Bovet Watch

bovet watches history
bovet watches history

The History of Bovet Watch

Founded by Edouard Bovet (1797–1849) who learn the watch making in his early life by his father who was a watchmaker himself. He later in 1814 sent to UK to learn in the school of watch making then to China in 1818 where he made several sale and like the Market there. In 1922 he started his watch company in London. The majority of his product shipped to China to be sold there.

The company sold several times until 2001 when The Company was acquired by Pascal Raffy, its current president.



Edouard Bovet was born in Fleurier. He is the son of a master watchmaker Jean-Frederic Bovet. –


Edouard Bovet completeshis watchmaking apprenticeship and leaves Fleurier with his brothers Alphonse and Frédéric for London, at the time one of Europe’s leading watchmaking cities but more importantly a major trading centre for clocks and watches


Edouard Bovet leaves London on April 20th on board of the Orwell, a vessel operated by the East India Company. He arrives on the 16th of August in Canton where he very quickly sells four watches for the sum of 10.000 francs, the equivalent of one million dollar in our day


Edouard Bovet, living in Canton, creates with his brothers who remained in London, and with his third brother Gustave, a watchmaker in Fleurier, a general partnership with a view to trading in watches with China. The first bill of the sale of the Bovet Company written in London bears the date 1st May 1822. Faith with a rapide growth in business, the company transfers its manufacturing.


Construction begins on the BOVET house in Fleurier commonly called “the Chinese Palace”, it will eventually become the city hall named “Hôtel de Ville” in 1905 and today also houses the Fleurier Quality Foundation, for which BOVET is one of the founding members.


The Château de Môtiers, built in the 14th century and dominating le Val-de-Travers and Fleurier, is sold to Henri-François Dubois-Bovet. His great grandchildren would make a gift of it in 1957 to the state of Neuchâtel.


Mr Pascal Raffy becomes the owner and sole shareholder of Bovet Fleurier


Mr Pascal Raffy acquires DIMIER 1738 Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Artisanale and DIMIER 1738 Manufacture de cadrans et sertissage.


Mr Pascal Raffy purchases from the state of Neuchâtel the Château de Môtiers, classed as a historic monument. Here he installs the BOVET workshops.


Special Jury Prize of the Dutch magazine 00/24 Horloges for the “Fleurier Amadeo Tourbillon 5 jours Heures Sautantes” featuring a miniature painting of a “Geisha”. This distinction for exceptional timepieces has been awarded only twice in eleven years.


Introduction of the AMADEO convertible case system


Revolution awards the 2010 Prize for Best Achievement in Watch Design to the BOVET Tourbillon OTTANTA® by Pininfarina.


Introduction of the Virtuoso II movement, first in-house non-tourbillon calibre à spécialités horlogères





Here is the Key dates from



Edouard Bovet was born in Fleurier, the son of Jean-Frédéric Bovet, himself a master-watchmaker in Fleurier in Val de Travers, a valley that runs through the Swiss Jura mountains.


Edouard Bovet completed his watchmaking apprenticeship and, with brothers Alphonse and Frédéric, left Fleurier for London, then an important centre for the manufacture but most of all the hub of the European watch trade.


Edouard Bovet left London on April 20th onboard the Orwell, a ship of the East India Company. He came ashore in Canton on August 16th. Shortly after his arrival, he sold four watches for 10,000 Swiss francs, the equivalent of one million dollars today.


Edouard Bovet, now living in Canton, brothers Alphonse and Frédéric, who had stayed behind in London, and a third brother, Gustave, a watchmaker in Fleurier, set up a partnership to sell watches to China. The first bill of sale for the Bovet company was drafted in London, on May 1st. Business thrived, and the company transferred its manufacturing activity to Fleurier.



Bovet began production of watches in matching pairs. These were highly-prized gifts for the Chinese, who considered twins to be a sign of good fortune.


Maison Bovet, better known as the “Chinese Palace,” was built in Fleurier. In 1905 it became the Town Hall and the seat of the Qualité Fleurier Foundation, of which Bovet is a founder-member.



The fourteenth-century Château de Môtiers, which stands above Val-de-Travers and Fleurier, was sold to Henri-François Dubois-Bovet. His great-grandchildren gifted it to the State of Neuchâtel in 1957.


Frédéric Bovet left London for Fleurier where he managed the company’s watchmaking workshops, which then employed 175 people.


Edouard Bovet died in Fleurier at the age of 52, by which time “an aura had formed around the Fleurier watch in China where, for many years, a Bovet was the very epitome of a watch. Bovet watches were even used as currency for trade within the country.” (La Montre Chinoise; A. Chapuis)


At the first Exposition Universelle in Paris, Bovet was awarded a GoldMedal in the Luxury category for a pair of enamelled watches, a commission from the Emperor of China.

Bovet continued to sell to China until 1900, when the company began to lose ground to rival production from Besançon in France and from the United States, as well as countless imitations.


Fritz Bovet, eldest son of Alphonse Bovet, filed a patent for a single-pusher chronograph with seconds hand, minute counter and hour counter that could measure a period of up to 24 hours. His ingeniousmechanism meant the chronograph could double as a second time zone.


Bovet filed two patents: one for the portfolio watch, a system that transforms a wristwatch into a desk watch, and a second for thechronograph with single flyback hand, still a highly desirable collector’s item.


Bovet watches were sold in Geneva, London, New York and Bombay.


The revival of Bovet in Fleurier. Since then the company has produced watches in very small quantities: fewer than 2,000 a year. Over a third of these are one-off pieces, made to order.

Bovet wristwatches are distinctive in that they are housed inside a pocket watch case, with a crown and a hinged bow at 12 o’clock. This distinguishing feature, along with the serpentine hands, is directly inspired by the watches Bovet made in the 19th century for the Chinese market.


Pascal Raffy, the brand’s owner and sole shareholder since 2001, bought three companies manufacturing tourbillons, movements andbalance springs, grouped under the name STT Holding, which became Dimier 1738. Bovet now had an independent supply of manufacture-made movements. Pascal Raffy bought, from the State of Neuchâtel, Château de Môtiers, now a historic monument. It became the new site of Bovet’s workshops.


Revolution magazine gave its Best Achievement in Design award to the Tourbillon Ottanta®.


BOVET and DKSH, the leading Market Expansion Services provider with a focus on Asia have signed a collaboration agreement for enhancing the position of BOVET timepieces in Asia. DKSH will assume marketing, sales and after-sales services throughout Asia, while also taking a strategic shareholding of 20% in BOVET and both its manufacturing facilities (DIMIER).



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