In 2016, BOVET 1822 unveiled the Shooting Star tourbillon, the first timepiece in an exclusive collection dedicated to astronomy. The Astérium and Grand Récital tourbillons then followed in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Each of the three timepieces boasted groundbreaking technical specificities and explored new ways of measuring time, and each was also housed in a characteristic inclined case, inspired by and shaped like a sloped writing desk. Designed by BOVET 1822 Owner, Mr. Raffy, the “writing slope” case features a bezel inclined at 6 o’clock. This ingenious idea makes it possible to diversify and organize the types of displays by using domes, rollers, discs, and three-dimensional hands to enhance intuitiveness, ergonomics, and elegance. The three-dimensional design prioritizes information for improved readability and brings the collector’s eye to the heart of the movement to discover the excellence found in each detail.
As seen by the numerous awards bestowed on the trilogy’s timepieces, including the Aiguille d’Or Grand Prix to the Grand Récital by the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, collectors and experts commend the stylistic revolution led by the “writing slope” case. Mr. Raffy’s inspired “writing slope” case design meets and once again exceeds collectors’ expectations in the Maison’s latest timepiece, the Récital 23, by simultaneously introducing four complications developed specifically to be housed within the “writing slope” case.
The Récital 23 is the first BOVET women’s timepiece to feature the “writing slope” case, which is designed here for the first time in an oval shape that is 43 mm high and 28.7 mm wide. Hours and minutes occupy an off-center dial at 6 o’clock, while a deeply poetic three-dimensional moon phase is displayed on the upper section of the timepiece.
Since the dawn of time, people have been telling the time by the stars. Many cultures still use the lunar calendar and the dates of many — often religious — celebrations are frequently established according to the age of the moon. The moon also exerts a physical influence on our world, notably on the tides. Fishermen as well as farmers and winegrowers order their activities in accordance with our natural satellite. Sensibilities and moods are also often connected to lunar changes and it seems illusory to attempt to draw up an exhaustive list of the beliefs and influences attributed to the moon.
The Récital 23 timepiece is driven by a self-winding mechanical movement. Its oscillating weight in 22-ct gold is finely hand-engraved with the “Fleurisanne” motif that Maison BOVET 1822 has been producing for almost two centuries. Its oscillations power two barrels whose energy guarantees 62 hours’- of power reserve. The module, entirely developed and manufactured in BOVET 1822’s workshops, makes it possible to offset the time display and add the moon phase indicator.
Presented in the form of a hemispherical dome, the moon phase indicator majestically corresponds to the volume of the “writing slope” case. The dome’s surface is engraved to evoke the lunar surface and filled with luminescent material. This feat is all the more remarkable due to the indicator’s camber. It is read via a three-dimensional circular aperture that singlehandedly requires over a day’s work to be manufactured and decorated. The precision mechanism used to drive the moon phase requires correction only once every 122 years.
Keen to develop useful complications that would allow everyday use of the timepiece, Mr. Raffy — BOVET 1822’s Owner —soughtto incorporate a push button into the cabochon of the crown so as to be able to adjust the moon phase. The latter is therefore easily modified without needing to use the slightest tool.
For its debut, the Récital 23 will be available in white gold, red gold or titanium models. The gold cases may be decorated with a bezel set with round diamonds or baguette-cut diamonds or be entirely paved with round diamonds.
The dial dial-makers of BOVET 1822 have created two dials of choice for this new piece. As she wishes, irrespective of the case’s material, each collector will be able to choose between a dial of blue aventurine glass or black Tahitian mother-of-pearl adorned with a delicate guilloché motif. Elegant hour and minute hands gracefully glide over each dial. Every hour, when the hour and minute hands overlap, their atypical designs forms the shape of a heart, outlined in negative space.
Timeless and symbolic, the new Récital 23 represents the values which drive Mr. Raffy and the artisans of BOVET 1822 : passion for fine watchmaking, and a devotion to perpetuate BOVET 1822’s illustrious history with noble new expressions of the timekeeping art.
OMEGA’s new Museum
The new Museum, housed in a striking steel, glass and Swiss timber building designed by award-winning architect Shigeru Ban, brings the OMEGA story to life through immersive movies, compelling displays and fun interactive experiences.
The journey to the heart of OMEGA includes a 360° history of time and a giant walk-in Speedmaster revealing the inner-workings of the famous Co-Axial Escapement. Along the way, visitors can unleash their inner Olympian on a 9m running track, explore OMEGA’s history of women’s watchmaking, walk across a lunar surface and enter the exciting world of James Bond 007.
Those wishing to delve into the details can follow the path of a 50m steel bracelet made up of 64 treasury windows.
