Why This Watch Costs Over $450,000

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03:22   |   Oct 05, 2018


Why This Watch Costs Over $450,000
Why This Watch Costs Over $450,000 thumb Why This Watch Costs Over $450,000 thumb Why This Watch Costs Over $450,000 thumb


  • The watch comes in two different versions,
  • and the difference between the two is pretty much restricted
  • just to the case material.
  • The $460,000 version is in red gold,
  • and the more expensive
  • half million dollar version
  • is done in platinum.
  • Many of the most expensive watches are expensive because
  • they're set with precious stones, which,
  • of course, raises the price through the roof.
  • In the case of the Récital 22 Grand Récital,
  • however, the watch is as expensive as it is entirely
  • because of the amount of craftsmanship that goes into it
  • and the length of time that it takes
  • to produce the various effects
  • that make the watch what it is.
  • BOVET watches are inherently limited in production simply
  • because of the complexity that's associated
  • with making them.
  • This particular watch is a limited edition
  • of 60 pieces worldwide.
  • Those are going to roll out very slowly, simply because
  • they can't be made quickly.
  • It's just inherent in the nature of the watch.
  • The single decorative element that's probably
  • most strongly identified with BOVET today is the use
  • of extremely fine miniature painting, often in the form of,
  • what's called, cold enameling on the dials of their watches.
  • And the Récital 22 Grand Récital has a
  • really, really wonderful example of this particular craft.
  • The centerpiece of the watch is a hemisphere
  • representing the Earth as seen from above the North Pole.
  • There are many, many layers of enamel that have been,
  • that have been applied to the hemisphere in order
  • to achieve a wonderful kind of translucent effect
  • in which the clouds literally seem to float
  • above the oceans and continents.
  • The paints are actually luminous and very, very luminous,
  • and, when you turn the lights off, you are treated to a view
  • of the continents glowing up at you
  • that's just incredibly compelling.
  • This particular wristwatch is in a class of,
  • what are called, astronomical complications.
  • These are timepieces that show, often, the relative position
  • of the stars to an observer standing on Earth, or,
  • in this case, the relative position
  • of the sun and the moon relative
  • to an observer standing on Earth.
  • So the centerpiece is this revolving hand-painted depiction
  • of the upper hemisphere, the northern hemisphere
  • of the Earth.
  • Placed just below it, in the six o'clock position, is,
  • what's called, a tourbillon.
  • We can see the tourbillon rotating as we look at the watch,
  • and the position that it's in is identical to the position
  • that the sun would be in, relative to the Earth.
  • So it kind of stands in for, the tourbillon stands in
  • for the sun in this wristwatch.
  • Rotating around the Earth is a spherical depiction
  • of the moon divided into a sunlit hemisphere
  • and a dark hemisphere.
  • And you can read the phase of the moon from the position
  • of this little hemisphere as it rotates around the Earth.
  • The back of the watch is also loaded with information.
  • It's what's called the perpetual calendar.
  • Now, a perpetual calendar is a mechanical watch
  • which knows the difference between a leap year
  • and a non-leap year, and which also advances the date
  • correctly at the end of each month,
  • whether it's a 30-day month or a 31-day month.
  • The relative rarity of the watches and the amount
  • of handwork that goes into finishing the movement, the case,
  • and other aspects of the watch all adds up
  • to a tremendous, tremendous amount
  • of real old-school craftsmanship,
  • which simply doesn't come cheap.
  • At this level of watchmaking, you're really talking about
  • something that's designed to appeal to someone
  • with extremely specific tastes and with a budget to match.
  • There are 705 components in this wristwatch.

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Mr. Pascal Raffy is the current owner of BOVET, a legacy watchmaking company based in Switzerland. BOVET is famous for creating intricate and complex timepieces. We got to take a closer look at the Récital 22 Grand Récital which comes in red gold and platinum, each hovering around the $500K price range. What makes this watch worth nearly half a million dollars?


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