Blancpain presents its Annual Calendar GMT from the Villeret collection with a new, modern look, fitted for the first time with a stainless steel case. This new material for the 40 mm x 11.04 mm thick case is a perfect match for the easy-to-read white dial with stainless steel hands and hour-markers Day, date, and month are read in a rapid eye movement from 2 to 4 o’clock, while a small 24-hour counter at 8 o’clock indicates home time with GMT local time provided by the central hours hand.
The self-winding 6054F caliber requires adjustment once per year, between February and March, easily made with Blancpain’s patented under-lug correctors – one at 1 o’clock to change the day, and the other at 5 o’clock to adjust the month. Fast GMT and date corrections, along with time setting, are made with the crown.
A clear sapphire case back reveals the yellow gold oscillating mass with a guilloché motif – a feature that is present whether the case is in gold or steel. This timepiece, completed with an alligator leather strap with a triple-blade folding clasp, is priced at €25,440.
Surfing on the success of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe introduced in 2014 in support of the Blancpain Ocean Commitment, the brand continues its marine adventure with the three-hand version presented for the first time in a plasma grey ceramic case. Surrounding a deep blue dial with traditional hands, a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock, and a large seconds hand that serves to indicate the watch is running, the new satin-brushed plasma grey ceramic bezel is equipped with a blue ceramic insert that features Liquidmetal® alloy hourmarkers to avoid distortions and enhance readability during dives. Unidirectional, it rotates with defined clicks in a counter-clockwise direction.
The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe is water-resistant to 30 bar, or 300 meters, and is powered by the self-winding caliber 1315, reputed for its sturdiness and exceptional chronometric performance. Three series-coupled mainspring barrels ensure a five-day power reserve while guaranteeing a constant supply of energy. Visible through the clear sapphire caseback, the movement is fitted with a silicon balance-spring.
This timepiece comes with two strap options: a three-ring NATO strap or a sail canvas version. Priced at €11,970.
Looking at the sea from a different perspective, Blancpain has created a superb new unique Métiers d’Art timepiece, this year entitled ‘The Great Wave’. Using the Mexican silver obsidian gemstone as a base for the hand-engraved and hand-decorated gold wave, the timepiece employs a complicated technique that involves several phases and an alloy of gold and copper – Shakudō – that Blancpain first used last year on the Shakudō Ganesh model for which it won the Artistic Crafts category prize in the 2015 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
Aesthetically beautiful, this timepiece has also received special attention from the Manufacture for its technical elements. Blancpain has modified the famous hand-wound 13R0 caliber that now becomes the 13R3A movement. The power-reserve display appears on the bridge side of the model to provide sufficient space for optimal visibility of the engraving. This movement, again equipped with three series-coupled mainspring barrels that successively wind and unwind to maintain its force, boasts 8 days of power reserve.
The double-stepped 42mm x 10.55 mm case of ‘The Great Wave’ is in platinum. Everything about this timepiece is unique, including the bespoke storm-grey colour hand-crafted strap in calfskin.
Priced at €159,700.
Last but not least, Blancpain celebrates the 60th anniversary of its ‘Ladybird’ collection, launched in 1956 with the smallest mechanical round movement – the R55, and presented this year in a limited 60 piece edition. Within its 21.5 mm x 8.23 mm white gold case, the new automatic movement – the 6150 caliber – is just 15.7 mm in diameter and still one of the smallest in the world. This timepiece for ladies comes in several versions including a mother-of-pearl dial decorated with 4 ruby hearts and removable heart charm to match, diamond-set bezel, diamond-set dial, or a red gold version with an opaline dial, enhanced with a ladybird charm set with 7 rubies and 11 diamonds.
Prices start from €17,960.
Most models are expected in shops by summer 2016.