Pair of Bovet Fleurier watches, back and front views – £4000 at Roseberys.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

It set the stage for the company’s future. Brothers Alphonse and Frederic Bovet stayed in London to manage shipping via the East India Company; another brother, Charles-Henri, managed manufacturing in Fleurier, while founder Edouard Bove (1797-1849) cultivated the market in Canton.

The name Bovet (also signed with the Chinese characters Bo Wei) became so revered and well known that the name became synonymous for ‘watch’ in Chinese culture.

Catered to Far Eastern taste

Many Bovet products were carefully tailored to Far Eastern taste. This pair of 19th century silver-gilt and painted enamel open face fob watches with sweep second movements are decorated with seed pearls, red guilloche borders and enamel reserves. One depicts a winged putti standing beside a garden ornament, the other a young couple in rural landscape.

The pair, dated c.1850, were offered by Roseberys (25% buyer’s premium) in London on December 8 as part of a private collection in an original presentation fitted case with gilt stamped crowned crest with Bo Wei.

Estimated at £1500-2500, they sold at £4000.