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Stroke of Genius: The Récital 28 Prowess 1 by BOVET

The innovative watch tracks uniform time around the globe to reflect regional variations and practices

by Lark Gould

May 14, 2024

The Récital 28 Prowess 1 by BOVET / Photo: Courtesy of BOVET

“The common man is not concerned about the passage of time, the man of talent is driven by it” —Arthur Schopenhauer, 19th-century German philosopher

What is time but an illusion of order in an otherwise entropic universe. Yet it infuses every second of our lives with matters that define us, give us weight and purpose. The House of BOVET is no stranger to time or to what gives it heft. The Swiss watchmaker has been devising precise ways to mark time since 1822 with timepieces that not only provide an authoritative guide for rotations of the Earth, but also present a statement of beauty that shimmers with the very essence of what precision can mean.

Enter the Récital 28 Prowess 1 by BOVET. Part HG Wells, part Louvre, it is a timepiece like no other and solves a problem that has vexed scientists for centuries: how to track uniform time around the globe to reflect regional variations and practices.

One need not look back too far to recall the challenges faced with running trains on time amid disparate regions in Europe, or even through current timetables where the time in two states within the same time zone may not agree. Consider countries such as China that recognize only one official time zone, although there are five between Shanghai and Kashgar.

The making of the Récital 28 Prowess 1 by BOVET / Photo: Courtesy of BOVET

The Récital 28 Prowess 1 by BOVET is part science, part science fiction, a confluence of art and innovation where a timepiece worn on the wrist is a work of beauty encased in a work of brilliance.

The timepiece tackles a persistent problem for world travelers: Daylight Saving Time (DST). Traditional world-timers display all 24 zones simultaneously, but fail to account for the shifting sands of DST. BOVET’s inspired solution lies in a complex, yet user-friendly roller system seated around the central dial. That is where 24+1 rollers each showcase four time periods—UTC, American Summertime, European and America Summertime, and European Wintertime. A press of the crown adjusts any time zone for its corresponding DST period. This elegant solution—the meticulous interconnection of 744 components, all hand-finished, hand-engraved and decorated with Côtes de Genève, perlage, and more—ensures pinpoint timekeeping across the globe.

The secret is in the flying tourbillon—a continuously rotating balance wheel that mitigates the effects of gravity for exceptional accuracy. A perpetual calendar with distinguished roller-based indications tracks the dates, the days of the week, the months, and leap years—all to be automatically reset at the end of each month. A single barrel then fuels the works with a 10-day power reserve.

It’s all housed in the brand’s classic Writing Desk case, whether of 18K red gold, 950 platinum, or Grade 5 titanium. However, procuring a Prowess 1 may take a stroke of genius in itself. The House of BOVET crafts only eight each year. For the global traveler, BOVET’s Récital 28 Prowess 1 presents a fusion of technical luminosity and breathtaking aesthetics worn as a statement and consulted as an authority, to be admired through the eons.