The Best Of Blancpain 2019
Our favourites from what we saw at the `Time to Move’ show
Blancpain has reinterpreted some of its iconic watches including many of the distinctive diving watches, and a legendary aviator timepiece for its new collection.
Fifty Fathoms Barakuda
The 500-piece 2019 edition of the original diving watch from the 1960s embodies a perfect combination of vintage design and advanced technicality. Its black dial is punctuated with large red and white hour-markers. The luminescent pencil-shaped hands are white-lacquered, while the date – a key element of the original model – returns to its favourite position in a prominent window. The unidirectional bezel features a scratch-resistant, domed sapphire insert, and is enclosed in a satin-brushed steel case. Water-resistant to 300 metres, it has a diameter of 40mm which is a size reserved for Fifty Fathoms timepieces in limited series. Powered by the Calibre 1151 self-winding movement. Comes with a tropical rubber strap identical to that of the historical models.
Villeret Women Date
While retaining key attributes of the Villeret collection, such as the rounded double-stepped bezel and cut-out sage leaf-shaped main hands, it features several new innovations including the oval window for the date display along with a redesigned, curvaceous font for the displayed numerals. The 33.2 mm case is available in steel or red gold and is set with 48 brilliant-cut diamonds. The steel version has a white dial, while the red gold version has an opaline dial, both set with brilliant-cut diamonds. The watch is powered by the 1151 movement which offers a power reserve of four days and is equipped with a silicon balance-spring renowned for precision.
Fifty Fathoms Automatique Ceramic
While retaining many of the key features that has made it an iconic diver’s watch over the last six decades, this new edition comes with a 45mm red gold case and a blue ceramic dial. The DNA of the collection remains identifiable at first glance: numerals, hour-markers and hands coated with luminescent material, a slightly curved scratchproof sapphire crystal and a ratcheted unidirectional rotating bezel. The movement powering the watch features a very dense red gold oscillating weight that ensures high winding efficiency for an optimal five-day power reserve when fully wound. The watch comes with a blue calf leather strap to match the blue ceramic dial.
This latest addition to Blancpain’s classic Villeret collection is an ultra-slim dress watch that concentrates only on the bare essentials, displaying just the hours and minutes. The 40mm case is just 7.39mm thick, which makes it even thinner than the current Villeret ultra-plate iterations. Available in polished stainless steel or 18K red gold, the case features Villeret’s traditional double-stepped bezel. The dial is off-white for the red gold version and silvery-white for the stainless steel variant and it features gold applied Roman numerals paired with elegant open-worked leaf-shaped hands. Powered by the hand-wound Calibre 11A4B with a power reserve of 100 hours.
Villeret GMT Date
Blancpain has added a GMT model with date complication to its Villeret collection that offers the same combination of technical sophistication with refined aesthetics as the rest of the timepieces in the line. Preserving the restrained appearance typical of all the models in the collection, the timepiece focuses on readability. The GMT complication of the watch enables indication of two time zones simultaneously, in which the local time is displayed in the foreground thanks to a raised chapter ring composed of the traditional applied Roman numerals. The reference time is indicated using a 24-hour scale and a separate hand. The 40mm case is available in 18K red gold or steel versions, paired with an opaline dial or a white variation depending on the variant. The watch is powered by the 5A50 self-winding movement, entirely designed and produced in the Manufacture’s workshop and offers a power reserve of four days.
Air Command Chronograph
The Blancpain Air Command was originally produced in the 1950s for the US Air Force. Only 12 pieces were made, making it one of the rarest and highly coveted Blancpain watches. This year Blancpain has introduced a 500-piece limited edition of the watch which has been made as faithful as possible to the original, except for few modern touches, and a new movement. The 42.5 mm case is made of steel and preserves both the overall shape and the proportions of the old model. It features a ratcheted `countdown` bi-directional pilot’s bezel with black polished ceramic insert and luminous hour markers. On the dial, the inscriptions, the scales, the numerals, the pilot-style hands are all near-identical to the original model. The watch though is powered by a new movement, Blancpain calibre F388B with a propeller-shaped, gold-coloured rotor which can be viewed through the caseback.