Bovet Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two: It’s Mind Blowing! (Live Photos)
For any designer, a brainstorm is often a flurry of ideas: while some are fully formed, others are only snippets of something ephemeral. Depending on what the requirements are and how much time is available, ideas can be carefully examined and expanded until they are fleshed out and realized as whole concepts.
Yet no matter what, there will be ideas, likely some very great ideas, left on the whiteboard or on a random page of a sketchbook. Not everything will make it into the project, but that doesn’t mean the ideas aren’t worth following up on.
A second brainstorm session may allow more time to expand on earlier concepts, but it will also create newer ideas still, many of which will also inevitably be left incomplete.
The great part about brainstorms is that the ideas linger either in the mind or on an inspiration board. Later when another project comes along, perhaps one of those ideas can be dusted off and polished up to fit better in this new context, and in doing so even more new concepts flash into existence.
Such is the power of the brainstorm, a bittersweet moment of birth for ideas, many destined to stay just that way forever. But a crucible of mental creation it truly is, and the results are almost always unique and surprising in some way. As highlighted in 2019 when Bovet Fleurier launched the wild Récital Brainstorm Chapter One.
And it should come as no surprise that Brainstorm Chapter Two has similarities to the first, but also significant differences as it plucked ideas out of proverbial box of design goodies.
The second iteration of the Brainstorm line follows a thematic progression but implements a bunch of new features that you know some designer was just itching to try out on the previous model. But how is Chapter Two different than its predecessor and how does it demonstrate how creative Bovet has been over the years? Let’s find out.
Bovet Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two
Brainstorm Chapter Two continues down the path laid by Chapter One in that it has all of the same indications save one. It displays the hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve, and moon phase. But instead of the large date, Chapter Two features a world time/second time zone display.
And if that was all, you may be justified in thinking this watch is largely the same as Brainstorm Chapter One. But you would indeed be mistaken. Even though it visually shares a general aesthetic with Chapter One, Chapter Two features an entirely new movement with totally new architecture.
Many Bovet movements feature domed dials, which this one does as well, and the dual hemisphere moon phase is found in a variety of models. The aesthetic continues through to the sloped sapphire crystal sloped writing desk-shaped case, the general design of the tourbillon, and a variety of small details throughout the movement. But all it takes is one look to know that there are significant differences that read like a grab bag of cool ideas that just didn’t fit with Chapter One.
Let’s start with the main time display and move out from there. In the Chapter One model, the hours and minutes were mashed up with the moon phase display, resulting in a large domed dial taking up a significant portion of the face. With that, the option exists to have a customizable concave aluminum disk or a translucent blue quartz dome.
The new Chapter Two now separates the moon phase and the time display, making for a smaller dial that only takes up a quarter of the face.
The dial also forgoes the option for a customizable disk and instead focuses on the translucent blue quartz dome, which is visually stunning in this context. Immediately flanking this dial to the left at 9 o’clock is a larger domed moon phase display with a skeletonized hemisphere surrounding it to provide the windows for the northern and southern hemisphere moon phases.
The dome itself is machined with a faux lunar surface and features two hand-painted blue disks with stars to represent the night sky. The lunar surface is hand-painted with luminescent material so it glows like the real moon above.
Symmetrically positioned across the face at 3 o’clock is the world time/second time zone display, also in a large dome shape. Around the perimeter of the dome is a stationary ring displaying the 24 hours of the day (or time zones).
The dome remarkably features 24 city names in a wedge format that makes a full rotation once a day. Over top of this dome is a forked hand acting as a selection window that is curved around the dome to perfectly match the shape, which also rotates once a day in step with the dome.
It’s this hand, which can be thought of as the second time zone hour hand, that selects the time zone you want to watch. All the other city names act as the world time function.
Brainstorm Chapter Two: mechanics and architecture
Both of the domes feature the patented Bovet radial guidance system, which consists of three tiny ruby rollers that can be adjusted thanks to a micrometer screw. This allows the domes to be supported with high-precision, low-friction bearings on the exterior and driven from the interior. These are not new to Bovet but remain one of my favorite features of Bovet pieces utilizing large domes as it adds a sense of mechanical stability to garner confidence in the movement.
The upper time dial and its supporting plate are raised above the main movement plate by a set of four arched and polished pillars, something seen on a few other Bovet movements in the past and not dissimilar to the MB&F Legacy Machine balance bridge.
This type of architecture will always be a win for me because it is extremely difficult to shape and perfectly polish a structure like this, and it is only done for the aesthetic since supporting the plate can be more easily accomplished with a more traditional blocked-out shape.
The arches situated in the center of the movement also wrap around a differential that distributes power to the tourbillon and assists in changing levels up to the time dial. The rear of the watch has no indications and focuses attention on the set of bridges supporting the twin mainsprings and winding mechanism as well as the bottom side of the double-sided flying tourbillon.
