Blancpain Villeret Collection Presented at Baselworld 2017

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In 1735, Jehan-Jacques Blancpain began to try his hand at watchmaking as he perceived there to be a number of possibilities in this brand new sector. And so he founded his eponymous brand: Blancpain was founded in Villeret, above his house, in what is today part of Bernese Jura. The oldest watchmaking brand in the world, Blancpain presented a series of new pieces to complete their mythic Villeret collection during the 101st edition of Baselworld. For the very first time, Blancpain developed a Day-Date timepiece that offers a watch complication indicating the date and day of the week, touched off by the label’s emblematic signature. What makes this piece so exceptional is Blancpain’s capacity to develop and produce its own movements, giving its engineers total creative liberty. Practical and elegant, the watch fits perfectly within the brand’s refined aesthetics – pure lines, enameled dial, and a two-level bezel, nothing leaves anything to be desired. In perfect harmony with these aesthetic codes, the chapter ring and Blancpain logo are painted in enamel, a decorative technique that requires several successive bakings at the extreme temperature of 800° Celsius. To ensure visual balance and improved readability, the day of the week is also displayed by a blue hand on the dial at 9:00.

Among the other pieces introduced in this Villeret collection can be found the Date Moon Phases – a watch for women. By preserving all the purity and tradition of Blancpain, this style available in a red gold version boasts the brand’s emblematic complications. The watch’s opaline dial is swept over by arrows as subtle as they are sublime, while a sapphire moon phase indicator proves dazzling to the beholder. In fact, this complication almost disappeared from watchmaking entirely until Blancpain reintroduced it in the early 80s. Ever since, it’s become one of the manufacturer’s signatures, evoking with gusto the ancestral links between watchmaking and astronomy. Around 29.2 mm in diameter, the piece is mounted with a bezel that’s adorned with 48 full-cut diamonds, while a taupe alligator leather bracelet encloses the wrist.

Finally, the most magistral piece is without a doubt the one developed by their Métiers d’Art division – a new unique gold style whose shakudō alloy, near and dear to the label, represents a Combat de Reines (“Queens’ Combat”) staged before the emblematic Cervin. This race of cows from the Val d’Hérens has been part of Switzerland’s national heritage since 1861. Their ancestors were already present in the Valais by 3,000 B.C. With their robust nature and short legs, these animals are able to climb heights of over 3,000 meters, but they’re first and foremost known for their traditional combats that take place each spring! A cow is declared the victor when their adversary turns away or refuses the fight in an act of submission. At the end of the face-off, the “Queen of Queens” of the troop is named. This status allows her to lead the others on their common quest for verdant pastures. On this model’s dial, Blancpain pays homage to these national emblems; their artisans even hand-engraved the shakudō. These unique pieces are on display.

 

 

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