At the dawn of the 19th century, Edouard Bovet took the decorative arts – and miniature enameling in particular – to new heights and in the process established the new standards of Swiss watchmaking. In accordance with the conventions of the time, he employed the best watchmakers in the Val-de-Travers region and entrusted the case decoration to the enamellers whose workshops were located in Geneva. The greatest artists of this golden age continue to contribute today to the reputation of BOVET 1822 timepieces.
Today, Pascal Raffy, the owner of BOVET 1822 and the Dimier 1738 Manufacture, is once again asserting his desire to safeguard and perpetuate the traditional decorative arts of watchmaking consistent with the noblest expression of time. He has naturally insisted on employing the same working methods, the same techniques and the same rigor as his illustrious predecessors in this new collection, which has undeniably redefined the very concept of excellence. This feat is all the more impressive given that the diameters of today’s timepieces are smaller than those of 19th century pocket watches. It is these shared values for uniqueness and passion for fine art that have brought together Mr. Raffy and Ilgiz Fazulzyanov.
Specialists designate Ilgiz as the heir of the most illustrious enamellers in history, on a level with Lissignol, Richter, Liotard or even Huaut. Moreover, many on this non-exhaustive list of artists have also established the reputation of enamellers who have collaborated with the House of BOVET in the 19th century.
In addition to mastering the mind-blowing technical and artistic know-how necessary to execute miniature painting in “grand feu” enamel, Ilgiz Fazulzyanov is also one of the most well-known creative jewelers of his generation. The exclusive collection of timepieces that BOVET 1822 and Ilgiz F. are unveiling will therefore not take the specialists and collectors by surprise as it is of the same essence as the historical pocket watches made by the BOVET brothers in the 19th century. The first accomplishments of this partnership focus around two themes: for the men’s timepieces, The Horsemen of the Apocalypse and for the women’s timepieces the inspiration comes from natural floral themes.
Ilgiz F.’s exceptional talent in all disciplines and techniques of jewelry, combined with the excellency that characterizes the BOVET timepieces reaches such heights that the Kremlin has decided to open its doors for a unique exhibit. He is therefore the first jeweler to be invited at the Kremlin Museum since Pierre- Karl Fabergé in 1917 and some of the BOVET timepieces arising from this partnership will be exhibited.
Opening March 31st and running through July 31st 2016, this unique exhibit demonstrates how much the watchmaking arts are present in the history of art and their universal characters. The first page of history of the House of BOVET was written when in 1818 Edouard BOVET sold four pocket watches to the Emperor of China who became a devoted collector. It is this extraordinary heritage that links the rooms of the Forbidden City to the vastness of the Kremlin, which summarizes this exhibit. An open view on the future ensures an unrivalled know-how for the most noble expression of time.
Photographs: Bovet 1822
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