To coincide with the opening of the new Museum, OMEGA has created a dedicated Instagram account – #OMEGAMuseum – and a fully upgraded “Extract from the Archives” service, which is now available online.
Jaeger Lecoultre & Amanda Seyfried
Amanda has established herself as one of Hollywood’s most captivating young leading actresses. As a talented singer, she can be seen starring in musical adaptations of Mamma Mia!, Mamma Mia 2! and Les Miserables.
During her visit at the SIHH 2019, Amanda was particularly captivated by the gem-setting technique, one of the Rare Handcrafts taking centre stage on the new Dazzling Rendez-Vous Night & Day watch that she was wearing.
On the occasion of the Shanghai International Film Festival, Amanda Seyfried presented Jaeger‑LeCoultre’s Glory to the Filmmaker Award to filmmaker Tian Zhuangzhuang and attended a Watchmaking MasterClass where she was impressed by the unique savoir-faire of the Maison:
At the 76th International Venice Film Festival, Jaeger‑LeCoultre was pleased to welcome Amanda Seyfried.
On the occasion of the Jaeger‑LeCoultre Gala Dinner, she wore the Joaillerie 101 Feuille, entwinning refined luxury and feminity.
Heritage Wonders: Lucky 13 & Polaris Memodate
Throughout its history, Jaeger‑LeCoultre has been driven by the spirit of inventiveness, its expertise rewarded with more than 400 patents, and its watchmakers’ technical skills and creative imagination embodied in more than 1,200 different calibres.
As these two rare watches from the mid-20th Century demonstrate, every decade has brought fresh ideas and solutions, reflecting the spirit of the times. Among the many changes brought by the 1950s and 60s – represented by each of these watches – were, on one hand, tremendous advances in technology and aerospace, and on the other, the transformation of diving from a challenging pursuit to a widely practised leisure activity.
A rare LeCoultre Polaris Memodate (1967): to be sold at Phillips Geneva, November 2019:
In 1950, Jaeger‑LeCoultre introduced its first wristwatch featuring an alarm and called it the Memovox (‘voice of memory’). As the model become one of the most desirable and reliable on the market, the company introduced different variations, including a date display, a self-winding version and even an alarm designed to time parking meters.
In 1959, noting that diving had begun evolving from a specialist pursuit into a recreational sport enjoyed by thousands, Jaeger‑LeCoultre decided to adapt the Memovox to the sea. The company realised that it could offer both a visual timer (on the inner bezel) and an auditory alarm (which also caused vibration against the case) for ultimate diver safety.
To do so, Jaeger‑LeCoultre created a patented, multi-layer case-back that optimised the alarm’s sound transmission under water. The outer case, with its 16 holes, allowed for the alarm tone to be heard and also felt on the wrist, while the inner case sealed and protected the movement.
Known in the United States as the Polaris, and in Europe as the ‘Montre de plongeur E859’, the reference E859 featured three crowns, each with the cross-hatch pattern characteristic of SuperCompressor watches. The first crown is for time setting, the second rotates the inner bezel for dive timing, and the third rotates the central disc to align the arrow with the alarm time.
The example being offered by Phillips was made in 1967 for the American market and stands out from other models thanks to its very rare dial markings. While most of the dials were stamped Memovox or bore no inscription other than the LeCoultre name, this watch is stamped Memodate.
Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the Memodate Polaris is its combination of two apparently opposite aspects of watchmaking: the tradition of delicate aural complications and the needs of a practical sporting timepiece. In this respect, it epitomises the open-minded spirit of inventiveness that has created such a rich patrimony at Jaeger‑LeCoultre and continues to drive the Maison to this day.
The unique LeCoultre “Lucky 13” (1962): to be sold at Phillips New York, December 2019
The LeCoultre “Lucky 13” is a truly remarkable and unique watch presented by the Chicago Anti-Superstition Society alongside 13 U.S. Senators to an original Mercury Seven U.S. astronaut to commemorate his historic achievement of becoming the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth.
Featuring the number 13 at every hour marker, the watch celebrated the Friendship 7 spacecraft capsule used for the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission. Friendship 7 was the 13th space capsule produced by McDonnell Aircraft Corp, and the 13s on the dial were used to illustrate the society’s rejection of the number 13 as unlucky.
The ceremony, taking place on Friday, April 13th, 1962, was entered in the House Congressional Record on October 13th, 1962. The consignor intends to donate a portion of the proceeds of the sale of this watch to The John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.
As well as demonstrating Jaeger‑LeCoultre’s technical expertise, the deep meaning and personal connections behind the story of these unique timepieces remind us that watches have always had social and emotional significance – which sometimes even overrides their practical purpose.
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