Bovet creates some of the most masterfully crafted and highly complicated timepieces out there. Last year, in 2016, they released the Bovet Récital 18 Shooting Star watch – a limited, otherworldly timepiece that we looked at hands-on here. Alongside the recently announced Virtuoso VIII 10-Day Flying Tourbillon Big Date release, Bovet is continuing the tradition of their Récital models with the Bovet Récital 20 Astérium watch which includes a flying tourbillon with a night sky chart, perpetual calendar, and a celestial array of astronomical functions, all with a 10-day power reserve. It’s an absolutely breathtaking creation that retains Bovet’s reputation for making rather grandiose pieces.
Bovet knows how to capture the hearts of those fascinated by wonderfully complicated and intricate timepieces that aim to be a symphony on the wrist. With so much going on, it’s a safe bet that the translucent blue sapphire dome stands out first. It has been fully laser-engraved with a map of the stars and constellations visible from Earth before being filled in with Super-LumiNova. This touch alone is indication enough that Bovet set out to create something that goes far beyond what most would expect from a wristwatch. With such a majestic set of functions, design aesthetic, and extreme attention to detail, we can agree that at this point it actually belongs to the ranks of high-end mechanical art.
The Bovet Récital 20 Astérium watch is 46mm in diameter and built around the concept of the sidereal year, which follows the actual orbital period of the Earth around the Sun – 365.25 days. It’s a calendar function that is actually visible from the case-back, where we find a single central hand that performs a complete rotation every 365.25 days. Additionally, as we move from the outer edge at the case-back bezel, we find the annual calendar (dates and months), signs of the zodiac with corresponding constellations, and indications for the seasons, solstices, and equinoxes. At this point, it’s easy to see how one could simply revel in sheer admiration for such dedication and attention to detail. But as is typical with Bovet’s designs, there’s always more.
Moving to the dial-side of things, the Bovet Récital 20 Astérium manages to pack in two hemispheric indicators and a hemispheric precision moon phase indicator with an integrated equation of time complication. At the lower right-hand portion of the night sky, we find a 10-day power reserve indicator that shares a spot with the retrograde minutes hand. Now, the hour hand itself manages to take care of three functions. As it moves along the dedicated 24-hour dial, it also points north and carries the elliptical window characteristic of the night sky in addition to indicating the time.
To top it off, we get a stunning view of the patented double face flying tourbillon, which gives us a glimpse at what’s powering it all. The movement is the 17DM02-SKY – a hand-wound caliber that operates at a frequency of 18,000vph. The tourbillon itself is equipped with a variable inertia balance wheel, which Bovet pairs with carefully selected balance springs. It appears to be a serious dedication to chronometry along with everything we’ve come to expect from Bovet and more. The Bovet Récital 20 Astérium will be made in either red gold, white gold, or platinum case configurations which can be customized as Bovet has historically offered. It comes on an alligator leather strap fitted with an 18K red or white gold ardillon buckle.
Bovet concerns themselves with creating works of horological art for collectors who can appreciate and afford the product of their craft. The Bovet Récital 20 Astérium takes its rightful place within the Récital range and it will be a visual horological treat to hopefully share in hands-on photos soon. The Bovet Récital 20 Astérium is limited to 60 pieces and will have a price of $350,000. bovet.com