What timepiece could be better suited to celebrating the 195th anniversary of BOVET than a Big Date Tourbillon?
Beyond its subtle historic allusions, this Virtuoso VIII represents the very essence of the Fleurier Grandes Complications collection as defined by Pascal Raffy himself. So while the DIMIER Collection is designed to showcase the latest advances and innovations in development and technology, the Fleurier Grandes Complications Collection is dedicated to constantly elevating traditional artisanal watchmaking to new heights.
The Virtuoso VIII is, however, the first timepiece in the Fleurier Collection to reprise an inclined crystal aperture along the 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock axis, like the innovative case of the Récital 18 Shooting Star® presented in 2016 and that of this year’s Récital 20 Astérium®. This truly innovative concept creates new perspectives for caliber architecture, as well for the decoration and display of functions. The movement of this new ambassador for the collection also features a number of significant innovations, as well as three of the patents pioneered by the Braveheart® Tourbillon, which was initially presented in 2015. But above all, the Virtuoso VIII is the ultimate expression of the artisanal watchmaking tradition that has been upheld by BOVET since 1822.
This new caliber benefits from all the know-how of the watchmakers at BOVET 1822. The extensive testing demonstrates that the latter has already earned a well-founded reputation for its reliability and capacity to drive various additional mechanisms. The energy of the caliber equipping the Virtuoso VIII is released by a single barrel, which provides over ten days of autonomy while maintaining the oscillations of the balance wheel at 18,000 vph. The flying tourbillon’s groundbreaking structure has also proved its worth both in terms of reliability and chronometric performance. But for the Virtuoso VIII, Pascal Raffy decided to opt for an architecture typical of 19th-century watches, with a full plate and bridges hollowed out into a series of scrolls.
This patented double face flying tourbillon has already demonstrated its full chronometric potential. Its fixed point in the center of its axis together with the distribution either side of the escapement and balance-spring give it a balance that drastically reduces the lever-arm effect and friction at the pivot point. To further improve the performance of this tourbillon, a new regulating organ has been developed and produced by the BOVET 1822 artisans. The pace of the new caliber is set by a variable inertia balance wheel. Six collets driven into the felly of the balance wheel allow for dynamic setting of the utmost precision. The balance spring has been specifically calculated for this caliber and balance wheel by the outstanding craftsmen at BOVET 1822. It is fixed to the tourbillon bridge by a double-ended mobile balance-spring stud support in accordance with the finest chronometric practices. The hand-finished wheels, traditionally burnished pivots and teeth cut using traditional artisanal methods also improve the chronometric performance of this caliber.