The bow tie was not yet fully formed when Honoré de Balzac wrote this quote. At the time the bow tie was still called a cravatte. At that time it had not yet earned the moniker 'noeud papillon' and you can sort of understand why. The photos of the period don't show the same relative symmetry we see in bow ties today. It was a piece of silk tied around the neck, neither as a long tie, nor as a bow tie. And probably for that reason Balzac suggests that the day that it (neck wear) submits to static rules is the day that it will cease to exist. My interpretation of what Balzac was saying is that whilst it was in that state of flux, with no four in hand knots or windsors, whilst it was neither a long tie nor a bow tie; it gave the wearer the ultimate chance to express themselves in terms of how they wore their neck wear.
Today most of us do not wear ties regularly, neither in business nor socially. When we do we find ourselves tying similar knots. Perhaps it's time we put a little more romance back into our neck wear and break away from static rules as Honoré de Balzac suggests it would in fact kill off neck wear if it all became stereotypical. See the new model here