But, wait, didn’t I say there was a power reserve as well?
This is where another one of those brainstorm ideas comes into play, as the power reserve is somewhat concealed between the lugs on the top side of the case, where the sloped writing-desk case is tallest. Remaining power in the mainspring is indicated via a notched cylinder and a yellow post-style hand.
The hand moves from right to left as it winds down over the five days of power reserve, which is made clear both by the words “ – 5 Jours +” below the indicator and a gradually increasing chamfer into the plate mimicking the more typical long, sloped wedge of a power reserve indication.
I love this placement because it can actually be more easily viewed by someone not wearing the watch, so it’s like a little Easter egg for people admiring your watch from across the table.
But if we are going to mention how the watch looks to other people and not just the wearer, then we have to come to the last big change for the Brainstorm Chapter Two: the prolific engraving on all the plates and bridges.
Brainstorm Chapter Two: aesthetics matter
Just saying that a lot of the plates are engraved sounds sort of like standard fare for Bovet: the brand is known for extremely fine, elaborate engraving on many of its pieces. But Chapter Two is different.
It offers a unique style of engraving that looks like micro crystals, similar to a geode formation; and this decoration is found on the sides of the plates and bridges as well as the forward-facing surfaces.
This makes it seem like the movement was hewn from crystals and adds a dramatic amount of depth to the movement.
This is an aesthetic that is almost better appreciated by others than the wearer because the top edges of the movement have the most exposure to this technique, thanks again to the sloped sapphire crystal case.
But, no fear, it is found on every side of the movement, and, most magically, underneath the translucent blue quartz dome, adding a shimmer to the time display. It’s decisions like this that make it clear Bovet appreciates aesthetics as much as mechanics.
The strap is a perfect example as it features double-sided alligator skin with stitches in platinum thread (yes, real platinum). The buckle is finished with the same engraving style as found on the movement and has an architecture that is basically a bridge spanning a hoop, mimicking movement construction.
These are not necessary elements for a watch of this caliber, but Bovet does not seem to take anything lying down and Brainstorm Chapter Two is no exception.
Interestingly, Brainstorm Chapter Two also feels a bit more polished and architecturally refined than Chapter One, which should come as no surprise as any previous aesthetic issues could be ironed out when designing the new movement.
So when you combine the ability to grab ideas that may have been set aside in an earlier brainstorm, the ability to evolve from one model to the next while retaining some of the best features, and the confidence to keep pushing the aesthetic, the result is another amazing watch from a brand that is in a class all its own.
I am really enjoying the method of the Brainstorm pieces with new chapters, and if the popularity continues this could become a highly anticipated collection akin to the Harry Winston Opus series.
The first two chapters in the story are incredible, and Brainstorm Chapter Two shows a clear evolution that could lead to some very interesting future brainstorms.
While we let the storm settle a bit, let’s break it down!
- Wowza Factor * 9.2 Bovet is always a strong wowza watch, and the Brainstorm pieces have an extra dose of wow!
- Late Night Lust Appeal * 92.5» 907.115m/s2 If a watch like this doesn’t make you lust well into the early morning, I don’t know what will!
- M.G.R. * 67 Like many Bovet movements, the 17DM06-DT does not fail to deliver with a lot of awesome architecture and horological mechanisms!
- Added-Functionitis * Severe Not only does it have my favorite, the moon phase, but it has a world time and power reserve making this watch a multi-threat and requiring prescription-strength Gotta-HAVE-That cream for the brain-busting horological swelling!
- Ouch Outline * 11.3 A fistful of metal shavings impaling your palm! When drilling through steel tubes, it is important to either wear gloves or use something to remove all the shavings because if you go to wipe them away with your palm you are now “porcupine palm.” It’s no fun. But still I would gladly take that hit if it meant I could get this piece on my wrist!
- Mermaid Moment * Ooh, that power reserve be sneakin’! Sometimes features taking you by surprise in an unexpected place is all it takes for you to be trying on tuxedos!
- Awesome Total * 956 First take the total number of movements that will be made (60) and multiply by the diameter of the case (47.8), then divide the total by the number of dial materials (3) for a stunningly high awesome total!
For more information, please visit www.bovet.com/recital-26-chapter-two.
Quick Facts Bovet Fleurier Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two
Case: 47.8 x 15.5 mm, sapphire crystal and titanium
Movement: manual-winding Caliber 17DM06-DT with 60-second tourbillon, 21,600 vph/3 Hz frequency, 5-day power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; moon phase, world time/second time zone, power reserve
Limitation: 60 movements, available with blue quartz, green quartz, or blue aventurine dials, bespoke options available
Remark: 5-year warranty
Price: CHF 355,000