— When technical qualities and chronometry combine with decorative UK Rolex Replica watchmaking arts.
The specification given by Pascal Raffy to his teams for the development of the Amadeo® Fleurier Tourbillon Virtuoso III referred to a tourbillion movement associated with a perpetual calendar, with one of the main conditions being the unimpeded view and transparency of the tourbillion cage. Moreover legibility needed to be optimal.
The choice of a retrograde perpetual calendar inclined naturally towards one which would allow the tourbillion cage to remain visible at all times. The design office of Manufacture DIMIER 1738 then found an effective solution to the problem of legibility. Traditionally, calendar information is positioned centrally on the dial, leaving hours and minutes to be displayed on the perimeter. The choice made by Pascal Raffy consisted quite simply in doing the opposite. Hours and minutes are therefore displayed on a central dial. This left the periphery of the dial free to accommodate the day and month indicators.
To further enhance legibility, the names of the days and months were printed in white or black (depending on the colour of the dial) on sapphire discs. This transparency allows the subtleties of the mechanism to be admired without taking up excessive space.
The calendar display, placed outside the hours and minutes dial, was positioned concentrically to the latter.
The calendar’s hand was placed under the hours and minutes dial. Only its arrow is visible, appearing mysteriously on its graduated scale. To enable this hand to move backwards within such a small arc and to accommodate the retrograde mechanism under the small hours and minutes dial, the watchmakers of DIMIER 1738 were asked to develop a special millimetric rack which has since been registered as an international patent.
The large tourbillon cage is positioned at 6 o’clock. The arms connecting it to the three-quarter plate emphasise its contours and combine with the circumference of the dial to form an “8”, the symbol of good luck and prosperity. The dimensions of the tourbillon, its inertia, and the design of the balance-spring manufactured by DIMIER 1738, allow the heart of the timepiece to beat at a frequency of 21,600 V/h, without compromising the 5-day power reserve of a movement featuring no fewer than nine complications. The architecture of the cage and the finish given to each of its 69 components is directly inspired by BOVET 1822 timepieces manufactured at the dawn of the 19th century. Included for example are characteristic blued dynamic inertia-blocks, the escape wheel, whose two arms describe a yin/yang motion, and pallets with weights.
The reverse hand-fitting allows hours and minutes to be displayed on the reverse side. This original characteristic, present on all timepieces in the Grandes Complications collection manufactured by DIMIER 1738, owes its presence to the convertibility concept of its Amadeo® case that allows the timepiece to be converted into a reversible wristwatch, a table clock or a pocket watch without the use of any tools whatsoever.
For Pascal Raffy and the artisans of BOVET 1822, technical qualities and chronometry would count for nothing without the application of decorative watchmaking arts.
The reverse hand-fitting is displayed on a lacquered dial, with two matching plates showing the individual number of the timepiece and the number of jewels in the movement. At the request of collectors these two plates can serve as the base for a magnificent decoration, which can be personalised with text, an engraving, or a miniature painting.
All surfaces of bridges and plates have been engraved by hand with the Fleurier motif beloved by collectors for 192 years. The use of saphire to manufacture the day and month discs allows the owner to admire the mechanical ballet played out in the noblest of settings.
A contemporary solution which would have pleased Edouard Bovet, himself a pioneer of transparent case-backs revealing the scope and virtuosity of artisanal craftsmanship. The design of the case also draws inspiration from its prestigious forebears. The two crystals are curved to evoke the Grand Feu enamelled case-backs of pocket Replica Watches UK manufactured by BOVET.