In 2006, this watch making legacy was re-established by Pascal Raffy, President and Owner of Bovet Fleurier SA. “Recital 1” was the first high end watch model presented by Dimier 1738.
When Pascal Raffy acquired the DIMIER 1738 Manufacture in June 2006, it was already involved in watchmaking. The new owner devoted six months and channelled all his energy into transforming, organizing and structuring what would very soon become one of the most important centers for artisanal fine watchmaking. These sustained efforts were also shared by the craftsmen, all of whom strive for excellence.
The transformation was so successful that, less than a year later, Pascal Raffy and all of the craftsmen welcomed the world’s press to the Manufacture to unveil Recital 1, the first timepiece in the iconic DIMIER collection. This highly symbolic step enabled Pascal Raffy to give the Manufacture’s craftsmen the first timepiece of a collection he decided to dedicate to them. Characterized by cases with four lugs and a crown placed traditionally at 3 o’clock, the DIMIER collection showcases the technical skill and virtuosity of the Manufacture’s watchmakers.
But above all else, in purchasing the Manufacture, Pascal Raffy gave BOVET 1822 absolute control over its developments and the opportunity to generalize a level of quality that no other producer could guarantee. Above and beyond any strategic or economic considerations, this independence is the freedom underpinning the supreme excellence of BOVET timepieces.
To ensure exemplary quality and reliability, the number of movements and timepieces that would be manufactured has been limited straightway. At the same time, a modern, ever-present and uncompromising quality control department was established and became a crucial point of this new structure.
The seventy craftsmen who work in the Manufacture’s various workshops represent forty-one different crafts. These figures speak volumes about the Manufacture’s level of specialization. On the back of this unparalleled expertise, the DIMIER 1738 Manufacture has developed and manufactured fifty-nine different calibers. The constant search for perfection and spirit of innovation that drive the Manufacture’s craftsmen regularly lead them to file new patents. As a result, more than fifteen inventions have been registered over the past ten years.
With the exception of the jewels and barrel springs, all of the components of every movement are produced entirely in the Manufacture. In order to achieve the timekeeping properties, aesthetic qualities and reliability that are typical of movements manufactured by DIMIER 1738, all the skills and techniques required by artisanal fine watchmaking have been called on.
Thus machining, milling, electroerosion, stamping, pinions and wheels cutting and burnishing are all combined to ensure the optimal production of each component.
A true demonstration of BOVET 1822’s pre-eminence in the decorative watchmaking arts and personalization, the decoration workshop employs eleven specialist craftsmen. Be they hand-engravers or -chamferers, their talents come together to continually push back the boundaries of perfection.
In addition to their aesthetics and reliability, DIMIER 1738 movements are renowned for their faultless timekeeping. This recognition is well deserved as the DIMIER Manufacture is one of the few institutions capable of producing traditional balance-springs. This coveted talent enables it to avoid any compromises in terms of quality or performance.
By mastering the manufacture of components as complex as the escapement or the entire regulating organ, the Manufacture’s technicians are capable of presenting movements that perfectly adhere to a timepiece’s specifications. This is also the key to the absolute mastery of energy efficiency and very long power reserves characteristic of the movements manufactured by DIMIER 1738.
The final addition to this set of skills is, of course, the brilliance of the watchmakers responsible for assembling, finishing and adjusting the calibers, which often incorporate numerous complications. The technical team alone is made up of ten people, including several watchmakers. The size of this department means it can react very quickly during new developments. The technical team also includes dial- and case-makers, in addition to those who build the movements. These craftsmen work together from the very beginning of every new project. Each timepiece is therefore considered as a whole from the outset and not merely as an assembled movement, dial and case. The work accomplished over these ten years of existence has enabled the Manufacture to develop fifty-nine new movement references. But whether they indicate the hours, minutes and seconds, or feature numerous complications such as a tourbillon, retrograde perpetual calendar or multiple time zones (to name just a few), each movement is given the same level of attention and standard of finishing.
The Manufacture’s excellence is such that several prestigious watchmaking houses call upon it to supply them with both specific components and complete movements. This excellence and expertise have since extended beyond the confines of watchmaking to serve clients in the medical, electronic and aeronautical industries.
In 2016, BOVET celebrated the 10th anniversary of DIMIER 1738 Manufacture. The progress that has been made over these ten years of existence has enabled the Manufacture to attain such a high standard of quality and reliability that BOVET is now offering a five-year warranty on every timepiece powered by a DIMIER 1738 Manufacture movement. Reliability, timekeeping, and mastery of the decorative watchmaking arts are the cornerstones of fine artisanal watchmaking, and every house worthy of them has a duty to present them to its collectors.
