Blue is an integral part of Maison Bovet’s culture and watchmaking spirit. Whether present on a major or minor note, on the dials or in the movement, this color has played a crucial role in the history and creation of Bovet’s timepieces. The color’s strength lies in the breadth of its palette, and the house has always finessed this transcendent hue to great effect.
Blue claims a unique status in the world of fine arts. The pigments that produced shades of blue shades were exceptionally rare and much sought by painters from the 15th to the 19th centuries, setting blue apart as the grandest color of all. More than a mere historical heritage, this hue is instead a core symbol of Bovet’s approach to watchmaking. An approach that naturally holds a special place for the color blue. It is a narrative that accompanies the Bovet Récital 11 “Miss Alexandra.”
For Bovet, blue represents both a material and a shade. First, the blue tone is produced by a lacquer. This form of painting delivers a glossy finish and is applied in multiple layers to present depth and relief. Maison Bovet’s master dial craftsmen are exceptionally meticulous in their approach to this technique.
The feminine Récital 11 “Miss Alexandra” timepiece presents a finely-worked finish, highlighting its extraordinary moon phase dial in textured blue. The subdial of this complication features a plate engraved with a “bris de verre” motif in a blue that recalls the night sky. This blue also features on the double cover that displays the phases of the moon as it appears in the night sky, chiseled with the same motif.
Blue is also a mineral shade: aventurine. This ornamental glass, studded with flecks of copper that illuminate it from within, is deep blue and translucent. Its star-studded effect ties in perfectly with the emotional universe evoked by the moon phases, a favored complication in Bovet’s technical repertoire.
Aventurine features prominently in the Récital 11 “Miss Alexandra” lunar complication. A timepiece that places the moon center stage requires a starry sky background. But in a subtle play on this motif, the moon in Récital 11 remains engraved in blue. The hour dial has, however, been carved from aventurine, enhanced with diamond hour markers.
Blue is also synonymous with technical quality. The blued screw has always been a sign of high-end manufacturing. Produced by expertly heating the steel, the aim is to soften the material after it has been tempered. Blue featured in many of Bovet’s older pocket watches, their balance-springs, balance-cocks, and their bridges. This technique is still practiced today in the technical components found in its calibers. The movement of Récital 11 “Miss Alexandra,” for example, contains blued screws.
Bovet works with two palettes of blue, one cold, the other warm. The color personality of the Récital 11 “Miss Alexandra” is determined by the material used to produce its case. As for rose gold, it exudes a natural warmth that needs to be tempered. The blue accentuates the contrasts, bringing the detailing of Récital 11 to the fore. It acts as a condiment rather than an ingredient. A spice that the house has mastered, and one that provides character, sharpness, and personality.
Therefore, blue conveys a message that is loaded with technical, poetic and historical meaning. It evokes Bovet’s rich heritage and its wide-ranging expertise. As an accent or background color, Bovet has embraced blue as a language and used it to decorate Récital 11 as well as other timepieces in its vast collection. With this approach, which combines elegance with finely-tuned watchmaking, Pascal Raffy and his craftsmen have proven themselves to be the true masters of color.