For many vintage watch connoisseurs hearing the name Bovet will call to mind images of magnificent enameled pocket watches made especially for the Chinese market. To collectors the company's enameled watches are legendary, at times commanding six-figure prices at offering.
However, the Bovet family did not only produce superior pocket watches. In 1888, two Bovet brothers, Albert and Jean, in partnership with Alexis Landry, formed the company Bovet Freres for the purpose of creating complicated watches and chronographs. From that esteemed partnership, which changed hands several times in the twentieth century, originated the fine and rare chronograph featured in today's offering.
Before complicated watches were a luxury fashion statement, they were originally created for technical uses, especially for pilots, auto racers, military officers, and anyone who demanded absolute precision in their timing. One of the rarest features on these vintage chronographs is the split-seconds or "rattrapante" function, a capability that allows the wearer to time two events concurrently.
The very rare Bovet Freres chronograph showcased in today's offering is an example of one of these special chronographs. As a so-called "mono-rattrapante" or "single split-seconds chronograph", it is brother to the rattrapante. But different from the rattrapante, it accomplishes the feat of timing two events using only one sweep hand.
When the chronograph is running, the sweep hand can be temporarily held in place so the wearer can read its position by depressing the button located at four o'clock. When the button is released, the hand "catchs up" to the current chronograph timing and continues to run until stopped.
Though Jeanrenaud-Bovet filed to patent their unique mono-rattrapante system in 1936 (Patent no. 185465) chronographs with this feature did not appear in significant numbers until the mid-1940's and most not until the 1950's making this a very early example. The serial number on this watch actually pre-dates the earliest example prior to this that we've owned, which had an porcelain dial.
This particular watch possesses styling cues associated with pre-1940's chronographs such as a hinged lug case and oversized "onion" style crown.
Its black dial has a military style with luminous numbers. Its case has a chrome plated body and bezel with a steel back.
It has been recently cleaned and oiled making it ready for immediate enjoyment. Photos of the inside available upon request.
Included with the purchase is a one-year warranty on the movement and its function and a custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity.
Similar watches are published in Chronograph Wristwatches, To Stop time by Gerd - R. Lang and Reinhard Meis, pp. 21, 50-51, 180-181.
Country of origin: Switzerland
Maker: Bovet Freres
Year built: c. 1930's
Serial no.: 305,651
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Single Split-Seconds Chronograph, Subsidiary Seconds
Designed for: Men
Case material: Chrome and stainless steel
Case markings (outside): Case/serial number
Case condition: Excellent condition with light wear. Honest wear to the pushers.
Dimensions: 35mm diameter (excluding crown), 50mm long lug tip-to-tip
Dial: Matte black with painted radiumed Arabic numerals, gilt printing, auxiliary seconds and 30 minutes register dials, outer tachometer and telemeter graduations, well-restored in vintage times
Hands: Steel, "feuilles"
Movement type: Valjoux 84 ebauche finished by Bovet, rhodium plated, 17 jewels, lever escapement, monometallic balance, self-compensating Breguet balance-spring
Jewels: 17 rubies
Band: Leather, fully stitched, padded, designed for fixed lug use, new
Band width: 18mm
Crystal: Acrylic, domed, excellent condition
Serviced: It has been recently cleaned and oiled making it ready for immediate enjoyment.
Warranty: 1-year international warranty. Please email email@example.com for details.
Box/Papers: BOX - Connoisseur of Time watch presentation box; PAPERS - Custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity
Returns: 7 days full refund. 100% satisfaction guarantee
We offer a 100%
satisfaction guarantee for all of our watches. If you are in any way
unsatisfied with the watch we will fully refund the purchase price anytime
within 7 days after the watch has been received. Our goal is to exceed our
client's expectations throughout the buying experience.
All watches are packaged carefully and mailed double boxed in specially
constructed, reinforced shipping boxes designed for high value items. All
watches are sent fully insured with signature required. Most of our domestic
shipping is done through FedEx. At times we will also use USPS Express Mail,
and we can accommodate most requests for your preferred carrier.
International shipments are sent USPS International Express Mail or FedEx.
The purchase price will be the declared value of the merchandise on any
required customs forms. The payment of all customs duties, tariffs, and
taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.
Also note that water resistance of vintage watches can no longer be
guaranteed and is not covered under the watch's warranty. We do not
recommend getting a vintage watch wet, even one that was originally designed
to be waterproof.