The ongoing partnership between Swiss watch manufacture Bovet and the Italian car design studio Pininfarina has resulted in one of the most fascinating timepieces on the market. Packed with all the mechanical complexity and refined finishes we associate with Bovet’s timepieces, the OttantaSei has a sleek, aerodynamic case and the symmetrical layout that belies the hand of Pininfarina.
Just days before Bovet was awarded the highest accolade in the watchmaking industry at the GPHG 2018, taking home the coveted “Aiguille d’Or” for its mind-blowing Récital 22 Grand Récital astronomical watch, the brand announced a platinum version of its OttantaSei Tourbillon model. Introduced in 2010 to celebrate Pininfarina’s 80th anniversary, the Ottanta Tourbillon has evolved into a collection in its own right. To satisfy the demand of collectors, Bovet has produced a limited edition of 10 OttantaSei watches in platinum, subtracted from the total of 86 movements the brand has committed to produce. Working in close collaboration over the years, Pininfarina’s designers and Bovet’s watchmakers agreed from the outset that the display of time, the double-sided flying tourbillon (regulating organ) and the power reserve indicator (energy) were all to be given equal weight.
Let there be light
‘Light’ was the operative word during the conception of the OttantaSei and the dial, caseback and even the flanks are sheathed in sapphire crystal for an impeccable view of the micromechanical show (the words ‘Limited Edition’ and ‘Pininfarina’ are laser-engraved into the glass on the side of the case). The distinctive Pininfarina case of the OttantaSei, with its crown at 12 o’clock, is now available in this exclusive 10-piece edition in gleaming platinum with a diameter of 44mm.
Like its siblings in gold and titanium, the case thickness is reined it at a very reasonable 12mm and the articulated lug at the top bends to adapt to the contours of the wrist. Although the previous titanium model weighed in at just 15.54g, you can expect the platinum model to weigh slightly more than the 51.66g gold model. With its grooved winding surface, the crown and the four screws in the upper lug are picked out in black for a racier feel that matches the black rubber strap.
Symmetry on the dial
With its high level of skeletonisation and openworked solutions, the surprising thing about the dial is its harmonious, symmetric layout. Three distinct blue circles – two counters and the perimeter of the flying tourbillon – create a balanced composition that is pleasing to the eye and extremely legible. The counter picked out in satin-finish blue on the left side is your fuel gauge, or power reserve indicator with a view of the single barrel that provides the watch with its mighty 10-day power reserve. The counter on the right indicates the hours and minutes with Arabic numerals and large, easy-to-read hands and a view of the gear train that drives the hands below. Nestled between the two is the flying tourbillon, located at 6 o’clock.
With no fewer than 104 components, the architecture of the patented double-sided tourbillon, with practically invisible attachments, creates the illusion that the tourbillon is revolving freely in space. The escapement and balance spring are positioned on either side of the central fixation point enhancing the chronometry of the watch and the aesthetic appeal of the movement. The plate, with its hand-chamfered sides, features sandblasted finishes and the high level of decoration associated with Bovet.
Flipping over the watch reveals another fascinating face with black-coated openworked bridges, fanciful finishes like the “Clous de Paris” (hobnail) on the plate, and thick Côtes de Genève stripes. The five-spoke wheel motif that can be seen on the top of the barrel is repeated on the plate, the barrel bridge, the ratchet and even the tourbillon bridge. The manual-winding movement (17BM03) is equipped with just one barrel but with a mighty power reserve of 10 days (240 hours) for the hours, minutes, power reserve indicator and tourbillon. A spherical differential halves the time it takes to wind the watch, without increasing the torque to the winding mechanism. The 18,000vph frequency of the balance is maintained by a spring made in-house by Bovet.
The 10 OttantaSei watches in platinum come with a 5-year international guarantee and a black rubber strap with a titanium folding clasp. Price is on request but expect just north of EUR 200,000. More details at www.bovet.com.