Each released during the same year, the Bovet Dimier Recital 15 is the slightly larger brother of the Bovet Dimier Recital 12 watch (hands-on here). If you check out the previous article, you’ll recall that I really liked the Recital 12 for a range of reasons. It is not only the first Recital family watch that is good for daily wear, but it is also the the thinnest, and houses a new in-house made Bovet movement. The Bovet Recital 15 uses the same “Calibre Virtuoso II” base mechanical movement, but adds retrograde minute and jumping hour complications to the mix.
“Dimier” is a sub-family of watches in the larger Bovet watch brand. They are most notably known for having more “standard” watch cases with traditional lugs, and without the “ribbon crown” of many other Bovet watches, such as those in the Amadeo collection. It seems like almost all Bovet Dimier watches are in the Recital family, which continues to expand quickly, with at least one or more new models each year.
At a glance, the Bovet Recital 12 and Recital 15 watch models are very similar. The case is the same 42mm wide style, though the Bovet Recital 15 is a bit thicker, due to the extra complication of the jumping hour and retrograde minute functions. In truth, I think it was very strange from a marketing perspective for Bovet to release both of the watches during the same year, and for the numbers in their names to also be so far apart. Though, that is sort of how Bovet works, being independently owned and operated. So they can do whatever they want.
If you are wondering what the Bovet Recital 13 and 14 watches are, you can keep wondering. I believe Bovet informed me that there will never be a Recital 13 because of many people’s belief that 13 is an unlucky number, and the Bovet Recital 14, to my knowledge, has not yet been released… even though there is a Recital 15 and Bovet Recital 16 (hands-on here). Given the work put into the new base movement in the Recital 12 and 15, I believe that it is likely Bovet will return to this movement in the future with additional variations.
While the Recital 12 watch is 9.1mm thick, the Bovet Recital 15 is 12.8mm thick. That isn’t “very thick” by most standards, but it doesn’t have the svelte feeling of the Recital 12 on the wrist. I also don’t know if the Bovet Recital 15 has the option of coming with an 18k gold bracelet (like the Recital 12 does) in addition to the black alligator strap. The dial combines both traditional elements with the beautiful aesthetic of an open face showing off the movement. The design is pretty elegant and feels like it was meant to be looked at, in contrast to some open-face dials that look like you caught a mechanical watch movement in its underwear. In other words, I have to say that both the Recital 12 and Bovet Recital 15 watches are very nice to look at. Of course, given Bovet’s nature, you can also get this watch with a diamond-set bezel.
While the Recital 12 and Recital 15 are both based on the same movement base, they are quite different in how they are laid out and the Bovet Recital 15 makes a case for itself with the almost three extra millimeters of thickness. One of the most interesting features is the “double seconde coaxiale” system. The subsidiary seconds dial at 9 o’clock goes right through to the back of the movement, and there are double seconds hands. However, the two seconds hands are not directly connected by a single axle. That would imply that if the seconds hand is running clockwise on the front of the dial, it would run counter-clockwise on the rear of the dial. Instead, there is special gearing in the movement to ensure that the seconds hand is running clockwise on both sides of the dial. Not super functional, but still rather cool, and a nice detail.
Whereas the Recital 12 watch has a power reserve indicator on the dial, the Bovet Recital 15 has a power reserve indicator on the rear of the watch. In fact, the caseback of the Bovet Recital 15 is much more impressive looking than that of the more simple Recital 12 caseback. In fact, if you look at them both, the funny thing is that the dial side of the Recital 12 is actually the caseback side of the Recital 15 (though without a time display). It shows you how flexible the Virtuoso II Calibre is. Each of the watches should have the same seven days of power reserve and are manually wound, operating at 21,600 bph (3Hz).
The indicator for the time on the Bovet Dimier Recital 15 is appealing because it has a nicely functioning retrograde minutes and instant-jumping hour indicator. While this is clearly a non-traditional means of indicating the time, it is nevertheless still very legible. To the far right is a window that displays the current hour, and to its left is a 0 – 60 scale meant to indicate the minutes. A retrograde hand is one that jumps back to its starting position when it gets to the end of a scale. Retrograde hands are interesting and fun to use but are generally less reliable than standard hands because they require increased maintenance over the years and can sometimes be set in only one direction.
Bovet offers the Dimier collection Recital 15 watch in a few versions that include case in 18k white or red gold. The dials on the face can be in white or the pictured black as well. Also, as I said, the bezel can be polished gold or decorated with Baguette-cut diamonds. A fascinating and attractive timepiece, the Bovet Recital 15 might not have the simple appeal of the Recital 12, but satisfactorily adds some complication on the same interesting base movement for a distinct experience – though I still feel that it was odd for Bovet to release both models during the same year. Perhaps it was just their way of showing some of the variety possible in the Virtuoso II movement. Price is $63,300 to $126,600 with diamonds. bovet.com