Bovet Récital 22 Grand Récital

Cosmic Chronometry

Bovet gives high-end watchmaking enthusiasts the Sun, Moon and Earth with its award-winning Récital 22 Grand Récital.


By Scott Hickey
November 1, 2020

It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since Pascal Raffy, who owns the Fleurier-based manufacture, took the stage at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève awards show to accept the evening’s top prize (the Aiguille d’Or) for the Récital 22 Grand Récital.

This year, Bovet returns with a new version of its acclaimed watch, one that boasts a subtle, yet helpful, upgrade. In the original, the hour is indicated by an arrow that points up to the 24-hour scale that circumnavigates the rotating globe that serves as the dial’s centerpiece. In the latest iteration, the brand introduces a second arrow that swoops in from above and makes it easier to read the hour. The dynamic shape also echoes the “v” in Bovet.

What hasn’t changed is the Récital 22 Grand Récital’s incredibly intuitive display of astronomical indications. The technical details in this watch run quite deep so it’s best to just dive right in.

The dial is a tellurium orrery, an animated mechanical model of the Earth, Sun and Moon.

 

ASTRONOMICAL THEATER
In the Récital 22 Grand Récital, the dial provides a stage where the cosmic choreography between the Earth, Moon and Sun plays out in miniature. If you recall, the watch is what’s known as a tellurium orrery, which is a mechanical model that shows the movement of the three heavenly bodies that set the rhythm of our daily existence.

Here, the Sun is represented artistically by the double-sided flying tourbillon positioned at 6 o’clock. Nearby, the hemispherical Earth rotates on its own axis to complete a 24-hour cycle each day. To conclude the planetary presentation, a spherical Moon orbits the Earth every 29.53 days. This timeframe is known as the synodic period, which is the precise amount of time it takes for the Moon to return to the same position relative to the Sun and Earth.

The new V-shaped hand that indicates the hour is a subtle reference to the “v” in Bovet.

 

HEAVENLY HOROLOGY
While that brief description provides a surface understanding of the Récital 22 Grand Récital, there’s much more to discover when you peel back the layers of this complex creation. For instance, the tourbillon that regulates the movement has been raised above the surface of the caliber instead of being on the same horizontal plane as it is in similar watches. Bovet’s patented construction not only provides impressive chronometric precision, but elevating it ensures that the mechanism makes a more significant impact visually.

The Sun aligns with the hemispheric Earth on the dial of the Récital 22 Grand Récital, where the blue planet takes pride of place in the symmetrical arrangement. Much like our terrestrial home, it rotates once every 24 hours, making it the perfect 24-hour indicator. And if you look at the Earth and Sun together, you get a day/night indicator where half the globe facing the Sun is in daylight, and the other half is in darkness.

Beyond that functional role, the Earth is also an artistic triumph. Its surface is engraved with a map that’s embellished with hand-painted oceans, mountains, clouds, and more. The miniature painting also incorporates luminescent material so that portions glow in the dark.

Similarly, half of the Moon is engraved and filled with the luminous material to create both the light and dark sides of the Moon. This means that it not only orbits the Earth every 29.53 days, but it also indicates which part of the Moon is illuminated by the Sun. This type of lunar indication is exceedingly rare, and its design is protected by one of the five patents held by the Récital 22 Grand Récital.

The various indicators and the tourbillon are raised to enhance their visual impact.

 

INFINITE IMAGINATION
In addition to the celestial spectacle, the dial delivers even more information. To start, there are two retrograde indicators that neighbor the Earth. The one on the left shows the minutes, while the other counts down the caliber’s nine-day power reserve. In a wonderful artistic flourish, both displays are curved to mirror the shape of the hemispheric globe. Finally, there’s an opening next to the tourbillon for the date. It has a luminous circular bezel that’s fitted with a magnifying glass that makes it easy to read the date.

Turn the watch over, and you’ll discover the Récital 22 Grand Récital’s perpetual calendar among waves of côtes de Genève decoration that radiate from tourbillon, which is visible from the backside. The windows that show the day, month, leap year, and current hour are all encompassed within a double-sided date ring that’s also used to indicate the date on the dial side.

As collectors know, a perpetual calendar is one of the most useful complications in all of horology. Conversely, they can also be one of the most frustrating when it comes to setting the various indications. That’s something Raffy and his team of engineers set out to address with the Récital 22 Grand Récital.

The perpetual calendar is visible from the back, where it’s integrated into the highly decorated base plate.

 

Like most perpetuals, this watch has tiny buttons on the side of the case that are used to set the calendar and tellurium. To make life easier for collectors, Bovet has patented a corrector button that’s located between the top lugs. If the watch stops running for three days, for example, you no longer need to correct each indication individually. Instead, you push the button three times, and all the functions adjust simultaneously. This innovation represents a tremendous improvement over traditional perpetuals.

There’s one other aspect of the Récital 22 Grand Récital that aims to improve the user’s experience — its case. What makes it unique is the shape. When the watch is lying flat, it appears to be a traditional round case. But from the side, you can see that it’s actually inclined — shorter at the bottom and taller at the top. This angle — which Bovet calls the “writing slope” — makes it easier to read the dial, regardless of whether the watch is on or off the wrist.

With a watch as mechanically and artistically intricate as the Récital 22 Grand Récital, it’s imperative to see it for yourself to fully appreciate it. Luckily, that’s possible at Cellini, where we currently have the titanium model on display. Contact us for more information, or to make an appointment to experience the Récital 22 Grand Récital for yourself.

Click here to view the Bovet collection online at Cellini Jewelers.

The titanium case is angled so that it’s easier to read on or off the wrist.