. A year later, BOVET reprised this incredible celestial timepiece with the Récital 20 Astérium, which borrowed the Récital 18’s innovative case, original architecture, and intuitive display of astronomical indications.
Just as the cosmos knows no bounds, so too, the infinite scope of BOVET Owner Pascal Raffy’s imagination takes its latest form in a newly formed trilogy of celestial timepieces. The Récital 22 Grand Récital tourbillon forms the third chapter in the poetic watchmaking narrative begun by Pascal Raffy and the Maison’s artisans two years ago. Together, they now invite us to observe the three heavenly bodies that set the pace of our lives: the sun, earth, and moon.
This grand astronomical theater has been presented by BOVET in a Tellurium-Orrery, with the sun represented by the flying tourbillon, whose carriage bridge evokes fiery rays. The striking hemispherical earth rotates on its own axis and shows the hours on a natural 24-hour cycle. Finally, a spherical moon orbits the earth according to the exact length of its synodic period, i.e. 29.53 days.
To accentuate the sun, the tourbillon carriage has been raised above the surface of the movement. This three-dimensional representation of the sun showcases the finish of the bridge’s five arms, rounded by hand, which subtly frame the timepiece’s celestial decoration. By rotating once every sixty seconds, the tourbillon indicates the seconds by a hand affixed directly to the carriage wheel and travels over a scaled twenty-second sector.
The earth is represented by a hemisphere on the Récital 22, the surface of which is adorned with an engraved and hand-painted map, on which the oceans, mountains, deserts, and forests are executed in painstaking detail.
To enhance the sense of realism, the artist painted clouds and air currents onto the globe’s surface. As they are separated from the earth’s crust by the thick layers of lacquer, the clouds appear to be floating in mid air. As in reality, the earth naturally performs one anti-clockwise rotation every 24 hours. At the base of the globe, a graduated scale displays the hour by means of a three-dimensional polished titanium hand, situated between the tourbillon and the globe.
With this timepiece BOVET allows collectors to choose the orientation of the painted world map so that the collector’s chosen location would be positioned on the earth-sun axis when the timepiece displays midday. This customization option means that each movement and timepiece is assembled once the collector’s special requests have been received.
The moon is represented by a sphere that makes a complete orbit once every 29.53 days exactly, which corresponds to the synodic period of our natural satellite. The high-precision mechanism that powers the moon and moon phase display, also visible on the Earth’s concentric ring, means that it will register a discrepancy of just one day every 122 years. The sphere is divided into two parts: one black, while the second is engraved with the textured surface of the moon. The engraved sections of the second half are filled with a luminescent substance, which makes it possible to clearly see which part of the moon is directly illuminated by the Sun.
The retrograde minute and power reserve indications are displayed on hemispherical sectors curved to mirror the globe. Sapphire glasses situated in their centers magnify the mechanisms underneath, each seemingly transcending the spatial confines of the case.
Lastly, a circular aperture is positioned on the left-hand side of the tourbillon carriage. To emphasize the date, a ring machined directly from solid luminescent material highlights the inner edge of the aperture.
Reversing the timepiece and looking through its large sapphire crystal, the viewer beholds a vast bridge decorated with circular Côtes de Genève, centered around the tourbillon’s axis. Various apertures open onto the hour, day, month, and leap-year indicators, and a glass date disk guided by the bridge, which is displayed on both sides of the movement.
The perpetual calendar is driven by a retrograde mechanism with a micrometric rack, also patented, which optimizes operation while reducing the amount of required space.
To simplify the entire perpetual calendar’s adjustment, the Maison’s technicians designed and developed a pushpiece located between the upper lugs that simultaneously adjusts all the timepiece’s functions. Therefore, if the timepiece has been stopped for six days, for instance, this pushpiece can be simply pressed six times to perfectly adjust the perpetual calendar and Tellurium functions simultaneously.
In terms of technical characteristics, a single barrel supplies the 472 components of this complex caliber, while providing a power reserve of over nine days.
The case’s design, inspired by the shape of a writing slope and measuring 46 mm in diameter, is inseparable from the structure of the movement. This unique architecture opens a new window on the three-dimensional interpretation of time displays developed by Pascal Raffy and the BOVET watchmakers. The case is available in red gold or platinum. As is now customary at BOVET, the Récital 22 Grand Récital will be presented as a limited edition, restricted to the number of movements produced. Therefore, whatever the final form of the timepiece, only sixty Grand Récital movements will be issued by BOVET’s workshops.