Close this search box.

Lets talk...

Editor editor@i-m-magazine.com
Creative Director design@i-m-magazine.com
Advertising Sales Director advertising@i-m-magazine.com

Audrey Raffy

The beautiful mind driving Bovet into the future

The vice president of Bovet, Audrey Raffy, is most definitely a rising star in the watch industry. Her cosmopolitan background, natural intelligence and exceptional qualifications are the tools with which she is taking the company into the future, navigating one of the most competitive sectors in luxury.

Audrey has Lebanese roots, was born in France, and spent her childhood between Spain and Switzerland. She then went to university in the USA and got a law degree at Northwestern University. Now, she lives in Dubai. “I considered myself very lucky to have had such an upbringing. I believe it helps me personally and professionally.” Bovet is a global company. As such, it has customers in all corners of the world… and Audrey visits them all. “Having lived in so many places, I understand different cultures, which helps me connect with our customers.”

Her father, Pascal Raffy, acquired Bovet in 2001, so Audrey grew up witnessing her dad’s passion and dedication. Her path into Bovet was an organic one. She had just graduated from Northwestern when COVID hit, so she was stuck in the US. “Since I couldn’t go anywhere, I thought I may as well try to add some value to our team there.” It turned out to be an excellent idea. For a year and a half, Audrey was the only one in the Raffy family able to travel and represent Bovet in the American continent. From there, she took increasing responsibility, until she found herself running the company alongside her father.

Audrey Raffy's Bovet Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two

Audrey Raffy’s everyday watch: a Bovet Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two, which features a tourbillon, a world timer and a moon phase beside the regular hours and minutes.

Audrey quickly grasped how changing times are changing consumer/brand relationships. Socio-culturally, we have knocked down more taboos in the last decade than in the last century, and the luxury sector – including watches – has had to adapt or risk extinction. Now, advertising campaigns and brand ambassador roles are not just limited to young white models and celebrities: they are open to talent and ideas from all walks of life. “We are not stuck anymore with the female stereotype of 15 or 20 years ago, or with strict definitions of gender. It is very refreshing.”

She doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk too. On her wrist, I see a Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two – large, sporty, and very yellow. Not the timepiece you might imagine a feminine and petite woman would pick as her everyday watch. It is clear she loves it. “I am not someone that needs to wear a different watch every day,” she says, “I started wearing this Récital when I joined the company and haven’t switched ever since.”

Although shaking up things at Bovet, she is fully aware and very respectful of the company’s heritage and tradition. However, it is the evolution of the luxury customer which occupies the forefront of her mind. “Today, you don’t have to look a particular way to access luxury. Nor can we make assumptions about what a client would like because of their style or how old they are. In fact, when we started to introduce brighter colours and straps in different materials, we found that it was often the older clients who fully embraced these edgier variations to our collections, while the younger customers may go for more classic-looking models, such as the 19 Thirty or the Fleurier.”

Bovet x Pininfarina Aperto 1

The Bovet x Pininfarina Aperto 1 features a 42mm, grade 5 Titanium sandblasted case. The movement is coated with black and tantalum grey treatments. It comes with two straps, easily interchangeable at the push of a button.

New watches for 2024 show the direction in which Bovet is heading. The first, released in very early February, has been the Bovet x Pininfarina Aperto 1, which is an exquisite example of simplicity, transparency and lightness in haute horlogerie. The Aperto 1 is a robust interpretation of the traditional fine art of skeletonising. “It is a very special watch,” Audrey comments proudly, “a mid-range complications timepiece, sporty and casual, but completely within the Bovet identity of high watchmaking.”

At Watches & Wonders, Bovet is releasing a “big, big complication”, but she would only tell me that it has something to do with the Récital 26 (the Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two won the prestigious GPHG Mechanical Exception Award in 2020). “We will have yet another big launch later in the year,” she says changing the subject, “and that is one very dear to my heart. It is the result of years and years of research and development by my father and the Bovet team.”

That team reflects the commitment of the company to not only innovation but also to inclusion, incorporating a lot of young talent into its ranks, both male and female. Audrey herself has let neither her gender nor her youth hold her back, even if on occasion, she’s had to flag her Northwestern law degree to set the record straight. But mostly, she tells me, “I’ve been received with open arms. The industry appreciates the perspective of younger executives because our customer base now includes people in their 20s, which was very unusual just a decade ago.”

“We [women] don’t just want watches with diamonds; we are interested in complications, innovative materials, and much more.”

          – Audrey Raffy



That said, Audrey is not naïve: she is aware there is still much progress to be made. “I think the next few years are going to bring critical change,” she adds. “I am friends with a few female influencers in the Middle East, who are educated and passionate about their watches and have made it their mission to inspire other women to voice what they want. We don’t just want watches with diamonds; we are interested in complications, innovative materials, and much more.”

At this point, I am wondering if Audrey ever sleeps, let alone enjoys time for herself.  She admits. “At this time, it is important to dedicate myself as much as possible to the business.” Spending time with her family is a priority for her. She likes “chilling out at home, watching movies and being with her parents and siblings. Still, she manages to get to the gym and, at least once a week, goes “horse riding in the desert.”

Before letting her go, I asked her what career path she would have chosen if she hadn’t joined Bovet so early. “I love human rights law,” she says seriously. “When doing my law degree, I struggled a lot with the thought that there is no real human rights law; because, despite the existence of an International Court of Justice, there’s no way to really force a foreign government to do or not to do anything.” Her other interest is intellectual property, but she gets to do plenty of that at her job at Bovet. Impressive woman.

Words: Julia Pasarón

Show Comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *