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Blancpain - Villeret Tourbillon Volant Heure Sautante Minute Rétrograde

Blancpain Villeret Tourbillon Volant Heure Sautante Minute Rétrograde

Blancpain is reinterpreting this year its flying tourbillon and pairing it with new complications.

In 1989, Blancpain's flying tourbillon was the first of its kind to equip a wristwatch. In 2018, the Manufacture is associating the tourbillon, which appears to be floating on air, with jump hours and retrograde minutes.  This new launch is also distinguished by an entirely decorated movement and a grand feu enamel dial.

The Blancpain flying tourbillon, produced in-house as are all Blancpain movements, has been an integral part of the traditional watchmaking scene for nearly three decades. This construction offers an unsurpassed view of the tourbillon’s key components, unobstructed by the upper bridge featured in conventional tourbillon designs. The new Villeret Tourbillon Volant Heure Sautante Minute Rétrograde takes this concept one step further, as the lower bridge has been removed and replaced by a clear sapphire disk. The tourbillon cage, its balance wheel and its escapement seem to be floating in space above the tourbillon’s fixed wheel attached to the clear disk.

Villeret Tourbillon Volant Heure Sautante Minute Rétrograde

Villeret Tourbillon Volant Heure Sautante Minute Rétrograde, red gold © Blancpain

Neither the jump hour nor retrograde minute complications have appeared in Blancpain wristwatches, thus this new timepiece marks their debut within Blancpain’s collections. These hours and minutes displays are grouped together, with the hours window placed on the retrograde minutes counter. The Blancpain Le Brassus Métiers d’Art studio has created a classic grand feu enamel dial using the traditional champlevé technique.

The artisans begin by hollowing out the solid gold base of the dial to create small compartments. Thereafter, several layers of enamel are each hand painted onto the dial and fired at a temperature of around 800 degrees Celsius. Adding diamond-polished gold rings around the hours window as well as the tourbillon porthole lends a further sophisticated touch, before the minutes counter is applied to the dial, creating an intriguing depth effect.

This concern for detail is also reflected in the movement, the hand-wound Calibre 260MR of which the bridges are adorned with a hand-guilloché pattern. Through the transparent sapphire case back, the wearer can also admire the ratchet-wheel featuring Blancpain’s famous beveled wheel-rim design, as well as consulting the 144-hour power reserve indicated by a guilloché disk.

The new Villeret Tourbillon Volant Heure Sautante Minute Rétrograde is housed in a double stepped 42 mm red gold case. It is teamed with an alligator strap or metal bracelet, both secured by a folding clasp. 

A 50-piece platinum limited-edition version is also available.

The brand

Blancpain is the archetypal Manufacture: with a watchmaking heritage dating back several centuries, it has successfully preserved its watchmaking tradition, whilst welcoming a spirit of innovation.

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