always going to be a world of haves and have nots and as much as its out of the league of most people, doesn’t mean that it cant be classy.If your buying this, you already have enough houses. This is Horology at its very best.

      • Raymond de Mystère, fils

        I don’t have a problem with expensive gear; as I write this a $5000 amplifier sporting the majestic 845 tube is sending Johnny Hartman’s voice and John Coltrane’s sax floating above me. At a certain point, I think (and like Regis Philbin ‘I’m just one man’ and could be wrong) it behooves the editors of ABTW, Hodinkee, etc to call this what it is–New Gilded Age Excess, Veblen Good to the Extreme. This is garbage. Why not charge $2 million? There’s absolutely no relationship between the retail price and the manufacturer’s cost. You might think it’s harmless but it’s not. The prices at the high end alter everyone’s frame of reference. It’s a sad day when a $2,000 watch is seen as a ‘bargain.’ We witness a ratcheting up of expectations. The economist Robert Frank (who writes for the NYT) has written extensively on this phenomenon: the ‘rising cost of adequate.’ Let the super-rich consume this garbage, but why clutter up this site with it? 99.99% of ABTW’s readers cannot aspire to afford this. It’s consumer porn of the worst sort. At the heart of this problem there is dishonesty. No reviewer reviewing a $500,000 automobile would fail to question the ‘worth’. I know, I know, it’s ‘art’ and if Jeff Koons or Damien Hirst can be a multi-millionaire then anything goes. But the problem is, this ISN’T art. It’s a product made in batches of identical goods. And it ain’t Rafael’s studio.

        • Raymond Wilkie

          Here’s my opinion…..I get where your coming from, i really do, but you miss the point of this blog. Its not been “cluttered” up by showing us pieces that few of us that can afford. that’s not the point. This is first and foremost a blog for lovers of horology, price of things up to a pint dont really matter. Its new and interesting movements, styles, different use of complications. Some lovely examples, some gawd awful and a healthy debate about the piece in question..

        • Ariel Adams

          There are a lot of good points you bring up as applied to the luxury industry overall and I agree with you on the disparity between product and value in many instances. That’s been a running theme in the luxury industry for centuries, and amusingly isn’t anything new. A good example are early restaurants in France that of course opened to serve the ultra wealthy almost exclusively. While many of them had good food they tried to out do one another and keep pricing as high as possible by bolstering things like service, how waiters dressed, interior decoration, etc… Little of which had a bearing on the meals they had, and yet they were often able to charge a “fortune” for dinner. This in someways is the genesis of the modern luxury industry which for the past continues to perpetuate these mostly French themes.

          As applied to watches part of our goal is to report on what is happening and add our opinions. To selectively cover only the most conservative timepieces or the ones that we would (with our budgets) currently buy would prevent so many interesting things from being shared. Of course most consumer approach these articles with the question “would I buy it? Can I buy it?” When there are negative responses then it can cause some cognitive dissonance but I continue to encourage that the best policy is to broad expose our audience to as many interesting things as possible whether it matches their taste or not that represent design, crafts, history, collectibility, uniqueness, as well as value. Thanks again for commenting.

          • Raymond de Mystère, fils

            Any analogy with Revolutionary France and restaurants and debates over luxury in the 18th C are ahistorical. We live in an age of mass affluence with a large middle class (yes, we still do). Comparing ‘luxury’ goods today with the situation before, say, the 1920s doesn’t inspire confidence in ABTW’s sense of history. The debates we’re having today have no relationship whatsoever with Grub Street’s libelles or with Rousseau’s diatribes against luxury. Two different worlds. Different’media’, different class structures….the list goes on. … Writing this little debate off with reference to centuries-old running debates serves little purpose other than to absolve ABTW of any responsibility for aiding and abetting the proliferation of ridiculously priced ‘luxury’ goods.

        • DanW94

          5,000 dollars for an amplifier? Seems excessive and wasteful to me. I wouldn’t pay nearly that much but if you wanted to that’s certainly your prerogative. Maybe 5,000 is a “bargain” to you.
          Now apply this principle to watches…..

          • Shinytoys

            Rock on brother…

          • Raymond de Mystère, fils

            Funny. But not so clever when you do the math. The profit margins for a dealer on my amplifier are no more than 25% and the total markup from production cost to retail price is perhaps 50%. A 100 lb amp with hand-wound Japanese transformers, German and Swedish capacitors and resistors, silver wire, and a couple thousand dollars in parts will take about 30 hours to assemble, by hand. I can do a visual scan of the innards and price each part, were I to buy each part at retail cost. Point-to-point soldering. Visually it’s a work of art–stunning. Retail price: $5,000. The vacuum tubes are also very costly to make. I can see exactly why that amp costs 5k, just as I can see why a windsurfer or sailboat, made in small batches by highly skilled people, costs what it does.

            My point is that there are plenty of niche markets producing goods in small batches using expensive machinery that don’t need to charge half a million dollars. There is ZERO relationship between this watch’s retail price and the cost to conceive, design and produce it. For Pete’s sake, this watch costs more than FIFTEEN entry level BMWs. Or, it costs 150 times the price of an entry level Godet guitar–hand made, highly coveted works of art.

            There is an implicit acceptance of these outrageous prices when ABTW refuses to comment on price. Strangely enough, it’s only when a ‘budget’ watch is discussed that we enter into arguments about ‘value.’ As in, this new $1200 US-made watch is or is not a good value compared to… Seiko, or Hamilton. But we give the people at the pinnacle a free ride. $300,000….$500,000 no one seems to blink an eye. When the company markets its products (or when reviewers slavishly portray products) as ‘works of art’ it’s a sort of free pass to charge….whatever…. Ok, ok, so the hedge fund manager who buys this gaudy watch can afford it. And so he can. But this approach trickles down. We no longer question the ‘worth’ of a $10,000 watch. Maybe that watch, too, is overpriced. But not if you compare it to the top-end prices. So, NOMOS is now seen as ‘affordable’ when compared to Seiko it really isn’t. it’s not an innocent, benign stance that ABTW is taking. The site is complicit in condoning this sort of pricing.

          • DanW94

            Personally, I don’t need ABTW to editorialize on prices. I want them to talk about all the other facets of the watch and present a well balanced, researched review (which they do quite well) and simply present the retail price. I’ll make my own determination if the watch is “worth” it or not.
            And just because I read a review about a half million dollar watch doesn’t mean I’ve lost the ability to determine relative value. I’m firmly planted in a specific price range relative to my own personal financial circumstance. I haven’t suddenly become desensitized to prices by looking at million dollar watches.

          • SuperStrapper

            So, you buy luxury item according to the profit margin the retailer achieves? Interesting…

          • Raymond de Mystère, fils

            Pardon my tardy reply. I was in Mexico visiting little cousin Rey Jr. Your analogy with the art world is not apt. Rothko never sold one of his ‘paintings’ for anything close to their ‘value’ today. Once an artist sells to his dealer or patron he doesnt control the market. Just ask Theo and Vincent. A painting is by definition a singular work of art. A finely machined timepiece is a mechanical device. True it might hold artistic appeal but this Bovet doesn’t. Calling this gaudy piece of metal ‘art’ is a convenient way to justify the iniflated price. The price reflects what the company thinks today’s billionaires can afford. Simple as that.

          • Raymond de Mystère, fils

            Why wouldn’t you? When i read Car and Driver I expect some sort of price comparison. As in, this Camry is a better value than this Accord. Or vice versa. Why are watches different? Surely a Seiko v. hamilton comparison is reasonable. Does this 500k Bovet measure up to a Patek? It’s a legit question

          • SuperStrapper

            You’re incorrect, and just being convenient based on your own opinions.

        • Shinytoys

          I’m completely mystifyed by your comments. Please see my above response.

    • Shinytoys

      Ray. I’m also an audiophile as well as a watch collector. I’m surprised you took umbrige at the cost of the watch. The piece is beautiful. I have a pair of 600 M ‘s from a company you should recognize and the supporting gear is all of the same pedigree. Ever try to justify a bi wired set of Nordost Vahalla’s to yourself? It’s the love of the sport, man. The chase of the absolute sound. Watches are no different. Magnificent artful time machines at their best. All you have to do is have the financial means, and then sit back and dig it. Simple as that .

      • As someone with a background in electronic engineering, likening this Bovet to Nordost wires reflects my thoughts exactly, even if in the opposite way in which you meant it.

        • Shinytoys

          I’m with you 🙂

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Can you imagine owning this !. . Whoever is wearing it,it says Ariel but it doesn’t look like it , its far to big for you..The cylinder-shaped hairspring is just so beautiful. Am not getting the braveheart connection ( being Scottish doesn’t help ). An American film , staring an Australian guy and filmed in Ireland and was about as historically accurate as an iPad in king Arthers court. If i had the dosh , this would be in my collection..

  • Larry Holmack

    Well…if I were rich man…..whoa…now I’m quoting Broadway shows…..uhhh…and had more money than I knew what to do with…..well…I just saw a watch I’d have in my collection!!! Heck…almost everything these guys make is super expensive….maybe that’s why I like them so much.

    Oh well….guess I’ll sip on my glass of “ripple” and stream some episodes of Sanford and Son just for grins!!!

    • Boogur T. Wang

      Biddy Boom!

  • Boogur T. Wang

    Quite a lovely piece of mechanical horology there. A bit HUGE, but it would fit well on the shelf of the display case.
    I would imagine that any buyer of this piece would have an assistant close-by to whom they could ask the question – “What time is it?”

  • Peter Byford

    It wasn’t till I got to the later photos , that I saw that you could actually read the time lol !
    Please photographers, have the hands set to 10 to 2 before snapping away. ………………
    As to the watch itself, I’d have to stay sober in case someone asked me what it was called.
    Thats if he wasn’t already hitting me on the head to steal it ! As per usual, give me a Lange
    instead of this

  • I think this is the most beautiful watch I have ever seen. That’s a personal preference, your milage may vary.