1797 – 1835

Establishment of the Bovet Dynasty

1797 – 1835


Edouard Bovetwas born in Fleurier. He is the son of Jean-Frédéric Bovet, himself master watchmaker in Fleurier.


Edouard Bovet left London April 20 aboard the Orwell, ship of the “Compagnie des Indes”. He arrived August 16 in Canton where he sold very quickly four watches for the sum of CHF 10,000 representing the equivalent of one million dollars today.


Edouard Bovet, residing in Canton, created with his brothers, Alphonse and Frederic, who stayed in London, their third brother Gustave, watchmaker in Fleurier, a partnership aimed to the watchmaking trade with China. The first Treaty of the BOVET company registered in London is dated May 1. Faced with the rapid expansion of the business, the company transferred the center of its manufacture to Fleurier. From this day BOVET watches are characterized by exceptional level of decorations. At such point that Edouard BOVET is recognized as the founder of the transparent case-back. Thus, the transparency reveals the peerless expertise such like the Duplex escapement which equips the BOVET movement since 1822 until the arrival of the first Swiss lever escapements.


Construction begins on the BOVET house in Fleurier commonly called “the Chinese Palace”, it will eventually become the city hall named “Hôtel de Ville” in 1905 and today also houses the Fleurier Quality Foundation, for which BOVET is one of the founding members.


The Château de Môtiers built in the 14th century and dominating le Val-de-Travers and Fleurier, is sold to Henri-François Dubois-Bovet. His great grandchildren would make a gift of it in 1957 to the state of Neuchâtel.