The novel piece by the brand led by Pascal Raffy shows a new take on one of the most respectable complications in the world of horology, the perpetual calendar. Its distinguishing feature is the fact that it reverses a common layout and offers a novel approach on the calendar’s indications. Moreover, the watch is set in the Amadeo case which allows its transformation to a pocket watch or a table clock. More importantly, it also means that the watch has another face on its rear side. The second face is made with an off-centered dial and with another seconds display on the same axis. Bovet 1822 Virtuoso VII Retrograde Perpetual Calendar timekeeper comes in red and white gold housings which can both be coupled with a white or a black dial. These four variants cost around $71,000. Finally, each piece in the quartet of basic versions can be upgraded with a diamond-encrusted bezel on one of its two supported faces. The limited edition timekeeper stems from the Amadeo Fleurier Complication series and it is made in 100 copies in each of its eight variants.
The First Dial
Bovet 1822 Virtuoso VII Retrograde Perpetual Calendar has a clever design that turns the common representation of the perpetual calendar features upside down. Unlike the usual setup where the time is shown on the periphery, here it takes the central place. This feature is based on the fact that reading of the time is quite easy even when the size of the analog display is diminished. The central part of the first face is thus reserved for a lacquered dial with applied Roman numerals and cathedral-shaped hands. Around this indication, there is a ring with a retrograde scale that is used to tell the current date. It is paired with a hand which travels under the central dial. This way the wearer can only see its blue triangular tip that shows to the appropriate position. Naturally, this enhances the reading of the time.
The calendar indications for the day of the week and the current month are respectively placed on left and right side of the date ring. They are painted on sapphire discs that revolve and the current one is shown with the means of a colored plate that highlights it. This way, it was possible to reveal the functioning of the movement even further which underlines the mechanical excellence of the piece.
Furthermore, the first face of the watch also includes a small seconds scale on the bottom, as well as an indication that shows whether it is a leap or a common year on the opposite side.
The Second Face
As if it the listed set of features of Bovet 1822 Virtuoso VII Retrograde Perpetual Calendar was not enough, there is also another face. Like the premier one, this also has the same type of a dial which is reduced in size. The only difference is that it is in this case off-centered and placed on the top of the face. Once again, there is likewise a seconds counter on the bottom which moves in a traditional clock-wise direction. This impressive feature that allows the watch to have two seconds counters on its two sides is enabled with a seconds chassis mechanism. Finally, there is also a power reserve display at the nine o’clock position located that shows the remaining state of the watch’s impressive storage that lasts for as much as five days.
Based on Previous Successes
Even though Bovet 1822 Virtuoso VII Retrograde Perpetual Calendar is quite original, it still shares some if its important traits with the previously released models of the brand. One of the most important ones among these is the mentioned Amadeo case that offers the versatility that is rarely seen on the market. Thanks to it, the watch has two different faces, but it can also be transformed to a different type of timekeeper: a pocket watch or a table clock. The Amadeo case system was originally introduced some six years ago.
Another trait that was seen in previous creations of the same brand is the beating heart of the watch, proprietary Caliber 13BM12AIQPR. Though it is a new movement since it was specifically adapted to the new calendar piece, it is based on the same caliber that was previously used in Monsieur Bovet and Virtuoso V pieces. Its greatest strongpoint is certainly a perpetual calendar feature, one of the most functional and demanding complications in the world of wathcmaking. Since the supported intricate system takes into account the different lengths of months and a four-year leap cycle, it requires its first adjustment after 400 years. A neat way to demonstrate its complexity is the difference between the speeds in which some if it wheels revolve. While the fastest of them revolves 12 times every single minute, the slowest-paced one needs eight years to complete a full revolution.
Otherwise, it should be said that Caliber 13BM12AIQPR is a manually-wound mechanical movement which includes as much as 489 components in its construction. It is 15 5/4 lignes wide and it operates at the frequency of 21600 vph.
The convertible case of the timepiece from the Amadeo Fleurier Complication series is round in shape. It is made of 18 K gold. The housing is 45.5 mm wide and 15.8 mm thick. Both its front and back crystals are made of sapphire. Similarly, its crown and lugs are topped off with blue sapphire stones. The attachment of choice is an alligator leather strap that fastens with an ardillon buckle made of red gold. When the timekeeper is converted in a pocket watch, there is also a supported silver chain with gold plating.
Bovet 1822 Virtuoso VII Retrograde Perpetual Calendar is made in a limited edition that is restricted to 100 pieces for each of its eight variants. There are actually four basic versions of the piece. The basic ones in red gold are the reference number ACPQR001 which comes with a white dial and a brown strap, as well as the serial number ACPQR003 which is made with a black dial and the wristlet in the same color. There are two more lavish versions in the same material which have the fixed bezel of the first face encrusted with 60 round-cut diamonds which weigh around 1.05 carat. These are Ref. ACQPR001-SD1 with a white dial and Ref. ACQPR003-SB1 with a black face.
Four other versions with white gold housings are all matched with black wristlets, while the chain for the pocket watch is made of silver with rhodium plating. The basic ones are the reference number ACQPR0002 which has a white dial, while the black one is featured in Ref. ACQPR003. The diamond-encrusted white-dial version is designated as Ref. ACQPR003-SB1, while the luxury model with a black dial bears the serial number ACQPR004-SD1.
Originally, the new Bovet 1822 model was included on the shortlist of models which were in the competition for the Best Calendar Prize at this year edition of the GPHG. However, Virtuoso VII Retrograde Perpetual Calendar did not make the next cut and it was not included in six models that remain in the competition for the prize at the upcoming award ceremony in Geneva.