Established in 1822, Bovet emerged as a prominent player in the high-end timepiece industry. Throughout the 19th century, Bovet became one of the most distinguished names in China, crafting opulent pocket watches adorned with lavish enamels and embellished with pearls. This distinctive, ornate aesthetic has transcended time and echoes in the contemporary Bovet timepieces, a testament to Pascal Raffy’s visionary approach after acquiring the company in 2001.
Guided by Raffy, Bovet, an independent Fleurier-based brand, has excelled in creating timepieces that embody intricacy, originality, and often eccentricity. Rooted in the brand’s historical origins, these watches seamlessly integrate modern technology to redefine elegance. The Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two, introduced by Bovet in 2020, is a shining example of the brand’s watchmaking principles. This exceptional timepiece boasted a sapphire case, offering a captivating window into the intricate architectural mechanism housed within it. Since its introduction, the brand released a few Chapter Two iterations, distinguished by colours and materials used, with versions to include a red-gold case or sapphire cases with dial variations, such as this Sunshine edition.
Our extensive hands-on experience with the new Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two with a purple dial allowed us to delve into its complexities and gather insightful thoughts for a comprehensive report. Join us as we explore the distinctive expression of Bovet’s watchmaking artistry, where tradition meets innovation in a harmonious blend – something you can discover in the in-depth video below.
The Bovet Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two is a substantial timepiece. It’s sporting a pocket-watch-like diameter of 47.8 mm and 15.5mm thickness at the highest point, so wrist wearability may not be ideal for some. The watch feels more like a technical and decorative marvel, a wearable objet d’art that asks to be placed on a desk rather than wrapped around the wrist. Still, the Brainstorm Chapter Two proves equally fascinating when viewed from various angles, as it allows us to discover important details, both decorative and functional – like the 5-day linear power reserve indicator at the top of the case, at the 12 o’clock side between the lugs.
When observed from a direct top-down perspective, the watch assumes a round appearance, showcasing a symmetrical and alluring arrangement of complications, with the illusion that the movement is rising from the back and floating in mid-air. However, a shift in viewpoint to the side unveils the watch’s multilayered construction, depth, and three-dimensional movement, providing an engaging visual experience that truly allows the wearer to appreciate its complexity. Although transparent sapphire cases keep popping up here and there, the Brainstorm Chapter Two distinguishes itself with its unconventional “writing desk” inclined shape, introduced in 2016. It has now become a signature Bovet design. Notably, the lightweight case isn’t entirely sapphire; instead, it consists of a titanium frame for the caseback and lugs, with the sapphire case middle and front mounted on this framework. The case, with its sloped profile, invites enthusiasts to explore the Brainstorm Chapter Two inner works and indications – a mesmerizing flying tourbillon, a captivating three-dimensional moon phase, and a second time zone indication.
A trio of miniature domes takes centre stage on the dial, with a tourbillon positioned at six o’clock. The largest dome at 12 o’clock boasts an engraved purple quartz surface and houses the primary timekeeping subdial. The coloured quartz is translucent but not transparent enough to show the underlying mechanism in detail.
Moving to the domed dial at 9 o’clock, which completes a rotation once per lunar month, we encounter the mesmerizing double-hemisphere moon phase, exquisitely detailed with deeply etched moon surface. The moon phase is indicated with the help of the circles showing the night sky, moving through the openings of the figure-8 aperture. When the sky circles are fully in, the new moon is on the rise. When they are completely out, watch out for werewolves. The moon-phase display has lume applied to the stars in the sky circles and lunar surface for a dramatic experience.
At 3 o’clock, a rotating purple time zone dome completes a full revolution every 24 hours. This dome is a true world time indicator, allowing you to read the local time effortlessly in 24 reference locations. The gold-coloured tuning fork-like hand outlining your chosen city highlights the time in your preferred second time zone.
The moon phase and time zone displays are each driven by three light-purple ruby rollers on their external circumference (the patented radial guidance mechanism system), adding an aesthetic flair and ensuring the domes remain lightweight, requiring less energy to rotate. The presence of these captivating purple rubies sparks curiosity about what the watch would look like if all the blued screws were given a bit more heat to achieve purple colour.
Taking centre stage at 6 o’clock is the 60-second tourbillon, held by a five-armed star-like structure. The tourbillon is expertly designed to appear “flying”, with no bridge obstructing the view from either side. It seems to hover in space, and the 21,600vph beat rate renders its oscillations visible, offering a mesmerizing spectacle. This double-sided design isn’t just captivating from the front; it creates a dynamic visual experience when observed through the caseback.
From the caseback perspective, the intricate network of skeleton bridges, adorned with a dazzling hammered “broken glass” pattern and mirror bevelled, unfolds as a mesmerizing display. The play of tiny changing reflections at varying angles adds an extra mystique to this exceptional timepiece, and the inner titanium support parts are smartly designed and do not compromise the haute horlogerie spectacle.
The Bovet Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two Purple may seem “just another” variation among the timepieces released in the series limited to 60 altogether. Yet, the subtle change in colour scheme makes this purple edition so much different, for each edition is quite philosophical and often cosmic, appealing to different souls. This Purple edition of the Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two will be produced in a limited series of 7, and the price is cosmic, too: CHF 390,000. For additional information, please visit www.bovet.com.