Recently I have been creating some really radical new watch designs on my iPad Pro. With the software now available it is relatively easy to produce high-quality illustrations quickly. This allows me to present them to potential clients on a global scale. However, unless you are a household name it is very hard to entice buyers away from brands like Rolex, Breitling, Omega, Tag Heuer, etc. At the higher end, the competition is even more ferocious because the groups (Swatch, Richemont, LVHM) have enormous marketing budgets. That is why independent watchmakers focus on awards to level the playing field. A great example is Bovet who has just won the coveted GPHG 2018 Aiguille d’Or for their magnificent Récital 22 Grand Récital.

On Total Design Reviews, I try to showcase timepieces at all prices points and always based on merit. By no means is the Récital 22 Grand Récital the most expensive watch I have ever featured. However, with prices ranging from $469,800 – $502,200 (excluding customised models) these timepieces are definitely at the higher end of the spectrum. Certainly, this amazing creation is beyond the grasp of most buyers but will undoubtedly appeal to serious collectors. The fact that it has just received a prestigious award like the GPHG 2018 Aiguille d’Or will also go in its favour.

Interestingly I have just featured Bovet’s Ottantatre in a forthcoming book about independent watchmakers (which is due to be published in March 2019) and am a massive admirer of the brand. The company name was revived in 2006 by former French pharmaceutical executive Pascal Raffy. With a passion for horology (and exceptionally deep pockets) he acquired Manufacture DIMIER 1738 to create all of Bovet’s movements. The results have been outstanding and culminated in the creation of many art pieces like the Récital 22 Grand Récital.

Aesthetically the Récital 22 Grand Récital is absolutely sublime and I particularly like the platinum version. The multi-layered open worked skeleton dial is a revelation. Details like the three-dimensional earth/moon indication (encapsulated in dome sapphire crystal), retrograde (double sided) date, perpetual calendar and exposed flying tourbillon are really effective. Powering the watch is Swiss handcrafted manual winding movement with an impressive 9-day power reserve.

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