Blancpain Novelties BaselWorld 2014: The Bathyscape and New Perpetual Calendar Villeret

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The Bathyscaphe welcomes a Flyback chronograph

This new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe model houses a new 13-lignes Manufacture Blancpain movement beating at a rate of 36,000 vibrations/hour. It is equipped with a column-wheel chronograph mechanism and a vertical clutch. It also offers a flyback function enabling the wearer to reset and instantly restart the chronograph simply by pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock. This device proves extremely useful in taking fast measurements of successive times. Moreover, the water-resistant chronograph pushers also enable user underwater to depths of 300 metres without any risk of damaging the watch. The presence of a sapphire case-back on this diver’s watch is made possible by the use of a balance-spring made in silicon – a material endowed with anti-magnetic properties that enable the watch to dispense with the inner Faraday cage. This transparent back reveals the 18-carat gold oscillating weight clad in NAC (a platinum alloy) and featuring a sculpted Blancpain logo.

While maintaining all the key technical characteristics of the Fifty Fathoms collection, the aesthetic of the Bathyscaphe picks up the signature codes of the original model. The domed black dial is free of any numerals, punctuated only by lines and dots serving as hour-markers, while the date appears in a window at 4 o’clock. The sunburst finish on the dial and the snailed chronograph counters add a sense of depth to the overall effect. The rectangular hands are reminiscent of those featured on the 1950s Bathyscaphe models. The ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel bears hour-markers filled with LiquidMetal®, a patented metal alloy with an amorphous structure that also enables perfect bonding with the ceramic bezel, thereby accentuating its scratch-resistance. Finally, the presence of Superluminova on the key elements guarantees perfect readability when diving.

This new 43 mm-diameter Bathyscaphe is available in a brushed black ceramic version with a black dial, or in brushed steel with a meteor grey dial. All models are fitted with a NATO fabric or sail canvas strap – two extremely sturdy materials ideally suited to aquatic use. The steel version also comes on a metal bracelet, a first for this line.

A new perpetual calendar joins the Villeret collection

6659-3631-55B_PRBlancpain’s capacity to develop and produce its own movements gives it complete creative freedom. This expertise, combined with a long-established tradition of innovation, has given rise to a new perpetual calendar movement endowed with an 8-day power reserve and also driving a large moon phase and small seconds.

The new self-winding Calibre 5939A comprising 379 parts measures 7.25 mm thick and 32 mm in diameter. In addition to keeping track of the varying month lengths and leap years involved in the complex Gregorian calendar without any need for adjustment until 2100, this movement powers small seconds and a large moon phase at 6 o’clock. This fully secured and protected mechanism enables adjustments of the day, date, month and moon-phase indications at all times without any risk of damaging the movement.

Its 42 mm-diameter case is equipped with Blancpain’s patented under-lug correctors. By remaining invisible when the watch is worn, these four discreet and practical correctors preserve the smooth lines of the case with its double stepped bezel, while serving to adjust the date and moon-phase indications without any need for a dedicated tool. The broad sapphire case-back reveals the meticulous finishing of the movement with its honeycomb-motif oscillating weight.

In keeping with the brand’s aesthetic codes, the white dial is in grand feu enamel, a delicate decorative technique requiring several firings in the kiln at extremely high temperatures. To ensure enhanced readability and optimal clarity, the dial displays broad painted hour-markers, well-spaced day and month indications with blued steel hands, as well as a large moon phase.

This exceptional timepiece with its classic aesthetic is naturally clothed in precious metals. Crafted in 18K red gold and teamed with a chocolate brown alligator strap or a mille mailles mesh bracelet, it is also issued in a limited numbered platinum edition. This new perpetual calendar model comes in a dedicated box equipped with a winder serving to keep the watch on time even when not in use. This cleverly designed solid wooden box can be used as a cigar humidor once the interior is removed.