Bovet timepieces has a strong relationship with Italian designer Pininfarina. Last year they surprised us with a watch based on that partnership that was an impressive combination of complications and modern design in a watch that still adhered to tradition. Those who don't get to listen to watch maker rhetoric often may not be quite as aware of the strong role that "tradition" plays in Swiss watch making. It is the concept that there are certain rules of watch making and design that really can't be neglected or left out.
As such, Bovet's interpretation of the stylish sexiness that is Pininfarina's well-known reputation as being the designer for Ferrari was captured for the first time in the Bovet Pininfarina Tourbillon Ottana watch - that helped celebrate 80 years of Pininfarina. I got to check out that watch a bit and look forward to writing about it soon. Now comes a new watch that is thankfully much more affordable, but retains the tenants of the Bovet Pininfarina design. This is the new for 2011 Cambiano - and is cool little number.
Pascal Raffy, CEO of Bovet discussed the Cambiano as a sober and modern looking homage to watch making tradition that goes back centuries. He sort of shuns "right now" designs in favor of aesthetics that have the ability to still look good a long time in the future. Bovet, along with many other brands interested in offering modern looking watches that hopefully have a timeless look to them have focused around the color gray. There are said to be five distinct gray colors in the Cambiano - all that were dutifully selected by Bovet for the Cambiano. Mr. Raffy wants to abstain from using other colors in the first that the design would not have the purist feel he wanted to go for.
You can see the design of the 45mm wide case made up of steel with parts of it done in black. Not sure of the how the black was done. It has an interesting texture to it that I am not sure I am familiar with. Like many other high-end Bovet watch, this one is in the "pocket watch" style case with the bow at the top, and is a convertible. They refer to this as their "Amadeo case" style. The straps can be quick released and the watch can turn into a pendant, pocket watch, or the back folded down to make it a table clock. Cool right? The system actually works rather well, and doesn't feel haphazard in design.
The automatic chronograph movement is a base Piguet and is done well. This isn' t one of Bovet's manufacture movements, but is still a good looking movement complete with decoration and a cool rotor. The movement has a tri-compax arranged chronograph and a big-date indicator. The watch dial is layered and made up of a bunch of different parts. Bovet's name is shared with Pininfarina on the dial, and you can see the signature Bovet "serpentine" hand for the chronograph seconds. The best part is how easy it is to read with the large lume-coated hands. I also like the partial skeletonization making it possible to see parts of the movement through the dial. According to Bovet, the dial will be available in anthracite or black tones.
Bovet designed the detachable rubber strap to have a interior lining of Alcantara. The strap is comfortable, as is the watch despite the unique design of the case with the "bow" top complete with bullhead style crown and chronograph pushers. Price for these Bovet Pininfarina watches won't be too bad given the pedigree of the brand at about $20,000.