Before we get to the last of Blancpain’s new additions to the 2014 Villeret collection, let’s switch it up with a look at the new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscape Chronograph. The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe line debuted last year in basic 3-handed models & steel cases. This year the line is really stepped up with a satin-brushed black ceramic case and ceramic bezel. On top of this, Blancpain has fitted this watch with a new automatic mechanical manufacture caliber — the Blancpain Cal. F385. The Cal. F385 is a column wheel chronograph with vertical clutch; it has a silicon balance spring and beats at 36,000 vph. Moreover, this is a water-resistant chronograph — the pushers are constructed to enable use underwater to depths of 300 meters. Exceptional features for a chronograph watch.
Similar to last year’s first ever combination of a tourbillon and a carrousel in one caliber, the new Blancpain 225L movement unites a carrousel, a moon phase and a date for the very first time. Joining the Villeret 8 Days and the Villeret 12 day Flying Tourbillon, his piece is the third of four new pieces launched this year in the brand’s flagship Villeret collection.
Platinum case…enamel dial…flying tourbillon…
Not a lot of pomp and circumstance out of Blancpain this year, but as usual the manufacture from Le Brassus does not disappoint with its new year lineup. This is the second of five new pieces from Blancpain this year, and believe it or not it is not the most complicated of the Le Brassus manufacture’s new pieces this year. This is not to say it is not an impressive watch, because it is. The new Villeret Tourbillon is set in a 42mm platinum case and is distinguished by a dial-side 60-second flying tourbillon with silicon balance-spring and a gorgeously decorated caliber on the back side.
WOW. What. A. Watch. With the release of the Armin Strom One Week Skeleton Collection, the Armin Strom manufacture has realized the dream of its founder – to create a skeleton entirely manufactured in-house. While there is no doubt that Armin Strom is quite proud to marry the tradition for which its namesake represents with its modern day in-house caliber capabilities, this is also very exciting to a skeleton fan like me and others. Especially as I am in particular a fan of Mr. Armin Strom himself, a (now retired) modern day legend of the skeleton art.
You can see how incredible this watch looks. Even the going barrel springs are visible through the winding wheels. An amazing combination of form and function. The watch exudes hand craftmanship, leaving behind the feel of many of today’s mass-produced, industrial calibers and dials.