5-Day Jumping Hours Retrograde Minutes
Virtuoso II, the movement manufactured by DIMIER 1738, underlines its versatility by revealing the first of many personas in conjunction with the Récital 15. While unusual and original, the display mode of this watch is familiar to collectors of fine watchmaking since it is the same as that which has underpinned the success of the Tourbillon Amadeo? Virtuoso since its launch in January 2013.
In keeping with the collection’s identity, indications are displayed on the horizontal axis of the watch. As we lift our sleeve, the dial reveals hours, minutes and seconds in chronological order.
First, the jumping hour, in a separate aperture at 3 o’clock. Also off-centred at 3 o’clock, the retrograde minute which sweeps the left segment of the dial. While making the designers’ task more complex, its long, angular course allows its dial to be clearly graduated despite the reduced size of the latter. For a precise, instantaneous jump, two star-wheels in series regulate the fineness and rapidity of the action. Visible in the centre of the hour and minute circle, they also contribute to perfect synchronization of the jump of the hour disc with the retrograde minute hand. It is precisely this difficulty that makes the simultaneous display of a jumping hour and a retrograde minute so rare in the world of horology.
Lastly, at 9 o’clock, a small-seconds hand runs continuously across the 360° of its graduated ring.
A ring, since its openwork centre reveals the same intriguing coaxial mechanical ballet as that described by the gear-trains of the Récital 12, so intriguing that one is tempted to turn the watch over to see more. On the back of the watch, the sapphire case-back confirms that this is indeed the in-house specialities calibre, since it presents the characteristic features of the Récital 12 movement, albeit cased-up here the other way round. The view of the barrel, the visible sprung-balance and the five-day chronometric power-reserve indicator confirm the ability of this calibre to adapt to the inspiration of Pascal Raffy and his teams.
The sheer density of technical virtuosity and tradition contained in the Récital 15 within such a small volume is astonishing. However, the triple seconds-hand, present on the rear of the watch, reveals to us its most cherished secret. The object of an international patent, this seconds-hand runs on the reverse of the movement on the same axis as the seconds-hand of the other face. A remarkable feature would not exist if the direction of rotation of the hands was not also reversed.
Named “seconds cage” because its kinematics looks like those of a tourbillon, this coaxial reverse seconds-hand reveals once again the ingenuity of its designers and the extent of the expertise of watchmakers at the Manufacture DIMIER 1738. The time and care devoted to every detail of the design, from the manufacture to the decoration of the “seconds cage” allowed watchmakers to achieve a level of efficiency on par with that of a traditional gear-train.
All 2014 collections give pride of place to the artisans of the Manufacture de Haute Hologerie Artisanale, DIMIER 1738. Here, dial-makers demonstrate a passion for perfection which is rarely encountered. Two slender white or black lacquered rings share the indication of hours, minutes and seconds.
The many manual operations required for their manufacture and their small size gave rise to new constraints, such as the evenness of their surface. Also lacquered, the graduated segment of the reverse seconds-hand and the cartouche chapter displaying the name BOVET 1822 are even smaller. The cartouche alone required around ten hours’ work and many more to allow for the drying between the different applications of lacquer. The numerals font that decorates the dials draws inspiration from pocket watches manufactured in the 19th century by Edouard Bovet.
The architecture and decoration of the watch convey a sense of unity of tradition and innovation. The elegance of the circular C?tes de Genève decorations centred on the seconds-hand, the sandblasted surfaces and polished steels, bear witness to the same masterful technique as that demonstrated by the Manufacture’s artisans when they engrave the totality of a movement by hand. The dial’s attachments shape is also inspired from BOVET’s historical watches.
The crowning achievement of the Récital 15, among a host of breathtaking features: that such a density of watchmaking complications and technical craftsmanship could be contained in a 42mm diameter case with a total thickness of just 12.8mm.
With this watch, the movement’s nomination Calibre de Spécialités Horlogères is justified as the first interpretation superbly integrating its first watchmaking complications. Collectors and experts in the field of Haute Horlogerie will have noted the possibility of displaying hours and minutes on either side of the movement, the efficiency of its gear-train and regulating organ – resulting in its extraordinary power-reserve – and of course its innovative seconds cage.