Haute Complication: Blancpain Carrousel Repetition Minutes
Blancpain is a brand that most certainly doesn’t shy away from creating unique, and complicated, watches. This Carrousel Repetition Minutes is a prime example of this, as it unites an already complicated minute repeater, with a carrousel.
The carrousel serves the same function as the tourbillon, to battle the influence that gravity has on the precision of the watch. To the untrained eye, they might even look alike, but the difference can be found with the balance wheel doing its work in a cage, which not rotates on the second’s wheel, as a tourbillon, but rather has its own gear for this. The result is a more sturdier construction, but more so, it is a rare complication that only Blancpain currently makes. That helps to set the watch apart in a world where tourbillons are not by far as exotic as they once were.
In this watch, Blancpain combines this complication with a minute repeater. To our delight, they left out a large portion of the dial so that we can admire the intricate works of this complication. By putting it in a 45mm diameter case, you can literally see the entire movement. The remainder of the dial, made from grand feu enamel, features Blancpain’s signature styled Roman numerals in red gold, makes it easy to read, and balance out the visual impact of the minute repeater mechanism.
That mechanism, not only features a cathedral gong, but also a safety that disengages the crown when the minute repeater is in use. This prevents the watch from being set, while in operation, which will wreak havoc on the complicated movement. The entire movement is beautifully finished and shows many engraved details, especially at the back, where you can also admire the oscillating weight that provides this watch with its generous 65-hour power reserve.
Altogether is the Blancpain Carrousel Repetition Minutes a watch in the proud tradition of the six masterpieces that put Blancpain back on the map, and played an intricate part in the renaissance of mechanical watchmaking, when Jean-Claude Biver resurrected the brand.