Like the one-of-the-kind convertible, the watches were fully bespoke and finessed with time-honoured handcrafts
Rolls-Royce motor cars often regard the car clock as a work of jewellery art unto itself. It tells the time, and also the story of the vehicle’s commission in miniature. But in the case of the carmaker’s newest reveal, this iconic centrepiece reflected its owners’ passion for beautifully handcrafted timepieces instead. The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail watches were handcrafted by specialist artisans, and fully bespoke according to the car owners’ exact specifications.
As with all couple’s watches, the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail watches share a number of similarities. For one, they’re both made in 18K white gold. They also share matching front dials featuring the same Caleidolegno veneer that was used on the Boat Tail’s aft deck.
The watches are also reversible thanks to Bovet Fleurier’s signature patented Amadeo case, which like the Boat Tail, is also convertible. On top of having two dials, the timepieces can change from wristwatch to pocket watch. It can also be worn as a necklace, or used as a table clock.
And in this instance, they can fit perfectly into the Boat Tail’s dashboard as an onboard clock. Rolls-Royce and Bovet Fleurier worked really hard together to ensure that the watches fit perfectly in their dashboard cradles, and stayed within the carmaker’s precise specifications.
Weight of the timepieces and their holders had to be reduced to a minimum, and capable of standing up to automotive industry vibration and crash safety standards.
That wouldn’t normally be a concern. Except these Rolls-Royce Boat Tail watches were equipped with grand complication tourbillon calibres, which are notoriously delicate. So Bovet engineers and the Rolls-Royce Coachbuild design team put their heads together to solve the problem. Together they came up with a highly complex mounting assembly that isolates the watches from even the slightest micro-vibrations.
To further reduce any potential impact, the tourbillon rotates on pivots rather than ball bearings. Bovet also used a heavier balance wheel for better stability. And adjusted the movement to a higher oscillating frequency for improved precision.
This bespoke tourbillon proudly features Rolls-Royce’s famous emblem, the Spirit of Ecstasy, in miniature on its bridge.
A beautiful partnership
The two teams also worked closely to achieve a precise colour match between the body of the actual car and its artistic impression on the watch’s verso dials. Indeed, turning them over shows us how the owners are different from each other.
Perfectly polished, the gent’s model features the Boat Tail in grand feu enamel against an off-centred aventurine dial with the celestial arrangement of the night sky over his place of birth on his date of birth.
The ladies model on the other hand features an ornate miniature painting of a flower bouquet on a mother-of-pearl dial, also with the Boat Tail in the foreground.
Its case is covered with exquisite hand-engraving and filled with blue lacquer. Rolls-Royce remains discreet about who the owners are but one thing’s clear: they sure love the colour blue.
Altogether, the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail watches took both teams a total of 3,000 hours over a three-year period to complete. This includes everything from design to engineering, hand-sculpting to miniature painting, artisanal marquetry to bespoke movement and case construction.
Next to that adorable built-in parasol which simply oozes coastal chic vibes, these watches are the perfect finishing touch for the Boat Tail’s cavalcade of ultra-luxe accoutrements.