A Closer Look At Bovet’s Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two 10-Day Flying Tourbillon Big Date
Bovet presents the second chapter of its Virtuoso VIII tourbillon, a timepiece that continues the maison’s love for pushing artisanal fine watchmaking to the limits of what is possible.
The Virtuoso VIII was first introduced in 2017 to celebrate the 195th anniversary of the maison. This unique big date tourbillon alluded to the past while presenting a contemporary timepiece that combined the core values of the Bovet Maison – reliability, chronometry, and decorative arts.
A Combination Of The Dimier And Fleurier Worlds
When it was launched, the Virtuoso VIII 10-Day Flying Tourbillon Big Date presented something totally new for Bovet by blending the savoir-faire from both its Dimier and Fleurier collections into one timepiece. On the one hand, the Dimier collection is designed to showcase the latest technological advances and mechanical innovations of the maison. On the other, the Fleurier Grandes Complications collection is committed to elevating horology’s finest decorative arts. The Virtuoso VIII was truly a celebration of Bovet’s extensive know-how across the board.
A New Inclined Crystal
What also made the Virtuoso VIII stand out from the crowd was its unique incline of the sapphire crystal, tilted towards the eye of the wearer. This distinctive feature was not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye but also opened up new perspectives in terms of the caliber architecture caliber and the display of the functions.
Chapter Two Of Bovet’s Virtuoso VIII
In comparison to Chapter One, Bovet’s Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two offers a wholly redesigned dial with a power reserve indicator displayed at 9 o’clock and a big date at 3 o’clock. Both complications are displayed on large counters cut from blue aventurine glass, bringing all the magic and mystery of this glittering “starry night” material to the timepiece. They are positioned in a horizontal figure eight, the symbol for infinity and good fortune in many cultures.
An Exceptional Attention To Detail
Behind the dials, the steel plates and bridges have been chamfered and polished. The sunken disk plates have also been chamfered. Additionally, the two elegant arms over the flying tourbillon have been rounded and polished, and the surfaces of the bridges have been decorated with a circular Côtes de Genève motif on both sides. This extreme level of movement finishing is something Bovet prides itself on and adds to the timepiece’s technical prowess.
A Closer Look At The Big Date
To see such large number used for a date display on such a small sub-dial challenges the brain to figure out how it was done. One of the secrets to achieving this was to reduce the space between the tens and the units. The user experience has also been improved with a rapid date corrector activated via the iconic Bovet bow crown at 12 o’clock. This enables the wearer to change the date without even having to remove the timepiece from the wrist.
The Seconds Display
An index screwed into the tourbillon cage wheel indicates the seconds, another useful indication. The arrow of the index hangs over the edge of the delicate circular dial showing the 60 seconds. To achieve this, the seconds dial had to be affixed to the plate during the initial assembly phase, which was no easy feat for Bovet’s watchmakers, especially as they had to be particularly attentive to the delicate nature of the aventurine.
More Than A Movement
The hand-wound movement draws its energy from a single barrel that provides an impressive 10 days of power reserve. This is achieved thanks to a spherical winding system and a multi-gear three-dimensional tooth, which are protected by two individual patents. The innovative winding system reduces the number of crown turns needed for a full wind by half, all without increasing the friction and forces on the gears.
Other interesting details to note include a patented two-sided flying tourbillon that features an attachment point at the center of its axis and distribution on either side of the escapement and balance-spring, reducing the lever-arm effect and friction at the pivot point. Bovet’s watchmakers also chose a variable-inertia balance wheel to further improve the performance of the tourbillon. Six collets, driven into the center of the balance wheel, create a perfectly precise and dynamic balance and setting. The hairspring was also specially designed for this caliber and balance wheel.
The House Of Bovet
All of the above becomes even more impressive when you consider that it is all made and decorated in-house. The Virtuoso VIII Chapter Two 10-Day Flying Tourbillon Big Date is at the very summit of the horological pyramid. Our only question is, when it gets to this level, what could they possibly be planning for the maison’s 200th anniversary in 2022!
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)