In the 19th century, the decorative watchmaking arts and the art of grand feu enamel miniatures were at their zenith. Both were epitomized by the pocket watches manufactured at the time by the Bovet brothers, as is suggested by their inclusion in the world’s finest collections and most prestigious museums.
It was a joint obsession with excellence that led to the partnership between Pascal Raffy and the Russian jeweler Ilgiz Fazulzyanov in 2014.
Specialists regard Fazulzyanov as the heir of some of the greatest enamellers in history, such as Lissignol, Richter, Liotard and even Huaut. Indeed, many of the artists in this non-exhaustive list who established Geneva’s reputation as a high temple of enameling and painting also collaborated with BOVET in the 19th century.
And so it was no surprise when Ilgiz F. joined forces with BOVET 1822 to create a collection of unique pieces worthy of the finest 19th century watches. The first series of four unique men’s timepieces is based on the “Riders of the Apocalypse” theme.
The Amadeo Fleurier 43 presented here features the White Rider, who symbolizes conquest. Although many representations of this theme have been created over the centuries, this portrayal is very much Fazulzyanov’s personal interpretation. The composition is a work of genius, especially given that horses —particularly their proportions—are one of the hardest subjects to depict. In addition to the artist’s draughtsmanship, his total mastery of artisanal grand feu enameling techniques borders on perfection. He alone has managed to emulate the great masters of the 18th and 19th centuries. The details are as precise and distinct as a large painting on canvas, and the colors are no less accurate, distinctive and vibrant.
The Amadeo® case, which enables this timepiece to be transformed into a wristwatch, table clock or pocket watch, has been entirely hand-engraved by one of the three artisan engravers at the BOVET 1822 workshops and its Manufacture DIMIER 1738. Their delicate carvings provide a backdrop that is as worthy as the work itself. The same craftsmen also engraved the oscillating weight, visible through the sapphire case back, with the Fleurisanne motif.
With this Rider of the Apocalypse and the entire collection dedicated to grand feu enamel, BOVET 1822 perpetuates a unique skill while taking the watchmaking arts to new heights.