Blancpain unveiled some incredible pieces at Baselworld 2014. Today, we’re taking a close up look at one of our favorites, the Blancpain Villeret 12 Day Flying Tourbillon Caliber 242. As you may have surmised from its name alone, this piece is a big one for the brand.
That is to say, it thinks big. True to the aesthetic of Blancpain’s Villeret collection, this timepiece actually looks quite discreet, with a 42mm case in either 18K red gold or platinum, a grand feu enamel dial with graceful painted Roman numerals and hollowed sage leaf-shaped hands, and a chocolate brown alligator strap lined with calfskin.
However, the off-set tourbillon carriage at 12 o’clock on the dial showcases this piece’s big ambitions. According to the manufacture, the tourbillon carriage was actually enlarged to offer a better view of the design of the balance and the escape-wheel. The fact that this is a flying tourbillon (the carriage has no upper bridge) means the wearer has an even better view of this mechanism, which rotates once a minute.
At the heart of this timepiece is the new Calibre 242, which was developed in-house by Blancpain. This self-winding tourbillon movement, which is comprised of 243 parts, boasts an exceptional 12-day power reserve. The sapphire crystal caseback showcases the movement, which features an openworked oscillating weight, a single barrel, a silicon balancespring and pallet-fork horns (to alleviate the effects of magnetic fields) in a space just 6.10mm thick and 30.60mm in diameter. The bridges and power-reserve disc are decorated with a hand-guilloché motif, and the ratchet-wheel features a bevelled wheel-rim design.
Photo credit: Haute Time.