BOVET 1822’s charity work has always supported childhood and education. It was only natural, therefore, for Pascal Raffy and the House’s artisans to choose to support research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy again this year by participating in the 7th edition of Only Watch.
The timepiece manufactured specifically for the occasion is unique in more ways than one. BOVET’s two centuries of supremacy in terms of watchmaking decorative arts are evident here in an interpretation that combines the expertise from an age-old tradition with innovation in the service of art.
Made from Grand Feu enamel or applied to a mother-of-pearl or lacquered base, BOVET 1822’s miniature paintings have been enchanting collectors since the early 19th century. Consequently a miniature painting was chosen to personalize this timepiece. Numerous variations on the chosen theme – a Geisha – have adorned the backs or dials of BOVET timepieces since 1822. The version presented on this timepiece is, naturally, an expression that is entirely new. But it is above all the technique used to create it that lends the piece its prestige and uniqueness.
A world first, the method is as unprecedented as it is luminous, entailing a combination of the traditional miniature painting technique with the application of layers of luminescent material. The work painted by the artist on the dial’s surface therefore becomes visible both by day and by night. But the virtuosity of BOVET 1822’s artisans inspired them to take this approach even further. Not content with glowing once night falls, the Geisha that adorns the dial literally undresses, her kimono disappearing as she lights up in the intimacy of the twilight. The artist is thus creating two paintings simultaneously. The artisan is also faced with a new constraint, in that he must repeatedly move from a lit room to a dark one in order to gauge each step of his meticulous work.
By presenting this timepiece suffused with tradition and innovation, BOVET 1822 brings a new dimension to applied arts, creating an unprecedented connection between the centuries-old tradition of miniature painting and that of erotic watches and reaffirming its position as the ultimate pioneer and reference in terms of watchmaking decorative arts.