It’s quite simple really. Saskia maaike Bouvier is a woman, she’s gorgeous, and she’s a talented watchmaker. She makes horology sexy. This blonde bombshell can go toe to toe with any of the best watchmakers.
Just ask Sven Andersen, one of the founders of the Academie horlogerie des createurs independents (AHCI) in 1984, or Antoine Preziuso, another member of the AHCI. Both men are Bouvier’s godfathers for admission into the highly regarded organization. And it isn’t because she’s bewitched them with her beauty, although that obviously didn’t hurt.
Bouvier Watches: From Apprentice to Masterful Creator
Besides doing an apprenticeship with Peziuso, Bouvier bellied up to the workbench at Agenhor. If you don’t recognize the name, you’ll definitely recognize the amazing watches Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and his team create. There’s the Van Cleef & Arpels “Poetic Wish” and Hermes “Arceau Le Temps Suspendu”, and, of course, MB&F’s Horological Machine 2.At Agenhor Bouvier did everything with prototyping new complications, movement modifications, constructing and assembling for production and encasing the finished product. After that Franck Muller snapped her up to work in after sales service in the Big Apple.
The Artist on her Craft
With such a thorough education, Bouvier was ready to express her inner horology goddess and share her passion and desire with other women. “Every watch that I imagine and create is conceived based upon my own tastes and desires,” she says. “Even if I am imagining, thinking and creating for others, it is always my personal touch that emerges. Thus, I have chosen a target audience that resembles me the most generally – women.” Her audience is women interested in premium and complicated pieces. Don’t be jealous men. Though she only makes watches for women now, perhaps if you asked her really nicely, she just might consider changing her policy.
At Basel this year, Bouvier presented a new timepiece in the Yin time & Yang time collection. The dial on the Equilibre could be called a Dual Time Zone or GMT watch. In Bouvier’s hands it’s much more than that. She asks you to contemplate the meaning of time as a representation of duality and equality.
As the wrist moves, the light bounces from dial’s surface, creating a chiaroscuro effect. Bouvier achieves the visual perception through a guilloché texture on the silvery dial that’s rhodium-plated.
Yin & Yang
For her, playing with light and dark represents the complementary dualities of the yin and yang. Just as the light bounces around the dial, so do life’s events, radiating differently with every passing moment. We attempt to maintain a balance while adapting to outside influences.
“The two-fold time display confronts us with our own perception of the passage of time,” Bouvier explains. “As it passes, time may appear to slip away or freeze… both perceptions finally bring us back to the real time displayed.”
The Yin time and Yang time gets its power from the reliable ETA 2892 modified with Bouvier’s own module. The watch, with a dragon-patterned alligator strap, comes in a large 45mm stainless steel case, a size usually reserved for men. Adding a nice feminine touch are the 1.9 carats of diamonds glittering on the bezel.
Instead of resorting to the philosopher’s watch to ask the wearer to meditate on time—because that would be too easy—Bouvier helps us find find our equilibrium just by strapping on a watch.
Incidentally, without the diamonds or maybe even with, the Equilibre would suit a man.
by Meenha Goldsmith