Some 195 years ago, Bovet was founded by Edouard Bovet in London, who would go on to make watches to sell in China. The history thereafter is a bit hazy, but one thing that is certain is that Bovet watches are unlike any other. Love them or loathe them, many of Bovet watches have a style quite unlike anything else, and I have to respect them for that. Unlike other brands that might seem subject to trends and fads, Bovet seems blissfully unconcerned, creating watches that are uniquely theirs. Furthermore, many of their high-end pieces feature interesting technical innovations. Since 2017 marks the 195th anniversary of Bovet, the brand has just released the new Bovet Virtuoso VIII 10-Day Flying Tourbillon Big Date watch, a limited-edition piece to commemorate the occasion.


The Bovet Virtuoso VIII 10-Day Flying Tourbillon Big Date watch will be available in three case materials: 18k red gold, 18k white gold, and platinum. Case size is 44mm wide with a thickness of 13.45mm. Coupled with its unique and elaborate lug structure, we have here a big watch with certainly lots of wrist presence.

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But beyond that, what is special about the case design is that it is tapered like the Bovet Récital 18 Shooting Star and Récital 20 Astérium – meaning that it is at its thickest at 12 o’clock and then gradually becomes thinner sloping toward 6 o’clock. Bovet calls this “an inclined crystal aperture.” Whatever you call it, it is pretty cool since it is something you don’t see much in other watches.


The dial is done in typically Bovet fashion, which is to say it is both very classical and ornate in its styling. What captures your attention first are the two large sub-dials at 10 and 2 o’clock. The former is a power reserve indicator and the latter holds the big date complication. Time is read using the two slightly off-center hour and minute hands. At 6 o’clock is the double face flying tourbillon. Bovet also offers a selection of dials and owners will be able to choose from black lacquer, ivory, or blue aventurine.


The movement within has been designated the 17BM03-GD, and it is lavishly hand-decorated to Bovet’s usual high standards. The bridges and plates have been chamfered and polished, the disk plates are sunk and also chamfered, and numerous bridges have been painstakingly engraved by hand.

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The flying tourbillon deserves special mention because the bridges are made out of titanium to reduce inertia and magnetism. But more importantly, they have been shaped to resemble wings and have been mirror-polished to achieve maximum sheen.


Aside from being beautiful to look at, the movement also has some practical features. The 10-day-long power reserve means owners need not wind them regularly, but such a long power reserve usually necessitates tedious winding as well. Not so in the case of the Bovet Virtuoso VIII 10-Day Flying Tourbillon Big Date, because the winding mechanism contains a spherical differential that halves the numbers of turns required to fully wind the watch. Incredibly, it does so without increasing either the friction or force required.

Another practical feature is the correction for the big date. No pusher is required because the date can be adjusted by simply pressing the crown. And because the crown is located at 12 o’clock, there’s no fear of accidental date corrections either.


As I mentioned at the beginning, Bovet watches are those you either love or hate. Personally, I am quite fond of their ornate styling and I can definitely foresee wealthy collectors adding one to their collection. The Bovet Virtuoso VIII 10-Day Flying Tourbillon Big Date is limited to just 80 pieces and priced at $199,800 in red gold, $209,800 in white gold, and $267,800 in platinum.

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