Blancpain Introduces New Novelties at Baselworld 2017

Charles Edwards-Freshwater (Online Editor)
Striking new timepieces that exude the spirit of Blancpain

As one of the most prestigious exhibitions of timepieces in the world, it makes sense that each year Baselworld is the perfect opportunity for only the most exclusive of watchmakers to show off their new creations. A menagerie of fine complications and innovations, Baselworld this year has already set the stage for the introduction of some marvellous timepieces – some of the most intriguing of which are courtesy of Swiss watchmaker Blancpain.

Introducing a number of novelties today and for the rest of the duration of the show, below we look at some of the most impressive of this new line up from the famous watchmaker, every timepiece a wonderful expression of why Blancpain remains one of the premier watchmakers in the world.

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The first of these exquisite new novelties, and arguably one of the most striking that made its debut today, is a timepiece that is the product of Blancpain’s finest artisans at their Métiers d’Art Workshop. A one of a kind model that has been crafted to honour the country of Switzerland (the birthplace of Blancpain) this remarkable timepiece is formed from gold and the marque’s treasured shakudo alloy, instantly separating it as a collector’s piece that is quite unlike any other.

Depicting a battle between two cows vying to become queen in front of the iconic Matterhorn on the dial, the cows are of the Val d’Herens breed which have become an important part of Swiss heritage since 1861 whilst the Matterhorn is arguably the most distinctive mountain in the Swiss Alps, its pyramid shape helping it stand out as symbol of power and natural beauty.

As well as a beautiful dial, it is the sheer level of craftsmanship that really allows this timepiece to stand out as a true treasure. Shakudo is an alloy formed from gold and copper which was traditionally used to adorn sword sheathes and decorative objects and jewellery, and on this new timepiece from Blancpain the shakudo elements are held in place with tiny feet and are fashioned in gold and hand engraved, showcasing the master skills of the watchmakers at Blancpain in a way that is simply inimitable.  Once fastened in place the whole dial was dipped in a salt water solution to give it a rokusho patina, an ancient treatment which allows intricate metalwork to develop a unique sheen that can’t be created in any other way.

A striking piece that is beautiful and a timeless testament to the country which Blancpain calls home, this one of a kind watch is a real work of art that perfectly illustrates Blancpain’s powers as a watchmaker an one that will stand pride of place in the collection of the lucky individual who purchases it.

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Veering towards the more technical side, another fine timepiece Blancpain has debuted at Baselworld 2017 is a tribute to their Fifty Fathoms Mil-Spec - one of their most iconic pieces from the 1950s.  A model which is responsible for the merger of two lineages, both that of Jean-Jacques Fiechter a passionate diver who was Blancpain’s CEO for three decades  and that of Captain Robert “Bob” Maloubier and Lieutenant Claude Riffaud, founders of the French Navy’s combat swimmers corps and who were searching for a reliable watch for their underwater missions.

Understanding that a diver needs a reliable watch that is watertight even if the crown is accidentally pulled out during a dive, Jean-Jacques created the Fifty Fathoms with a number of innovative features including a double seal and a special channel for the “O” ring, innovations that have now been patented by Blancpain and remain a core part of the Fifty Fathoms range. For the 2017 model many of these features have been utilised and the watch has been fitted with Blancpain’s own in house automatic winding calibre 1151, a movement comprised of 210 different components which is a masterpiece of technological innovation. A silicon balance spring brings a host of new benefits such as a resistance to magnetic forces and a better balance to the timepiece, and the dial is marked with luminescent indicators that can easily be read underwater, the bezel coated with an anti scratch sapphire which protects the luminescent indications underneath.

Limited to 500 pieces and undoubtedly an impressive tribute to one of Blancpain’s most iconic timepieces of all, this special timepiece is also an enduring testament to Blancpain’s technological prowess and heritage.

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Ladies looking for a smart new timepiece have not been forgotten, and aiming to wow the crowds with its dainty charms Blancpain has created a delicate new moon phase that comes with a set of five interchangeable straps so that it can always match whatever you’re wearing.

A contemporary and yet utterly feminine expression of Blancpain’s craftsmanship, this beautiful timepiece features a steel case that is completed with a diamond embellished bezel and the dial also featuring brilliant cut diamonds embedded in place of time indicators so that the watch captures the eye with another flourish of feminine allure.

Named the Villeret Quantième à Phase de Lune, the watch features a pointer-type date display and a sapphire moon phase complication, a complication that had all but disappeared until Blancpain reintroduced it during the 1980s and which has since become a signature part of their manufacture. Decorated with a coquettishly beautiful moon with a feminine face that links back to the longstanding history of watchmaking with astronomy, the moon also has a beauty spot which was traditionally worn by people in the 18th century to suggest a playful flirtation.

A stunning timepiece that is elegant and indulgent alike, this new feminine watch is the perfect accompaniment for a lady who wants to dazzle as well as have an accessory that merges with her style, the interchangeable straps giving her options for when she wants to experiment with her looks on a daily basis.

To make an enquiry about any of the timepieces mentioned above, please CLICK HERE

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