Monochrome Watches
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Bovet Virtuoso VIII (Live Pics & Pricing)

An evolution of Bovet's powerful, haute horlogerie tourbillon and big date watch.

| By Xavier Markl | 3 min read |

Bovet watches break from the norm. The Virtuoso Collection is a showcase for the brand’s superb mechanics, mastery of artisanal finishes and unique approach to watchmaking. On the occasion of the Geneva Watch Days, Bovet unveils the second chapter of the Virtuoso VIII – a 10-day power reserve, big date, flying tourbillon watch with superb execution. Let’s take a closer look.

A powerful watch with a 10-day power reserve movement and flying tourbillon on full display, the Virtuoso VIII was released in 2017 as Bovet celebrated its 195th anniversary. The brand now introduces a new – and handsome – version of this timepiece featuring a new dial layout and a new decoration for the movement, with circular Geneva stripes versus the previous Fleurisanne engraving. 

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In typical Bovet fashion, the Virtuoso VIII stands out with its distinctive mechanics and artistic approach to watchmaking. The watch design is based on a symmetrical movement layout with two large sub-dials (made of aventurine glass for the version we had for review) showing the power reserve and a big date indication. These make all indications legible and clear. The tourbillon at 6 o’clock creates a counterpoint. The brand’s patented double-sided flying tourbillon and the one-minute rotation of the beautifully finished cage can be admired from both sides of the watch. The power reserve indication is driven by a cone (visible at 8 o’clock) moving up and down along a threaded arbour. A smart feature, the date is advanced by pressing the pusher inserted into the crown.

The watch’s movement is the hand-wound calibre 17BM06-GD, which runs at 18,000 vibrations per hour. It can store up to ten days of power reserve on a single (oversized) barrel. Thanks to a smart and patented spherical differential winding system, the number of crown turns needed to fully wind the barrel spring is halved without increasing friction and forces exerted on the gears. 

Turning the watch over, the back of the movement reveals the other side of the tourbillon and of the spherical winding differential gear through an aperture in the barrel bridge. The gear train is held in place by a pair of distinctive finger bridges. The beautiful architecture is enhanced by a circular Geneva stripe décor. Last, the caseback is engraved with a maxim written in old French: “Faictes de mains de maistres – pour servir ponctuels gentilshommes – ce par quoy attestons longue valeur” (Masterfully handcrafted – to serve punctual gentlemen – whereby we certify lasting value).

Measuring 44mm in diameter, the case is available in pink of white gold. It immediately reminds us of yesteryear pocket watches with its crown at 12 o’clock protected in a bow attachment. It features a ‘writing slope’ profile: it is at its thickest at 12 and then gradually becomes thinner sloping toward 6 o’clock. This original concept aims at offering a unique perspective on the movement’s architecture, decoration, and function displays. On the wrist, the watch has great presence and a style that is distinctively Bovet.

The Bovet Virtuoso VIII is available in pink and white gold in a limited edition of 38 movements. It is worn on a full-skin alligator leather strap closed by a gold folding buckle. It retails for CHF 160,000.

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