Bovet 1822 Partners With Rolls-Royce To Create Two Unique Timepieces, And Seeing Is Believing
What happens when a couple who are Bovet and Rolls-Royce collectors partners with both brands to bring their watch and automobile dreams to fruition? An industry first, of course.
It started with a dream. Now, after three years in the works, it has finally come true. The project began with a married couple’s vision a custom-built Rolls-Royce, called the “Boat Tail,” made to their exact design specifications, including a pair of Bovet timepieces that could be the automobile’s clock but also worn on the wrist. Both the watch and the coach-built automobile are 100% commissioned and unique to the world.
“Based on a true commission model, Boat Tail represents a collaborative exploration of luxury, design, and culture between BOVET 1822, Rolls-Royce, and the commissioning clients,” Bovet said in a statement.
Both Bovet and Rolls-Royce are dedicated to the finest craftsmanship and unwavering standards. And one of the many challenges for Bovet was to build a timepiece that could withstand the movement of the car and keep accurate time while remaining continuously in the vertical position.
As you are probably aware, tourbillons were first invented to minimize the effect of gravity on a pocket watch’s movement. And this was no trivial matter as pocket watches were always worn in a vertical position, so gravity often interfered with timekeeping accuracy. Thus, a tourbillon function was the natural choice as a starting point for the watches.
Amadéo to the Rescue
Bovet created a version of its proprietary Amadéo System to create a dashboard-mounted clock that can convert to a wristwatch, a table clock, a pocket watch, and a pendant watch. Moreover, each watch was designed to the collectors’ exact specifications.
They are both encased in 18K gold, with the feminine watch engraved and filled with blue lacquer and the man’s highly polished. Both have a hand-sculpted statue of Rolls-Royce’s iconic “Spirit of Ecstasy” on the tourbillon bridge and hand-inlaid Obsidian Ayous wood marquetry, which exactly matches the wood on the Boat Tail.
On the reverse side, the man’s dial is aventurine glass that is superimposed with the owner’s sky chart. The woman’s watch has a mother-of-pearl dial that is hand-painted with a miniature flower bouquet. Plus, adding to the uniqueness of the watches and their intimate connection with the car, each reverse dial has a carved replica of the car that is lacquered in the exact shade of the car, with detailed hand painting, including mirrors, wheels, and door handles.
The Thrill of the Challenge
“As a long-time Rolls Royce owner and lover, I am particularly pleased to have an opportunity to work on such a special bespoke project,” said Bovet 1822’s owner, Pascal Raffy. “The owners of the coach-built car and these bespoke timepieces are dear friends of mine and valued collectors of Bovet 1822, so it was important to do the very best for them – two completely new pieces that are unlike anything we have ever done before.”
The car dashboard mounting was another painstaking challenge for Bovet. The dashboard holder had to be tested to the exacting standards of the car and meet a predetermined weight limit. It had to undergo the rigorous testing required for a Rolls-Royce, including safety, vibration, and security. “No other timepiece has ever undergone such scrutiny and testing – up to and including crash tests,” according to the brand.
The watches, which both measure 44mm, are equipped with a bespoke 60-second tourbillon, are hand-wound, and have a power reserve of five days. Each piece can be converted to a wristwatch by attaching a strap, converted to a pocket watch by attaching a fob, converted to a pendant by attaching a necklace chain, or converted to a table clock by simply placing it on a table. There’s a custom-built drawer in the car to store the timepieces, straps, fob, and necklace chain. The drawer slides right into the dashboard.
Extraordinary New Car and New Watch
To be sure, no other timepiece has ever been built like this one. Similarly, the coachbuilding at Rolls-Royce created an entirely unique new car, according to Chief Executive Torsten Müller-Ötvös. “This marks a seminal moment for the House of Rolls-Royce,” he said. “Rolls-Royce Coachbuild is a return to the very roots of our brand. It represents an opportunity for the select few to participate in the creation of utterly unique, personal commissions of future historical significance.”
Certainly, deep pockets are required to obtain this level of ultimate luxury. But as the ultimate expression of bespoke quality, both watch and car are the stuff of which dreams are made.