5 Most Gorgeous Blancpain Watches Ever Made
Blancpain is the oldest surviving watchmaker, with records dating back to 1735. Creator Jehan-Jacques Blancpain started his first workshop on the second floor of his house in Villeret, which is now the Bernese Jura, the term for the portion of the Swiss canton of Bern that is part of the French-speaking area of Switzerland.
Blancpain’s great-grandson, Frédéric-Louis, introduced contemporary manufacturing techniques to his great grandfather’s traditional workshop in 1815. He also invented the cylinder escapement, which was a significant advancement over the crown-wheel mechanism that was popular during the period. The company creates high-end timepieces. And even after the death of the last family member in charge of the company in 1932, the brand was maintained by new associates. Here are all of the company’s high-end timepieces.
1. The Great Wave
This is the world’s only watch of its kind. It’s a manual winding caliber 13R3A with an 8-day power reserve, so it is not incredibly complex mechanically. The power reserve indicator has been shifted from the dial to the bridge side, which is a unique feature of the movement. It’s a modified conventional 13R0 movement, but the indicator is now on the caseback, allowing the lovely dial to shine through.
The wrist bracelet is by a Swiss master artisan and is made of calfskin. It’s made of a lovely black material with exquisite, basic stitching on both sides of the band. This ladies Blancpain watch is ideal for everyone who appreciates a refined yet mysterious vibe.
The dial is the pinnacle of creative achievement. It is the reproduction of the famous woodblock, The Great Wave off Kanagawa. This is a novelty for Blancpain, as the dial is made of Mexican silver obsidian. On a Shakudo basis, the Great Wave is in white gold. The patina is the consequence of oxidizing the gold by immersing the base in a rokusho salt bath. Multiple layers of unique wave-like patterns are seen as a result of this. The Shakudo base was discarded after the wave was completed, and the engraved white gold was secured on the Mexican silver obsidian dial face. It’s a watch that exudes exquisite elegance.
2. Fifty Fathoms
In 1953, Fifty Fathoms was created. Jacques Cousteau, the famous oceanographer, donned it in 1957 while filming The Silent World, putting it in the public eye. The watch was one of the first to bring in a new contemporary wristwatch for divers, specifically for combat swimmers. Silent swimming and deep diving were among the operations completed by these special forces soldiers around the world. They used to be known as Frogmen or Sea Fighter.
The French Ministry of Defense’s frogmen force required a trustworthy watch that would not malfunction in deep waters, which led Blancpain to develop the Fifty Fathoms. A timepiece that was both sturdy and precise was required. That watch is originally for the French Special Forces. The wristwatch had a black face, a rotating outer bezel, legible markings, and large, easy-to-read numerals. The minute hand needed to line up with the bezel so that divers could see how much oxygen time they had left. So you can read properly, luminous in the dark indicators were desired and implemented.
The watch is 50 fathoms waterproof, which was the greatest depth divers could safely reach using a one-time oxygen combination. It had a double o-ring gasket instead of the customary crown and a screwed case back. It also had an automated and antimagnetic mechanism that eliminated the need to wind the watch regularly. Following that, German, American, and Spanish special forces adopted the huge and durable wristwatch.
3. Calendrier Chinois Traditionnel
This model is the first Blancpain watch to include a traditional Chinese calendar. It was designed in 2012 and covers not just the Gregorian calendar’s minutes and hours, but also the Chinese calendar’s essential elements. The zodiac signs, double hour indication, five elements, date, current month, moon phases, an indication of intercalary months, and celestial stems are all included. The watch is notable in watchmaking history since it is the first time the traditional Chinese calendar has been undertaken, qualifying it as a historical horological complication. The Calibre 3638 is a self-winding watch with a production limit of 20 units each year.
4. The Ladybird
Blancpain designed the first Ladybird in 1956. This lovely woman’s watch was notable for setting a global record for being the world’s tiniest round watch. It used the Caliber R550 movement, which was only 11.85mm in diameter yet had a 40-hour power reserve. It was a tremendous accomplishment in the circumstances of the time. The Ladybird model was always a staple of Blancpain’s ladies’ lines throughout the last six decades. Variations included versions set with gems or models with interchangeable straps as priorities have shifted.
A 60th-anniversary version of the Ladybird was exhibited at Baselworld in 2016. It features a modern Caliber 6150 self-winding mechanism, which is still one of the world’s tiniest. It comes with a 32-diamond bezel and a white-cold casing. The hour markers have eight diamonds placed in them, the hour and minute hands are openwork, and the dial has a classic mother of pearl flora theme.
5. 2013 Tourbillon Carrousel
This watch shocked the world when it was unveiled at Baselworld in 2013 because it merged the two systems for compensating for the force of gravity on the watch’s balance wheel in one wristwatch. The tourbillon is more well-known than the carrousel. Within each mechanism, there are different gear trains. Blancpain is the first watchmaker to integrate the two in one wristwatch. Each complication is marked to state what is accurate. Since the intricacies within the watch are visible through the sapphire case back, the timepiece appears to be gorgeous. With its flinque ornamentation surrounding the carrousel, it attracts the eyes of many.
In A Nutshell
Blancpain’s operation exudes elegance and uniqueness for over two centuries. The watches have never had digital displays or with quartz. Each watch is made by hand by a single watchmaker in tiny batches of less than thirty pieces per day. The firm is known for its intricate mechanical watches, including the thinnest watch movement ever made, the tiniest watch mechanism, and the first deep-diving watch.