Before even commencing work on this timepiece, the technicians and watchmakers at BOVET 1822 and DIMIER 1738 Manufacture began by ‘forgetting’ their certainties and habits in order to deliver a more intuitive and innovative way of reading the time articulated around the two stars that define it: the earth and the moon. In this watch –Recital 18 Shooting Star, the case, 46 mm in diameter and 18 mm thick, contains all this, with a view of the earth and the moon as seen from space, shown in remarkable detail. At first glance, the Shooting Star boasts busy dial but this wristwatch actually offers a detailed hemispheric universal worldwide time with retrograde minutes, jumping hours, and precision moon phase.
A first hemisphere was chosen to represent the Earth and enable the reading of universal time, which is displayed in three dimensions at 3 o’clock. A hand affixed to the North Pole – that is the axis of our hemisphere – follows its curve. It can be assigned to any one of the 24 time zones selected by the user. At its tip, a concentric ring displays the time in the chosen time zone, while the name of the city corresponding to that time zone appears on one of the two concentric rollers indexed to the hemisphere.
The time zone hand is another first. Never before had the manufacturer produced a hemispheric hand, with all the difficulties inherent in the high quality required. In addition to displaying the time and the name of the city corresponding to an easily adjustable time zone, the 24-hour ring that surrounds the globe enables instant reading of the time anywhere in the world. Simply follow a straight line from the center of the globe, passing through the selected geographical point. The tip of this line will point to the exact time in the selected place on the graduated ring. To link the hand of the second time zone to a specific city, simply press the center of the crown. With each successive press, the needle jumps by an angular value of 15°, representing the exact value of the time zone. This action also activates the rollers and the names of the cities corresponding to the time zones indicated by the hand are displayed in sequence.
The choice of two concentric rollers to indicate the cities offers the two-fold advantage of taking up little space whilst providing exemplary readability. The mechanism that drives them required great ingenuity. The outer roller displays 11 cities simultaneously, then makes way for a window, which opens an aperture to the second roller – arranged concentrically inside the first roller – and displaying the 12th city. This inner roller then turns in order to display the 13 subsequent cities in the aperture. The whole system is controlled by a column wheel.
Bovet Recital 18 Shooting Star is a feature packed 5-day tourbillon that is limited to only 50 pieces.