Bovet is synonymous with sumptuously decorated, extravagantly complex watches. From hyper-complex 3D astronomical timepieces to exquisitely decorated models with guilloché and hand engravings, Bovet is considered by many a temple of Haute Horlogerie and decorative arts. Although many of Bovet’s masterpieces would not look amiss at the court of Versailles, there are other timepieces that emerge from collaborations with contemporary design legends, like the OttantaSei Tourbillon designed in collaboration with renowned Italian car design studio Pininfarina. The Battista Tourbillon, developed in tandem with the Battista, the world’s first all-electric hyper GT car, captures features of the car that takes luxury in an exciting yet more sustainable direction.
Battista Electric Hypercar
Pininfarina’s Battista electric hypercar is a marvel of modern technology. The most powerful car ever designed, the Battista surpasses the performance of any road-legal sports car fitted with an internal combustion engine. Faster than a current F1 race car, the Battista can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in less than two seconds. With its carbon fibre monocoque chassis and body, the hypercar has four electric motors on each wheel powered by a T-shaped battery with an equivalent of 1,900 horsepower and zero emissions. Faithful to the founder Battista “Pinin” Farina’s philosophy that “above all, it must be beautiful”, the sleek electric hypercar is a vision of pure aerodynamic lines and futuristic touches. With production limited to just 150 individually handcrafted cars made at the Pininfarina atelier in Cambiano, Italy, the price tag of this electric beast is over USD 2 million.
Although some of the specifications of the watch are similar to the OttantaSei, including the patented double-sided 60-second flying tourbillon, the design details are inspired by the new Battista hyper GT. Bovet’s craftsmen and the design team at Automobili Pininfarina worked hand in hand to develop the aesthetic bridges between the hypercar and the watch, including the decorative features on the movement’s mechanical components.
With its 45.60mm diameter and 11.95mm height, the case of the Bovet Battista Tourbillon is built from titanium and box sapphire crystals allowing light to flood the case, offering views from practically every angle. The redesigned Bovet bow at 12 o’clock protects the crown that is picked out in black and blue.
Capturing the smooth curves of the Battista hypercar, the flying bridge that spans above the two dials emulates the curves of the car in 3D detail. The blue Triangolo patterns that are graduated from light to dark blue on the two dials are directly lifted from patterns found on the hypercar. Marking a first in Bovet’s 200-year history, the sub-dials are asymmetrical. The power reserve dial on the left is decorated with two white flags; the one with the F stands for Pininfarina, and the one on the right with the lotus flower represents Bovet. On the right side of the dial is a second counter with the signature of Battista, the pininfarina logo set on a grey appliqué and the big date window shaped like the E-Heart of the electric car. The E-Heart shape is also relayed on the reverse side of the case, framing the window of Bovet’s patented differential winding mechanism at noon.
A blue ring suspended above the skeletonised movement bears the luminous hour markers and is indicated by blued hour and minute hands that evoke the active rear wings (or spoilers) of the electric hypercar. The lumed spokes of the tourbillon cage and seconds counter are inspired by the Impulso wheels of the Battista with their centre-lock technology, and all the hands on the dial and the big date display are treated with Super-LumiNova.
The Battista Tourbillon is equipped with a new 400-part in-house movement featuring Bovet’s patented double-faced tourbillon. Running at 18,000vph, it can deliver an impressive 10-day power reserve on a single barrel. The contemporary design of the movement was created with input from Pininfarina. One of the challenges was miniaturising the winding mechanism to reduce the number of turns required for the 10-day power reserve. The patented spherical differential winding system halves the number of turns without increasing the torque and can be seen on both sides of the watch at noon engraved with Bovet 1822.
Given the incorporation of additional features – compared to the existing tourbillon hand-wound movement inside the OttantaSei – a new movement had to be developed to power the central hour and minute hands, the big date and redesigned tourbillon cage. Attached at the centre of its axis, allowing a more even distribution of the weight and reducing friction, the 104-part flying tourbillon can be admired from both sides of the case.
Naturally, craftsmanship is a Bovet speciality, and hand-finishings can be appreciated throughout. Polishing, angling, teeth-cutting, engraving and decorative flourishes are performed by skilled artisans.
Sustainability is a much-touted concept these days, and electric cars certainly pave the way for a cleaner future. However, nothing can beat the sustainability of a mechanical watch that, in theory, could last indefinitely given the right care. Combined with a two-tone black and blue rubber strap (100% Vegan), the Battista Tourbillon is the perfect accessory to accompany you inside your vertiginously fast Battista hypercar. Like the car, the Battista Tourbillon is a powerful display of mechanical wizardry with a unique design ethos that is bound to turn heads.
Availability & Price
The remarkable Bovet Battista Tourbillon will be produced in a series of 30 pieces in polished titanium for CHF 295,000, 18k red gold for CHF 305,000 and platinum for CHF 325,000; a drop in the ocean if you’ve already forked out the USD 2m for the car!
More details available at www.bovet.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.