As is traditional in the British luxury car brand Rolls-Royce, watches, an analog, of course, occupy a prominent place in the equipment.
It is a one-off with a staggering price of 23 million euros. It is the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail that, like any good car of the brand, includes a clock, analog of course, and with the characteristic hands.
As pointed out by the brand itself in a Rolls-Royce, this element frequently assumes a jewel status and more so in this case since we are dealing with a car made according to the exact specifications proposed by its future owner.
Car on request from Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars collaborate with the Swiss master watchmaker, BOVET 1822, who have created a unique pair of watches for the Boat Tail and its owners. Watches are unique both in the world of watchmaking and in the automotive world. Made in pairs -in versions for men and women- they are reversible and housed in the patented Amadeo box from BOVET 1822, which allows them to be worn on the wrist, as a table, pendant, or pocket watch, and of course on the central dashboard, perfectly integrated. Both are equipped with a tourbillon, a clockwork mechanism created in 1795, to guarantee perfect precision.
BOVET 1822 initially earned its reputation by making luxury pocket watches for wealthy customers in China. Today he is recognized around the world for his exquisite creations with hand-painted spheres, detailed engravings, and finely finished visible mechanisms.
Those created for this first Boat Tail have specific 18K white gold cases and have matching front dials with the same Caleidolegno material sheet that is in the car and includes the names of the owner couples. The men's watch is polished, while the women's watch is engraved and finished in blue lacquer.
The clock support mechanism is unique to Rolls-Royce.
On the reverse, the dials are individual. The men's version features an aventurine crystal sphere with the celestial arrangement of the night sky over the place of birth and date, while the women's version features an ornate miniature painting of a bouquet of flowers in a mother-of-pearl sphere. This design is a traditional motif in BOVET 1822, chosen and personalized for the owner.
Both reverse dials feature custom hand-engraved Boat Tail figures, complete with wheels, door handles, rearview mirrors, and other details.
By working closely together, the Rolls-Royce and BOVET 1822 teams achieved a precise color match between the lacquer on this little work of art and the car.
In watchmaking, weight is rarely an issue, but in this case, there was a limit given its location in the car and its mounts. BOVET 1822 met this requirement by creating a brand new 44mm white gold case. In addition, both the watches and the brackets also had to be tested according to automotive industry standards to withstand vibrations and possible traffic accidents, something that had never before been undertaken in mechanisms of this type.
By a conservative estimate, the design, engineering, modeling, miniature painting, marquetry, custom mechanisms, and watch cases took a total of 3,000 hours to complete.
When a pocket watch is left stationary in one position for a period of time, the effect of gravity on moving parts can affect its accuracy. At the end of the 18th century, watchmakers solved this problem by developing the aforementioned tourbillon that allows the gravitational effect to be canceled.
In a wristwatch, the natural physical movements of the wearer decrease the need for the tourbillon. However, when that same watch is mounted vertically on the dashboard of a car for many hours, this mechanism is decisive.
To reduce the potential impact of car vibration, the tourbillon has pivots instead of traditional ball bearings, as well as a heavier balance wheel and a higher rate of oscillation to aid precision. Finally, the tourbillon bridge is finished with a miniature Spirit of Ecstasy, Rolls-Royce logo, handcrafted in gold.
The support mechanism is unique to Rolls-Royce Boat Tail and was designed by BOVET 1822 engineers and the brand's design team from the ground up.
Although in a Rolls-Royce the vibration is reduced to an absolute minimum, they are inevitably present, although thanks to the aforementioned support the watch is isolated. It also ensures they run quietly, are easy to mount and remove from the dashboard, and most of all, remain safe and secure.
From the beginning, BOVET 1822 opted for a purely mechanical approach in keeping with its tradition of Swiss artisan production. Lastly, Rolls-Royce ensured that when the stand is not in use, it can be covered with a beautiful engraved and lacquered display plate. Underneath the watch, the dashboard is equipped with a special drawer, lined with the same leather as the Boat Tail seats, which serves as a custodial receptacle to house watches, straps, chain, and pendant when not in use.