May 20, 2009
by Ariel Adams
This is one of those watches that I have been seeing in magazine advertisements for a while, slowly determining whether it was just a fascinating design that would get old, or a really lasting good design. I’ve decided that that the Bovet Sportster is an awesome watch that fits perfectly into the definition of what a luxury sports watch should be. I know, a departure from “I am not sure if I really like it,” but this appreciation hit like a lingering aftertaste. First, the watch is elegant. Yes, it is a strong and sporty looking watch, but it isn’t wildly designed with a busy array of elements on the face shoved in to make it looked interesting. It uses a clever bull-head style 46mm wide case, with a top lug structure that wraps nicely around the crown, but if moved allows for easy operation of the screw down crown. The case and pushers are made of 18k red gold, which is interesting in the black version of the case, which is PVD covered gold giving it the black color. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen the gold coated with black PVD, but does it make sense? The only point of gold is knowing that it is gold, but Bovet just covers the gold up with the PVD. Still, there is a little sense of gratification I would have knowing that my watch is gold, even if I cannot see it – plus the gold is seen in other parts of the watch.
Having a different style lug on the top and bottom of the case looks good. My feeling is that the idea behind this specific design is an attempt to bring the look of a pocket watch on the wrist. You can see that right? Like I said, the case is the size of a very small pocket watch at 46mm wide and 21.3mm thick (water resistant to 300 meters). Inside the watch is an automatic Bovet movement. Functions are a standard tri-compax chronograph with a big-date. Bovet makes use of its signature serpentine seconds counter hand for the chronograph. Around the chronograph is a tachymeter (measures speed) as well as a pulsometer (measures pulse). I don’t know that I have seen a watch that had both scales before. Usually one of the other is chosen. The dial overall is nicely legible. The numerals are easy to read and art-deco themed, while the skeletonized hands are conspicuous without being distracting. Lume tips the hands and is applied in dots around the dial. You can tell that the rubber strap is modeled after the slithering seconds hand – though I could see it being a bit like tire tread a la the Chopard Mille Miglia Dunlop tread strap.
The real star of the Bovet Sportster Saguaro Meteorite is the cacti the watch is named after! No, actually it is handsome meteorite dial. You can find both a Saguaro cactus and a meteorite in a desert though. As for the cactus, the Saguaro species are the most famous of cacti with their iconic shape – being able to grow very high. Living in Arizona for a while I got spend lots of time admiring these plants. More things need to be named after them! Meteorite stones, while falling all over the world, are mostly found in the desert for some reason. These are actually Gibeon meteorites, not from Arizona. There is an extreme romance to the idea that an extraterrestrial stone is cut, and sliver is polished for the dial of your watch. It is luxurious, and really makes you wonder about where this piece of your watch has been. Both versions of the watch feature meteorite dials. The gold dial is planted in gold, while the black dial is a clean polished iron meteorite plate. The red luminova looks good on the black dial right?
Price of these watches tops out at about $35,000. These are pretty high end luxury watches, and very rare as Bovet watches are hard to come by. There are also steel versions of the watch available for less… but all nice watches.
See Bovet watches on eBay here.