To begin the year 2020, BOVET 1822 has commemorated the three international distinctions awarded to the tourbillon Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter One, by manufacturing an exclusive edition of only 10 timepieces, characterized by a hemispherical dial sculpted from a block of red quartz.
This exceptional timepiece presents a host of innovations and gives a glimpse of the scope of the unprecedented possibilities for interpreting timekeeping offered by the “writing slope” case. For this first Brainstorm® chapter, Mr. Raffy wanted a sapphire model. Chosen for its crystalline transparency, sapphire is also the second hardest material known after diamond. The lightness of sapphire is also unsurpassed, and in fact weighs less than titanium.
This novel choice represented a major challenge for Maison BOVET’s technicians. While sapphire cases have been in use for almost forty years, their designs have, up to present, remained relatively simple, due to the machining and polishing constraints posed by this extremely hard material. The asymmetric profile of the middle, bezel, and glass of the “writing slope” case confronted engineers and technicians with hitherto unresolved difficulties.
The middle and glass ultimately form a single element that respects the original design of the collection’s inclined cases. The back consists of a bezel and four horns that have been machine-cut from grade 5 titanium. The bezel features a sapphire glass that opens generously onto the back of the movement and reveals a wealth of secrets. In order to optimize transparency and ergonomics, BOVET 1822’s watchmakers decided to fasten the movement in the back rather than inside the middle as is usually the case.
The movement chosen to occupy this three-dimensional panoramic showcase is regulated by the patented double face flying tourbillon. It features a variable inertia balance for even greater chronometry through the use of a traditional hairspring. Mastery of hairspring production sets BOVET apart, a rarified science mastered by very few watchmakers. The new caliber draws its energy from a single barrel that guarantees 10 days’ power reserve despite numerous animated complications. To decrease the winding time, BOVET developed the doubly patented spherical differential winding system that halves the number of turns of the crown required to wind the timepiece completely.
Brainstorm® displays the hours and minutes offset at 12 o’clock. As it is the highest section under the case’s pronounced dome, the watchmakers have manufactured a special high hand-fitting. An index screwed onto the carriage wheel along with two of the carriage bridge’s arms follow one another 120° apart, crossing the graduated seconds sector in a main dial milling.
To accentuate the transparency of the case, the power reserve is displayed via a printed cam that shows the energy available through a “crescent-shaped” indicator placed at 4 o’clock. Positioned symmetrically at 8 o’clock, a big date almost mysteriously appears in a circular aperture. The entire mechanism is revealed to the collector’s eye, who will be able to appreciate its finest details through the use of the sapphire units disk that provides the necessary transparency.
At 12 o’clock, nestled in the volume of the hours and minutes dial, arises a three-dimensional moon phase, whose dome’s camber masterfully counters the curves of the dial. For heightened realism, the lunar dome’s surface is engraved, and the lower sections filled with Superluminova®. The sky is represented here in its finest expression. BOVET 1822’s dial-makers have achieved an impressive feat by setting two circular aventurine glass plates in the pronounced curve of the hemispherical moon phase indicator. The moon phases are thus read with a striking realism through the two circular apertures that overlook the dome.
The dial of this new timepiece is a pronounced red quartz dome whose transparency allows the collector’s eye to roam unencumbered over the movement’s different layers.
The movement, entirely developed and manufactured in BOVET 1822’s offices and workshops, reveals a stepped architecture whose succession of inclined planes carries all the movement’s mobiles and components. This offers a host of advantages. First of all, it makes it possible to optimally fill the volume of the middle’s V-shaped profile for enhanced ergonomics and an aesthetic worthy of the most demanding criteria in fine watchmaking craftsmanship. Each indication hinges on an axis perpendicular to the bezel’s inclined plane, offering the best legibility from the most natural angle and positioning on the wrist.
This specific construction in sapphire created a set of unprecedented difficulties for all the artisans. Micro-engineers, decorators, dial-makers, and watchmakers together succeeded in meeting the many challenges presented by this new case material in the Récital 26.
The Tourbillon Brainstorm Chapter One is limited to sixty movements. But only ten exclusive timepieces adorned with a red quartz dial will be manufactured.