DIMIER 1738 Manufacture De Haute Horlogerie Artisanale
Right from its origins in Switzerland, watchmaking extended right along the Jura mountain range between Geneva and Biel, and each region naturally came to specialise in fields best suited to its natural resources. The serenity, the special light and the spirit of the Jura also proved conducive to the manufacturing of complicated mechanisms, whereas Geneva provided an ideal setting for the development of the art of the cabinotiers. It was thus entirely logical that BOVET should establish its DIMIER 1738 Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Artisanale(hand-crafted fine watchmaking workshops) in the Bernese Jura and DIMIER Manufacture de Cadrans et Sertissage(dial and gem-setting workshops) in Geneva.
Located in Tramelan, home to some of the finest exponents of hand-crafted watchmaking, DIMIER offers ideal conditions for a Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie.
|DIMIER 1738 Manufacture De Haute Horlogerie Artisanale, Tramelan|
Excellence and mass production are fundamentally incompatible, which is why the development of the manufacture is entirely geared towards the quality of its products rather than their volume.
R&D DEPARTMENT: The R&D department of DIMIER has a seven-strong staff including a design engineer specialising in the study and development of dials and watch exteriors. The substantial size of this department serves to avoid the kind of bottlenecks that tend to arise at this stage in product development, and also enables the design engineers to effectively cross-check their respective work and thereby guarantee the quality and smooth flow of production as well as spectacularly fast reaction times.
QUALITY CONTROL: At DIMIER, quality control begins at the very start of a project. From the first discussions of a new project all the way through to after-sales service, it acts as an authentic interface between the R&D department and all those involved in production. Positioned both upstream and downstream from all the phases in making a given model, it guarantees the immediate integration of solutions to potential problems that emerge when production is launched, and of the improvements suggested by the practical experience of the various actors – the ultimate goal being to ensure the exemplary reliability of all timepieces made by the company, whether as small series or one-of-a-kind creations. The rigorous approach and high-level internal criteria governing the quality control enable DIMIER, which is also a founding a member of the “Fleurier Quality Foundation” label, to cooperate on a regular basis with independent certification bodies such as the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing institute, Chronofiable or Metalo-test – to mention but a few.
STAMPING: In addition the numerous stamps or swages used for making parts that need to be stamped at pressures of 1.5 to 2 tons, DIMIER is proud to be able to rely on the knowledge of stamping specialists capable of making tools – often by hand as far as the smaller ones are concerned – boasting exemplary durability. This is confirmed by the press-tool storeroom, the memory bank of the manufacture, which houses tools up to 50 years old and are ready for instant use where required. These same press-tool makers handle the maintenance, setting and adjustments of the machines, as well as all related production operations such as blanking and bending.
MICROMECHANICS: DIMIER is equipped with a large set of machines. State-of-the-art computer numerically controlled models rub shoulders with older machines affording a wealth of possibilities and a degree of precision that remain unequalled by modern equivalents. Allocating specific tasks to each machine optimises the results of each while reducing setting times and ensuring smooth production flows. Each operation can thus be vertically integrated within a global production process, or independently activated according to specific requirements, without influencing the other manufacturing stages.
Integrating and mastering machining, spark-erosion and stamping operations enables DIMIER to produce all its components, from the smallest screws to the most complex plates, and whatever the materials involved.
GEARS: Like stamping and swaging, cutting the teeth of wheels and pinions calls for dedicated tools, a now rare form of knowledge, as well as considerable experience. The virtuosity of the artisans involved in this task, combined with that of their colleagues responsible for burnishing the pivots, guarantees the efficiency of model gear trains that may bear pinions with a diameter of less than 0.50 mm while meeting the most demanding technical criteria.
BALANCE-SPRINGS: As the beating heart of a mechanical timepiece and the guarantor of its precision, the balance spring is also the component that requires the greatest knowledge and mastery in terms of its chemical, physical and mechanical characteristics. DIMIER has been producing its own balance-springs since 2006 and is one of the extremely rare manufactures capable of making this part. The metal alloy used to make balance-springs is as complex as the stringent conditions involved in its production. All operations including the various drawing and rolling stages that give it the requisite rectangular cross-section, along with coiling, shaping the terminal curve and counting (to determine the proper length) are performed in-house at DIMIER and result in balance-springs endowed with properties guaranteeing optimal isochronism.
