Right from the introduction of its first finely crafted timepieces, BOVET distinguished itself by the extreme finesse of the details gracing its miniature paintings.
D espite a prolific range of timepieces featuring this type of decoration, Edouard Bovet managed to assert himself by the sheer quality of the paintings he offered. That was undoubtedly what earned BOVET such success among its early clientele that notably included the Emperor of China. One of the timepieces acquired by the latter in the early 19th century currently still sits enthroned in the Forbidden City.
O nly a very few exponents proved able to safeguard these crafts that had so greatly contributed to gaining Switzerland international recognition for the infinitely meticulous discipline of its artisans. Bovet belongs to this highly exclusive circle.
M other of pearl serves as the décor for the majority of BOVET miniature paintings. After a special treatment, its surface provides the ideal backdrop for a range of infinitely small details. Coated in a translucent lacquer, the mother-of-pearl reveals the full wealth of its shimmering iridescence.
T he artisan’s work consists in creating or transferring the drawing on a generally five times larger scale and of adapting it to the round shape of the dial, while taking account of the position of the hands and of any potential dial apertures.
O nce the final layer of lacquer has been applied and fired, the last operation consists in reducing the dial to its final thickness by consistent gentler abrasive movements, before the final polishing that will reveal the full depth of the work. In their eager quest for perfection, the BOVET artisans have developed new techniques associable with polished lacquer. Certain dials thus feature details crafted in gold leaf, while in other cases they may be adorned with gold or silver paillons (spangles) that are combined with the lacquer to create a metallic effect.