I think of Bovet as the brand watch collectors turn to after they have done their rounds and collected a couple of the usual suspects of Patek, AP, and Lange. Bovet isn’t the first brand most watch-lovers think of when they think high-end watches. And if you really study and get to know their offerings, that’s a real pity. In a tribute to the Chinese, Bovet has just unveiled two special watches featuring dragons painted on mother-of-pearl dials. These are the new Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Chinese Dragon watches.
The history of Bovet and China are closely entwined. Though the company was first registered in London in 1822, most of its business came from China. It was even said that Bovet had a monopoly on pocket watches in China for most of the 19th century. Therefore, these watches are a fitting tribute to a country and culture that played a big part in Bovet’s history.
There are two Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Chinese Dragon watches, and they are unique one-off pieces. The Amadeo-style cases are 18k red gold and measure 43mm-wide. This means the crown is at 12 o’clock and the watch can be converted into a pocket watch and even a table clock. The watches even come with gold-plated silver chains so that they can be hung as pocket watches.
The magic is on the dial. Both watches have mother-of-pearl dials with detailed drawings of dragons on them. One features a light blue background with a golden dragon and another features a gray background with a red dragon. According to Bovet, each dial takes about 100 hours to complete. And some sections are so intricate that microscopes and brushes having only a single hair are used. Thin gold hands indicate the time. They also prevent the dragons from being obscured.
Unfortunately, Bovet did not give us any details of the caseback — so we don’t know if it’s solid or if it is a sapphire display caseback. If it is like past Amadeo Fleurier watches, it should come with a see-through sapphire caseback. At any rate, the movement within is the in-house Bovet caliber 11BA12. It beats at 4 Hz and has a power reserve of 72 hours. Again, we don’t know how well decorated it is, but if it is like past watches, it should have beveled bridges, Côtes de Genève, and an engraved rotor.
Clearly, these watches are not for everyone. You need to either have an admiration for art or an appreciation of Chinese culture to enjoy them— preferably both. As Chinese myself, I can certainly see these watches appealing to Chinese collectors, especially those with a certain respect for Chinese beliefs and traditions. After all, the dragon is revered in Chinese culture and is often thought to represent power and good fortune. The Bovet Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Chinese Dragon watches are unique pieces and each costs 70,000 Swiss Francs. For more information, visit bovet.com.