Haute Horlogerie: Bovet from Switzerland

Bovet is a Swiss brand of luxury watchmakers; the company has a rich history. It was founded in 1822 in London by Edouard Bovet and his 3 brothers. Being sons of a Swiss master watch maker, they were already working as individuals in the watch business before they started working together.

Chinese market

Edouard went to Canton (China) in 1818 and managed to sell in a short period of time 4 of his watches. He made about 10.000 Swiss Francs with it, of which the equivalent would now be about 1 million USD. Bovet and his brothers focused on manufacturing watches for the Chinese market. Their earliest watches were created in identical pairs so if one watch needed to return to Europe for repair, the owner still had a fine watch to wear.

Pascal Raffy

Bovet moved their manufacturing to Fleurier, Switzerland where the company is still residing as of today. The current owner is Pascal Raffy, who took over the company in 2001. At that time Raffy was a passionate watch collector, who had hundreds of vintage timepieces in his possession. He was quite often invited to invest in watch companies. He never felt tempted to do so until he stumbled over a Bovet. Later, he said he knew in an instant that this watch was truly different from the rest.

His goal was to build Bovet into a true watchmaking house with a soul. It was not about trying to make as much money as possible or building a huge brand. He promised himself Bovet would never make more than 4000 watches a year and since collectors are looking for unique things and quality, he also decided the watches should be very expensive. But worth every single penny. The watches are within a price range from $20.000 to about $2.500.000 for those with grand complications. Yet, every Bovet timepiece is hand-crafted to the same high standards. About a third of the watches are one-of-a-kind pieces that are made to order.

Women artisans

Bovet currently has more than 100 employees and produces around 2,000 watches per year. Interesting detail: Bovet is employing several women artisans, which is still rare for watch making companies.

Signature features include Bovet’s iconic “bow” atop the crown, unusually placed at the 12 o’clock position as well as the patented Amadeo (reversible) case which allows the watch to be used as a wristwatch, a pocket watch, or a small table clock. After reversing the case to display the opposite dial side, both ends of the leather strap can be easily detached and reattached.

Haute Horlogerie: Bovet from Switzerland

Let us look at some of the amazing Bovet timepieces.

armand-nicolet-south-africa-Bovet Virtuoso V - 1 Haute Horlogerie Bovet from Switzerland





And then take a look at the back side of this watch:

armand-nicolet-south-africa-Bovet Virtuoso V - 2Another beautiful piece, limited edition of 60, the Récital 22 Grand Récital

To get a perfect impression of this watch, check out this video 

This blog is brought to you by Armand Nicolet, watchmakers from Switzerland. We kindly invite you to visit our South African webshop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Armand Nicolet South Africa