Inaugurated in 2019 at the initiative of Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the ART IN TIME watch gallery brings together the rarest of timepieces. A well-known feature of Monaco life, ART IN TIME has long played a role in the local charity scene by showcasing exclusive unique pieces in its store, with some of the proceeds from sales being passed on to local non-profits. Following in the footsteps of the likes of Chopard, Ferdinand Berthoud, Ressence, and Urwerk, Bovet 1822 thus joins the very select circle of watchmakers to have supplied a unique timepiece to ART IN TIME’s Monaco store. The Monaco gallery’s initiative has provided an opportunity for the firm, based in Môtiers in Switzerland, to offer a strong local philanthropic presence.
The creation presented by Bovet 1822 meets the highest watchmaking standards dear to the ART IN TIME gallery. This piece – the only one of its kind – is housed in the iconic Amadeo case developed by Bovet 1822. This unique and patented system means that the watch can be converted into a wristwatch, a pocket watch, or even a miniature table clock in an instant, with no tools required. The 43-millimetre 18-carat rose gold case is hand-engraved throughout, as is the clasp located at twelve o’clock. The pattern chosen for this piece is known as the ‘fleurisanne’ engraving, a distinctive style closely associated with Val-de-Travers, the home of the Bovet 1822 firm: a rare decoration, inspired by nature, sculpted entirely by hand in a piece of solid red gold.
The dial of the unique piece depicts a standing horse, finely apparelled in parade dress. The equestrian theme is no accident: the horse is a Barb, a breed highly reputed for its faithfulness and loyalty. The dial is hand-painted, then lacquered using a traditional Chinese technique adapted by Bovet 1822 craftsmen to the specific dictates of the pattern and the dial. Immortalising the noble steed in such a lifelike fashion is a painstaking task, requiring some one hundred hours of concentration. Several parts of the tack, including the horse’s saddle, stirrups, and harness, are highlighted in gold leaf. This arduous decorative undertaking calls for total commitment on the part of the manufacture’s craftsmen. The embellishments on some components take over twenty times as long as the part itself to complete.
“This exclusive piece is a perfect fit for Monaco’s ART IN TIME store, whose mission is to promote watchmaking art,” explains Mr. Pascal Raffy, Maison Bovet 1822’s owner. “We’re all the more delighted with this partnership in that some of the proceeds from the sale will be passed on to the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.”