Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Blancpain Proves that It’s Never Too Late to Do Something New

For Baselworld 2018, Blancpain proves that even a brand with such a long, illustrious history can still bring something contemporary to the table

Nov 27, 2018 | By Ruckdee Chotjinda

The Blancpain Villeret Tourbillon Volant Heure Sautante Minute Rétrograde sees a new layout for the brand

The year 1735 features heavily in Blancpain’s logo and rightly so, much like any other brand with a similar number of years behind its story. For these long-historied names, the centuries between their founding and now are representations of an evolution.

But to evolve is to adapt to times, and to constantly update one’s self. When Blancpain announced its Villeret Tourbillon Volant Heure Sautante Minute Rétrograde at Baselworld earlier this year, it was a first of many for the brand and a step towards new manners of executing its timepieces. The timepiece’s mouthful name references three main features of the timepiece – a flying tourbillon, a jumping hour and a retrograde minute display.

More importantly for Blancpain however, the watch marks the first time the brand has used both the jumping hours and retrograde minutes, displayed together in its own circular sector at six o’clock.

Against a white grand feu enamel dial, Blancpain brings its complications to life

While the watch may have a seemingly quiet appearance, there is actually plenty for the eyes of collectors to scrutinise on the dial. Against the white grand feu enamel dial, golden rings encircle each of the three stand-out functions of the watch, appropriately reinforcing their integrated individuality.

In line with the philosophy of doing something new, the flying tourbillon in the Villeret Tourbillon Volant Heure Sautante Minute Rétrograde sees its lower bridge removed and replaced with a clear sapphire disc, allowing for an even clearer view of the tourbillon.

While the dial layout deviates from the typical Blancpain, the red gold case is distinctively a Villeret with double stepping around the bezel area. One other uncommon characteristic to note includes the guilloche decoration on the hand-winding movement with 144 hours of power reserve. A platinum version of this watch was announced at the same time, but it is a limited edition of 50 pieces only. Regardless of material, this 42 mm watch, while on your wrist, marks the passage of time on a whole new level.

The limited edition platinum version of Blancpain’s piece sees a blue alligator leather strap paired with the watch instead

In fact, us here at World of Watches were so enamoured with the watch that we featured it, larger than life in our recent Festive issue‘s big tourbillon feature. The issue is out in stores so pick it up to read more about the watch world’s most beloved complication and more on Blancpain’s take on it. 

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