The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail is an exceeding unique vehicle, one that reeks of cutting-edge craftsmanship and opulence. It’s a car unlike any other, so the trinkets that come with it should be just as exclusive – like the two Bovet 1822 timepieces you see here.
Rolls-Royce collaborated with high-end Swiss watchmaker Bovet 1822 to create this pair of reversible timepieces for the new Boat Tail. The one with the blue strap is for the gent, and the diamond-crusted, red-strapped unit is for the lady.
They are each housed in the watchmaker’s patented Amadeo convertible case, allowing it to be worn on the wrist, or used as a table clock, pendant, or pocket-watch. The watches can also be secured to a bespoke holder at the front and centre of the Boat Tail’s fascia.
Encased in 18K white gold (44 mm Fleurier case, 14 mm thick), the timepieces feature tourbillon mechanisms for perfect accuracy, and the dials feature the same Caleidolegno veneer found on the aft deck of the Boat Tail itself, and are finished with the owner-couples’ names (blanked out in the photos here for obvious reasons). Bovet holds a number of patents for its tourbillon design, and has received many awards including the Aiguille d’Or – watchmaking’s highest honour.
The gentleman’s timepiece is highly polished, and the reverse side gets an aventurine dial with the celestial arrangement of the night sky over the place of his birth. Meanwhile, the lady’s timepiece features a more ornate engraving that is protected with blue lacquer. Flip it over, you’ll find an intricate miniature painting of a flower bouquet on a mother-of-pearl dial. This the watchmaker’s traditional motif, chosen by and personalised for the owner.
Both reverse dials have bespoke hand-engraved sculptures of the Boat Tail, complete with the wheels, door handles, mirrors, and even the Spirit of Ecstasy itself! As if that wasn’t enough, the blue paint also matches that of the actual car.
You must be thinking, these watches must weigh quite a bit, don’t they? Well, yes, and according to the watchmaker, weight is hardly an issue for complex timepieces. However, there was a limit on the combined permissible weight of the timepieces and their holders.
The timepieces and holders also had to be tested to automotive-industry standards for vibration and crash safety. To offset all the vibrations from the car, the tourbillon has pivots rather than traditional ball bearings, a heavier balance wheel and an increased oscillation rate to aid precision. Finally, the tourbillon bridge is finished with a miniaturised Spirit of Ecstasy handcrafted in gold.
All in all, designing the watches from start to finish took roughly 3,000 hours to complete. They both have an astonishing five-day power reserve each, rather than the 42-48 hours of a ‘standard’ watch. When the watch holder in the Boat Tail is not in use, it can be covered with a beautifully engraved and lacquered display plaque. The timepieces can be stored securely in a special drawer just below the clock. Fancy doesn’t even cut it with these.
GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Boat Tail