April 12, 2019

More Indians going for exclusive watches instead of popular brands : Bovet’s Kurt Hefti

After a long hiatus, Bovet unveiled this year’s collection at SIHH in Geneva, that included five novelties and several animations. With nearly 1,500 pieces crafted every 365 days, Bovet continues to focus on bespoke and limited edition pieces to lure collectors and first time buyers alike. In a conversation with ‘Vishawatch’ during his recent trip to Johnson Watch Company in Delhi along with dozens of new watches, International Sales Director, Kurt Hefti shared why he thinks Bovet has caught the attention of connoisseurs in India for good. “A few people came specially to see the new collection at the boutique. That’s good for a Monday,” says Hefti, who claims that Bovet makes watches with features like none other. Take for instance the special Amadeo system that converts a table watch into a wrist watch and even to a pocket watch. Here is a step by step of the interesting process of the Amadeo watch.

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“When I show it to people here, there is sparkle in their eyes. They are genuinely amazed. They find it very attractive and interesting,” says Hefti. Bovet likes to maintain the exclusivity of its timepieces despite having a wide range of entry level watches to complex tourbillons, and does not wish to be known as a mass luxury brand.

According to People in India are getting away from the popular brands and looking for exclusivity because of which Bovet has really come of age in this market,” he feels. The brand has already created a few bespoke watches with miniature hand paintings and engravings for Indian buyers. “We do receive orders for portraits on watches, which can take upto 100 hours to hand paint and are expensive,” he adds. 

Bovet’s unique watches with an inclined case
Bovet’s unique watches with an inclined case

Last year, Bovet won the most coveted the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix) for its ‘Recital 22 Grand Recital’ watch. The brand’s owner Pascal Raffy is on the jury of the awards this year. The Bovet company was founded in 1822 by Edouard Bovet with a focus on the watchmaking trade with China. The brand as we know it today was acquired by Raffy, a former pharmaceutical industry executive and passionate watch collector, in 2001.

This year’s novelties from the house of Bovet include some very interesting pieces. The Recital 26 for instance is special because it has been crafted in an inclined (a Bovet trademark) sapphire crystal case. Then there is a triple time zone watch which has been crafted for the first time in Titanium. The Recital 21 has a new perpetual calendar movement in red gold and titanium inclined cases, while Virtuoso 9 is a tourbillon GMT with two time zones.

Among the five novelties exhibited at SIHH, Recital 23 is a women’s watch with an inclined case and is currently being showcased in India. About 20% of Bovet’s portfolio is focussed on women. “The ladies watch market is difficult because most women buy brand names which are popular in the world of fashion. However, there are many women who are looking for different watches and we do see a lot of traction in India as well,” adds Hefti who is frequent to India and bullish about Bovet’s future here.

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By Vijaya Rathore in April, 2019