Since the beginning of motorized vehicles, time and the automobile have been inextricably linked. Timepieces have always had a place in the world of the automobile, either to measure speed over distance or to ensure that the owner always had the correct time.
But watches and cars have never been as linked as they are now. Today, for the first time ever, two tourbillon timepieces from BOVET 1822 have been engineered, designed, and developed in parallel with the production of a coachbuilt Rolls-Royce. Using the revolutionary and patented Amadeo system, these timepieces can transform from a wristwatch to a pocket/pendant watch to a desk clock and… that’s right, a dashboard clock.
Born in the mind and heart of a Rolls-Royce and BOVET 1822 collector, the concept was to design and produce a bespoke Rolls-Royce and two unique BOVET 1822 timepieces, one for himself and one for his wife, that go hand in glove. Three years in development, BOVET 1822 and Rolls-Royce accomplished something never realized before in either industry.
As the mechanical tourbillon timepieces are meant to be mounted in the car as dashboard clocks, this changed the development completely as now they had to be considered part of the car. As a result, the holder and timepiece — all 51 components engineered and manufactured by Bovet — had to be tested like any other part of the car for vibration, security, safety, and more. No other timepiece has ever undergone such scrutiny and testing – up to and including crash tests.
BOVET 1822 was challenged to develop timepieces that could be worn on the wrist and instantly converted into dashboard clocks, mounted into a special holder that slots into the car itself.
“As a long-time Rolls-Royce owner and lover, I am particularly pleased to have an opportunity to work on such a special bespoke project,” explains Pascal Raffy, owner, BOVET 1822. “The engineers, designers, watchmakers, and artisans at BOVET 1822 went above and beyond to personalize these exceptional timepieces for the clients, integrating their wishes and key elements of the coach-built car itself, and even realizing one-off movements. On top of this, both of the timepieces are able to be placed into a display mount designed specifically for this purpose, effectively making them part of the car and subject to the norms of automobile production standards.
“I am so proud of the BOVET 1822 team, who worked in tandem with the elite design team of Rolls-Royce, to produce something spectacular,” Mr. Raffy continues. “The owners of the coach-built car and these bespoke timepieces are dear friends of mine and valued collectors of BOVET 1822, so it was important to do the very best for them — two completely unique pieces that are unlike anything we have ever done before.”
For Rolls-Royce, this introduction is a return to the marque’s illustrious past. “This marks a seminal moment for the House of Rolls-Royce,” says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce. “We are proud to unveil to the world the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail and with it the confirmation of coachbuilding as a permanent fixture within our future portfolio. Historically, coachbuilding had been an integral part of the Rolls-Royce story. In the contemporary Rolls-Royce narrative, it has been informed by our guiding philosophy of Bespoke. But it is more, much more. Rolls-Royce Coachbuild is a return to the very roots of our brand. It represents an opportunity for the select few to participate in the creation of utterly unique, personal commissions of future historical significance.”
A TRUE COLLABORATION WITH BOVET 1822
In a move that further demonstrates the clients’ visionary approach to contemporary patronage, two great luxury Houses with a common pursuit of perfection have been brought together at the clients’ behest. World-class craftspeople from the House of Bovet 1822, which was founded on the philosophy of ingenuity and engineering, were called upon to work hand-in-hand with Rolls-Royce’s own masters in their field.
The mechanically-minded clients sought to break new ground in horology. As esteemed collectors of both the Switzerland-based House of Bovet and Rolls-Royce, their vision was to create exquisite, ground-breaking timepieces for their Boat Tail. In an act of tireless endeavor and genuine collaboration, the Houses have come together to re-imagine Rolls-Royce’s iconic centerpiece, the dashboard clock.
The result is an accomplishment never before realized in either industry. Two fine reversable timepieces, one for the lady and one for the gentleman, have been designed to be worn on the wrist, used as a table clock, pendant or pocket timepiece, or placed front and center within the Boat Tail’s fascia as the motor car’s clock.
Watch this space for the full details of this astounding collaboration and the development of the timepieces and mounting system, June 8, 2021 at 1 pm GMT.
At A Glance
- Rolls-Royce introduces an utterly unique coach-built “Boat Tail” commission that integrates 100% bespoke BOVET timepieces into the dashboard
- Based on a true commission model, Boat Tail represents a collaborative exploration of luxury, design and culture between BOVET 1822, Rolls-Royce, and the commissioning clients
- The mounting system for the timepieces in the dashboard has never been done before and required years of research, as well as extensive testing (vibration, temperature, humidity, and even automotive crash tests)
- Equipped with an incredible five days of power reserve, the mechanical tourbillon timepieces from BOVET are the perfect choice for the dashboard installation as they are designed to remain precise even when kept in the vertical position
- Rolls-Royce Coachbuilder and the BOVET custom timepieces represent contemporary patronage in its truest form