The clock in a Rolls-Royce motor car frequently assumes a jewel-like status, often becoming a canvas for the client to tell the story of their commission in miniature. For Rolls-Royce Boat Tail, the recently unveiled first of three coach-built creations, in which every element has been created to the owners' exact specifications, this iconic centrepiece has been elevated to new heights. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and Swiss master watchmakers, BOVET 1822, have created a pair of unique timepieces for Boat Tail and its owners, bringing together designers, engineers and craftspeople from both luxury houses.
The timepieces are unique to both the horological and automotive worlds. Made as a pair - in lady's and gentleman's versions - they are reversible, and housed in BOVET 1822's patented Amadeo case, which allows them to be worn on the wrist, or used as a table clock, pendant or pocket watch, as well as being placed front and centre in Boat Tail’s fascia as the motor car’s own timepiece. Both are fitted with tourbillon mechanisms to ensure perfect accuracy.
Further close cooperation was required to ensure the timepieces conformed to the demands of their unique role as motor car clocks. In addition, the timepieces and holders also had to be tested to automotive-industry standards for vibration and crash safety – something never previously undertaken on mechanisms of this kind. The timepieces have a five-day power reserve, rather than the 42-48 hours of a 'standard' watch, to allow for their role as motor car clocks. The design, engineering, sculptures, miniature painting, marquetry, bespoke movements and cases took a total of 3 000 hours to complete.