The new Villeret Perpetual Calendar from Blancpain is an extraordinary watch, and perhaps the finest achievement in an already impressive set of of new introductions this year. The new self-winding Blanpcain Calibre 5939A comprises 379 parts and measures 7.25 mm thick, with an impressive 8-day power reserve. It is offered in choice of red gold, or a limited edition platinum model, and comes in a dedicated box equipped with a winder serving to keep the watch on time even when not in use. The box cleverly designed solid wooden box doubles as a cigar humidor if the interior is removed.
by Kyle Stults on April 08, 2014
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. An exceptional feature 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.
by Kyle Stults on April 07, 2014
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.
With SIHH Geneve 2014 behind us, the focus now turns to Baselworld, the world’s largest watch fair (it begins March 27). The preview I have here is of the new Blancpain Villeret, an elegant time+date watch with an eight-day power reserve and a grand feu enamel dial.
At Baselworld 2013, Blancpain introduced an intriguing watch which includes both a tourbillon and a carrousel. What makes this interesting is that both complications play a similar role in a watch — that is, to average out the effects of gravity on the watch. The tourbillon is of course the more famous and commonly seen complication of the two, but both complications require great expertise to create and as such you rarely see pieces with either complication for less than six figures. Let alone seeing both in one watch – this is, as far as I know, the first time this has been done.
Click through for video of the Blancpain Tourbillon Carrousel
Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first diving piece, Blancpain this year presents the new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaph. Created in 1953, the Fifty Fathoms by Blancpain has become among the most famous diver’s watches. The vintage-inspired Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe presented in a 2013 includes men’s and women’s versions. This is a very distinct and great looking watch, with some excellent strap pairings, and a ceramic bezel with graduated scale in Liquidmetal® (a high-tech metal that first popped up in the Omega SMPO in 2009, but has also been used in Breguet and now Blancpain — all Swatch Group brands).
Read the rest of this entry »
Here are two new absolutely gorgeous watches from Blancpain:
These graceful watches in white or red gold feature mother-of-pearl detailing, decentralized hour and minute counters (@ 6 o’clock), moon phase with diamond-stars, and calendar indicated by a star-tipped serpentine blue hand. The calendar functions in a “retrograde” manner — meaning that the indicator hand “jumps” back to the first day of the month. While of course it is easy to adore the diamond studded bezel (set with 40 diamonds), don’t overlook the diamond-topped crown as well. A total of 2.021 carats!
On the back, the sapphire display back showcases a charming flower-shaped oscillating weight for the automatic mechanical movement (Blancpain calibre 2650RL).
A beautiful piece, available in choice of 36mm white or red gold case, fitted on a white leather strap.
by Kyle Stults on March 13, 2012
An interesting new piece from Blancpain — and a reflection on the attention given to the Chinese consumer these days. With it, Blancpain lays claim to the first mechanical wristwatch equipped with a traditional Chinese calendar. On its dial, the hours, minutes and the Gregorian calendar rub shoulders with the main indications of the Chinese calendar: traditional double-hour indication, day, month with indication of leap months, signs of the zodiac, as well as the five elements and the 10 celestial stems. The combination of the latter with the 12 animals of the zodiac that represent the terrestrial branches follows the sixty-year cycle that is central to Chinese culture. The moon phases, a key element in Blancpain complete calendars, are also presented and play a particularly important role in this model, given the link between the lunar cycle and traditional Chinese months. The watch will be available in platinum (20 piece limited edition with special “dragon” rotor) or red gold (non-limited edition). Read on for more details…
Blancpain Traditional Chinese Calendar (Villeret Collection)
platinum: 20 pieces limited edition; or red gold (non limited)
45mm platinum or red gold case (15mm thick), Madagascar ruby crown, five integrated under-lug correctors serving to adjust the indications, grand feu enamel dial, “hollow leaf” shaped hands, automatic mechanical Caliber 3638
The watch is powered by Blancpain’s new self-winding Calibre 3638. Its complexity stems as much from the number of indications to be displayed as from the irregular nature of their cycles. The hours, minutes and the Gregorian calendar are presented in the center. The counter at 12 o’clock indicates the double-hour numerals and symbols (24-hour cycle); while the one at 3 o’clock shows the elements and the celestial stems (10-year cycle). The month of the Chinese calendar (12-month cycle), its date (30-day cycle) and the leap month indicator appear at 9 o’clock, while a 12 o’clock aperture reveals the zodiac sign of the year in progress (12-year cycle); and the moon phases are displayed at 6 o’clock.
platinum case (limited edition 20 pieces)
Contrary to the Gregorian solar calendar which uses the solar day as the base unit, the traditional Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, meaning a solar calendar with the lunar cycle (29.53059 days) as its base unit. Since a year comprising 12 lunar months (354.36707 days) is approximately 11 days too short compared with the tropical or solar year (365.242374 days), a leap month is sometimes added to preserve the match with the cycle of the seasons. Given that each month of the Chinese calendar, including the leap months, begins on the day of the new moon, its length is either 29 or 30 days. This means that when a year comprises a leap month, this 13-month year will be longer than the tropical year. On the contrary, when there is no leap month, the year of 12 lunar months is shorter than the tropical year. This distinctive feature is the reason behind the variable date of the Chinese New Year.
red gold case (non limited edition)
Baselworld 2012: From Blancpain’s Villeret collection, a masterfully executed skeleton dial with exquisite engraving and decoration. Manual wind Breguet caliber with 8 days power reserve. Yes please!
Blancpain Villeret Skeleton 8 Days
38 mm x 9.08 mm white gold case, manual wind Blancpain Calibre 1333SQ, 8-Day (192-hours) power reserve, hand-decorated
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