DECORATION: In addition to setting the indispensable finishing touch to the crafting of haute horlogerie movements, decoration also provides the personalised details that embody the very essence of the brand.In this activity where the human hand cannot be equalled or replaced, DIMIER also regroups a remarkable range of skills. Circular graining, linear or circular Côtes de Genève, snailing, hand-chamfering brass or steel parts, chasing, hand-engraving and even miniature painting are just some of the craftsmanship traditions perpetuated by BOVET 1822 and DIMIER 1783.
ASSEMBLY: DIMIER has a workshop staffed by around 15 watchmakers who proceed to the delicate assembly of the movements. The precision of their gestures and their tremendous experience consistently overcome the countless difficulties encountered in the exercise of their art, and meet the most stringent demands in terms of precision, performance and aesthetics.
DIMIER 1738 Manufacture de Cadrans et de Sertissage
The dial of a BOVET timepiece is its face. As artists seek to express themselves through their art, a handcrafted BOVET timepiece conveys its exquisiteness through its dial.
The design of a dial is inspired by the internal construction of mechanisms, gear train and movement complications. It is the movement that defines the positioning of the hands, counters, apertures and indications on the dial. Each BOVET dial demonstrates the unique story of the timepiece in which it is found. They are carefully crafted by skilled artisans who uphold BOVET’s decorative tradition today.
A craft is the imaginative ability to invent or bring into being by combining, shaping, or transforming materials. The craft of dial-making is a rare artisan savoir-faire or know-how which has been transmitted through systems of apprenticeships. Since the 17thcentury, master craftsmen have trained new generations of skilled crafts apprentices in Swiss villages located in the region of what is today the canton of Geneva. These bold new apprentices sought wisdom and the development of a craft while being innovative. BOVET’s artisans continue to incorporate modern technology and precision to traditional craftsmanship.
Dial crafting and gem setting require meticulous precision. A BOVET dial undergoes many operations, being both a creative work space and at the same time a surface manipulated within accuracies of one micron (.001 millimeters). It must fit perfectly on the movement, in the case of the timepiece, with its positioning of the apertures and hands while meeting strict technical criteria. Aesthetically, the dial serves a twofold purpose: it must be harmonious and highly legible. A three-dimensional display of the assembly offers a complete view of the dial and reveals its true personality through the addition of volume and detail. The technical plans created by the engineers DIMIER 1738 are an integral part of the manufacturing process and is the point of reference for all operations.
- 2006: The Manufacture is acquired by Pascal Raffy.
- 2007: Launch of the Recital 1 (first timepiece in the DIMIER collection). New seven-day tourbillon movement.
- 2008: New automatic seven-day tourbillon movement.
- 2009: New seven-day tourbillon movement with two time zones. New five-day tourbillon movement with jumping hours.
- 2010: Launch of the OTTANTA Tourbillon (first timepiece in the BOVET By Pininfarina collection). New big date tourbillon movement.
- 2011: New movement with precision moon phase. Launch of the Récital Ø tourbillon. New tourbillon carriage (Ø13.50 mm).The Tourbillon Amadeo Fleurier, 5-day jumping hours wins the oo24 European Watch of the Year Award in the “Jury Prize” category.
- 2012: New movement architectures featuring ¾ plates and a tourbillon carriage at 6 o’clock. New seven-day tourbillon movement with triple time zone. The Tourbillon OTTANTA wins the awards of Robb Report “Best of the Best”, Revolution “Best achievement in Design Watch” as well as the 0024 European Watch of the Year Award.
- 2013: New five-day tourbillon movement with jumping hours and retrograde minutes. Launch of the Virtuoso tourbillon. Launch of the first BOVET timepiece with a shaped case (Recital 9). FQF certification for the Rising Star (the most complicated timepiece ever certified by the FQF). The Tourbillon Amadeo®
- Fleurier Rising Star wins the Middle East Watch of the Year Award in the “Multi time zone” category.
- 2014: New VIRTUOSO II Calibre à Spécialités Horlogères(first caliber not regulated by a tourbillon). Launch of VIRTUOSO III (five-day tourbillon with retrograde perpetual calendar).Recital 12 Monsieur DIMIER wins Middle East Watch of the Year Award in the “Best Classical Watch” category. Recital 9 Miss Alexandra wins the 0024 European Watch of the Year Award in the “Ladies Watch” category.
- 2015: Launch of BRAVEHEART® (six times patented). Recital 17 wins Middle East Watch of the Year Award in the “Best Multi-Time Zone Watch” category.
- 2016: Launch of Recital 18 SHOOTING STAR®& OTTANTASEI (Manufacture’s 10thanniversary), five-year warranty. Recital 18 SHOOTING STAR® wins the Luxembourg Watch fair Award in the “Watch with Complications” category.