Blancpain A Breath of Fresh Air at Blancpain
New life has been breathed into the latest Ladybird, called the Ladybird Colors, which sparkles with mother-of-pearl and diamonds, set against vibrant jewel-toned straps
The diminutive Ladybird watch was born in 1956. It caused a stir with its movement, which at the time was the world’s smallest round mechanical calibre, measuring just 11.85 millimetres in diameter. Back then, jewellery watches were all the rage, and Blancpain, which was co-managed by Betty Fiechter, the first woman to head up a prestigious watch company, was keen to position her brand in this segment, as well as to set it apart by establishing a technical record. The watch was an immediate success, highly sought-after by elegant women. It evolved over the years, appearing in diamond-encrusted variations, and with interchangeable bracelets. Today, to accommodate contemporary tastes, the Ladybird has grown somewhat, but it continues to punch above its weight (mechanically speaking).
Ladybird Colors © Blancpain
The Ladybird comes with a round 34.9mm case, grain-set on the bezel, lugs and crown with 59 diamonds totalling 2 carats. The gems are set individually to ensure that their facets reflect the light in perfect unison. The settings are given a high-end handcrafted finish. Master jewellers create reflective facets on the flanks of the diamonds, recutting the gems to bring out their fire. The shaped gems are inserted into meticulously crafted recesses to ensure the stones are not damaged. An additional ring of diamonds on the white mother-of-pearl dial underlines the applied Arabic numerals in gold. The hour markers hug the contours of the dial, descending in size from 12 to 6. The openworked sage-leaf-style hour and minute hands, a Blancpain signature, contrast with the baton second hand counterbalanced with the company logo.
And then there are the vivid straps. The Ladybird Colors in white gold comes with a choice of alligator leather straps in lemon yellow, tangerine orange, lilac or satin white; the red gold version is paired with alligator leather straps in peacock green, midnight blue and satin white. These seven eye-catching variations are finished with a gold pin buckle or folding clasp set with nine diamonds.
Ladybird Colors © Blancpain
Inside the Ladybird Colors lies one of the Blancpain manufacture’s tried-and-tested base movements, the calibre 1150. The same calibre can be found inside some Fifty Fathoms models – another watch of the 1950s – a time when Jean-Jacques Fiechter had joined his aunt Betty at the helm of Blancpain. Originally, the Ladybird boasted a power reserve of over 40 hours – quite an achievement for the time. Today, the Ladybird Colors features a 4-day power reserve, and a balance spring made of amagnetic silicon. The ultra-thin movement, which can be seen through the sapphire caseback, has a circular-grained baseplate and chamfered, satin-brushed bridges decorated with Geneva stripes. To provide maximum visibility of the movement, the gold oscillating weight is openworked with circular motifs that echo the watch’s dial. The Ladybird Colors is a dainty jewellery watch whose appearance belies its high-performing interior – something of a leitmotif for Blancpain.
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.Find out more >
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