Monochrome Watches
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Talking to Audrey Raffy, the Next Generation in the Bovet Family Affair

A new generation is coming to Bovet, and Vice President Audrey Raffy is already hard at work.

| By Frank Geelen | 5 min read |

In 2001, Mr Pascal Raffy bought the Bovet watch brand, and ever since, he has been carefully building the brand with a strong focus on Haute Horlogerie and doing as much as possible “in-house”. The vertical integration at Bovet 1822, which is the brand’s full name, is pretty impressive, and the number of in-house-made parts is amazing, including the production of hairsprings! In 2020, Mr. Raffy’s eldest daughter, Audrey, joined the brand, and during Dubai Watch Week, we sat down with her to discuss this family affair.

Pascal and Audrey Raffy, father and daughter, Owner and Vice President of Bovet 1822

As you might have guessed from the company’s full name, Bovet was founded in 1822. That’s quite a legacy to protect, and, no doubt about this, its current owner, Pascal Raffy, has done an incredible job in this regard. In its earliest days, Bovet was known as a manufacture of highly decorated and chronometrically advanced pocket timepieces, which would meet formidable success in Imperial China and beyond. Since 2001, Mr. Raffy has invested consistently in production and craftsmanship, which are key to creating these watches. His idea is that of a company with a holistic approach to watchmaking, of expert craftsmanship fueled by an ethic of no compromise.

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For the past 20 years, the Raffy family has been entirely devoted to making watches with a deep respect for traditions and the artisans behind them. Mr Raffy has always been a great advocate of his watchmakers whenever we’ve met him. However, a brand needs to evolve and stay connected with its times, and this is why Ms Audrey Raffy has recently joined the company, opening a new chapter in Bovet’s history. 

Audrey Raffy, Vice President and General Counsel of Bovet 1822 since 2020

Frank Geelen, MONOCHROME – For starters, Ms Raffy, can you tell us something about your background and your first memories of Bovet?

Audrey Raffy, Vice President and General Counsel of Bovet 1822 – I moved to the US for university and law school when I was about 19. I first went to the University of Miami for business and then to law school in Chicago, the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, to be precise. Of course, I had already heard my father talk about Bovet; he bought the brand when I was eight years old. He always talked about Bovet passionately, and I remember him talking about this during dinner. Later, when I was older, we started having proper conversations at the dinner table, and my father would show us his designs and ask for and listen to our opinions. With Instagram, for instance, he always asked me for my opinion. This way, I slowly became immersed in the watches and the world of Bovet.

When did you join the company, and how did you decide to join your father in his business?

When I was studying law, I told myself that I wanted to join my father. My father had Bovet for (almost) 20 years, and I had seen the level of dedication and work that he had put into it. I felt like it was my responsibility to join him and see how I could help him out, but only if I could really add something. I studied law and business, so I had an idea of the business, and that is how I joined the brand in 2020.

Bovet 19Thirty Blue Meteorite

What was your task or your part in the business when you started?

Before I started in 2020, I had already become more involved in some of the day-to-day affairs. And, as I already mentioned, with giving feedback on designs and so on. But as of 2020, I started reading the daily emails and attending watch fairs and meetings.

Is there a specific part of the business that’s mainly your responsibility?

My involvement with the brand is pretty diverse. It’s not just focused on one part of the business; however, most of my time is spent visiting our partners and events. Since we have partners around the world, that also means a lot of travelling. This is something that I really want to help my father with, as travelling from one side of the world to the other is pretty exhausting.

Bovet Battista Tourbillon Automobili Pininfarina

Are you also involved in the daily management of the manufacture locations in Switzerland?

That’s the part of the business that my father focuses on. Since I do most of the travelling, he focuses on the new collections and managing the ateliers. This also makes sense as he knows so much about the technical aspects of making watches; this is something that I’m just not as knowledgeable about as he is.

What do you think about the collection? Do you have any favourites in the Bovet collection?

My father always wants to stay true to the DNA of Bovet, which is more on the classic side, while it’s my goal to modernize the collection. Just think of the various models created in collaboration with Pininfarina or the smaller Bovet 19Thirty collection, which are aimed to appeal to more modern, younger, sportier collectors. Here, we want to offer brighter colours, different materials, and, for instance, rubber straps that are comfortable to wear. Of course, we will always have a very strong classic side, with the classic materials, in gold or other precious metals, and breathtaking complications.

I’m wearing the Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two. This was the watch I started wearing in 2020 when I joined the brand, and I haven’t switched since. So, I guess you could say it’s my favourite. I just love it. It is constructed from sapphire crystal and features a tourbillon, a world timer and a moon phase display beside the regular hours and minutes.

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1 response

  1. The watches are pretty amazing with a character all of their own, some showing a spectacular combination of modern and classic touches.
    I hope she can keep that pedigree in the brand whilst trying to put her own stamp on it.
    If not, well.. I’m not their target audience anyway.

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