Watches: Boegli Serie Zero BM1

By Thierry Ané on November 19, 2013

The repeater is undoubtedly the queen of complications. When a slide lever is pressed on the watch case the timepiece rings out the time through a series of chimes. It is one of the most complex watch mechanisms and minute repeaters are coveted by watch enthusiasts for their masterful engineering but above all for their beautiful acoustics. They remain very expensive, though, and not many watch aficionados can afford refined timepieces.

Does it mean that they have to give up on the pleasure of listening to a beautiful melody coming from their timepieces? Fortunately no! Another type of watches, namely the musical ones, are definitely more affordable than repeaters and although, on a pure horological level, they are not as technically impressive, they remain as poetic and their little melodies will bring you the same kind of emotion.

Boegli, a small Swiss manufacture from Moutier that specializes in classic musical movements, had the excellent idea of introducing a new complication to its portfolio: a musical movement such as the one you would find in a music-box, which plays a full melody “au passage the l’heure”, every hour.

Obviously this kind of complication calls for an enormous amount of energy. Doing everything in-house, Boegli’s watchmakers came up with a system of three barrels able to store a power reserve of more than 24 hours. As an additional treat, the melody can be played at any time at the simple push of a button.

Named Serie Zero, Boegli’s new musical creation is only released in two limited series of just 99 pieces. For acoustic reasons, the case of both models is crafted in titanium. This material combined with an innovative mounting of the rack of the musical movement produces an exceptional tone of the melody played. Both models look very different though. The sportier one adopts an all-black look: its titanium case and bezel have been PVD-coated in black. The second version is more understated and plays on the perfect union of the grey titanium case and the rose gold bezel. Both models are fitted with a black alligator strap secured by a titanium buckle.

It would have been a real shame to hide the beautiful and unusual manufacture movement. Luckily Boegli’s designers have opted for a tinted sapphire case back and also a tinted sapphire dial allowing us to admire the musical movement. The flange and a disc with hour markers ensure a perfect legibility. Lastly, in reference to the musical dimension of the watch, one of the beautifully hollowed hands integrates a violin clef. Rhodium-coloured for the all-black version, they are of course in rose gold for the other model.

At CHF 19,900 for the all-black version and CHF 23,900 for the titanium and rose gold model, these original watches are very fairly priced. Boegli has also decided to use the very old method of “subscription” to sell these timepieces. By becoming a subscriber, you will ensure that you will get a watch from the first series obviously but you will also receive details on the progress of the development and eventually of the manufacturing every month. Last but not least, you will have the opportunity to visit the factory when your personal watch is being finished.

For a technical description of the timepieces and additional pictures: