Pascal Raffy, owner of the House of Bovet 1822, and the brand’s artisans are honored to celebrate Bovet’s 198th anniversary of pure “Engineering Brilliance” and exceptional artistry of human watchmaking. Raffy invites you on a journey through the House’s creation and substantial contribution to watchmaking history.
The Bovet Brothers: On May 1, 1822 – 198 years ago – the House of Bovet was officially founded in London – the predominant location for watchmaking at the time.
However, the history of Bovet actually started many years earlier, when Jean-Frédéric Bovet, a renowned Swiss watchmaker, made the decision to send his watchmaker sons, Frédéric, Alphonse, and Edouard, to London, to officially register their house as a London-operating business.
In 1818, while his two brothers focused on establishing the business, Edouard Bovet started his journey to Canton, China, where he became a pioneer in the sale of pocket watches. It was not long thereafter that the Chinese Emperor, his Court, and the country’s nobility, fell in love with the hand-crafted Fleurisanne engraving that decorated Bovet’s timepieces.
The early 1820s saw the two brothers, Frédéric and Alphonse Bovet, direct the operations of crafting timepieces in Fleurier, while still trading and overseeing the administrative work in London. Edouard moved to China and lived there until 1830, to ensure that his collectors’ needs and desires were being met.
The Bovet Brothers went on to write some of the greatest chapters in fine watchmaking history by elevating the decorative arts to a standard that is still unrivaled to this day. For a full century, the entire valley surrounding the village of Fleurier, known as the Val-de-Travers, reaped the rewards of the Chinese penchant for watches. As a result of the talent and success embodied by the Bovet Brothers, a true regional industry was born.
Until the end of their era, the Bovet Brothers successfully showcased the essence of the watchmaking decorative arts, while continuously innovating. They are credited with the development of transparent casebacks, designed to enable collectors to explore and admire the decorated movements as never before. Their dedication to the decorative arts not only made the movements beautiful but also amplified the chronometry by increasing their power reserve and accuracy.
These skills and know-how of the House of Bovet are exemplified in another important achievement and significant contribution to the watchmaking history: the development of the longest power reserve ever made. This momentous pocket watch is part of the International Museum of Watches’ collection in La Chaux-de-Fonds. It features a 370-day power reserve with a single barrel. The Bovet Brothers’ passion for ingenuity and dedication to the decorative arts, culminated in the first exhibition caseback and the longest power reserve ever made.
Pascal Raffy, owner of the House of Bovet since 2001, is himself a devoted collector, dedicated to preserving the House of Bovet’s traditions, all while “Engineering Brilliance.” Raffy and the House of Bovet create the finest handcrafted timepieces, so as to allow collectors to experience what is the true pleasure of the luxury of time. To further ensure Bovet’s excellence, Raffy has limited the House’s annual production to 800 handcrafted timepieces. Raffy is redefining true luxury by making all components in-house, respecting Swiss artisanal processes, and adding his commitment to exclusivity and uniqueness.
As a result of the talent and success of the Bovet Brothers, and Raffy’s commitment to honor their values, the House of Bovet continues to handcraft timepieces that fascinate and enthrall the most demanding collectors. All of this executed with the “Engineering Brilliance” of the decorative arts, innovation, and chronometry. Raffy invites you to continue this journey with him, as the House of Bovet leads the pathway of Engineering Brilliance today, tomorrow, and for many more centuries to come.