Blancpain The Ladybird Colors spreads its wings
The new Ladybird Colors in seven precious executions marks a new era for Blancpain’s women’s watches, from a Manufacture that has always cultivated femininity in its collections
What more appropriate name than Ladybird – that most delightful of creatures and bringer of luck to whoever is fortunate enough to have it land on their skin – for Blancpain’s collection of women’s watches (previously known simply as “Women”)? This new title is all the more natural as feminine watches are an integral part of the brand’s history. Indeed, a detour via the archives confirms that the Ladybird has brought Blancpain good fortune and success.
Ladybird Colors © Blancpain
Blazing a trail
It’s often said that fortune favours the bold, and indeed it was thanks to the determination of one woman in particular that the Ladybird came into being. The year is 1956 and Blancpain’s reins are in the hands of Betty Fiechter and her nephew, Jean-Jacques Fiechter. Having started out as a fifteen-year-old apprentice at Blancpain, promoted to the head of the firm in 1933, Betty became the first female CEO and owner of a watch company which at that time employed between 200 and 300 people. Aunt and nephew would remain in command until 1960.
Two future icons came into being under their stewardship: the Fifty Fathoms, launched in 1953 and considered to be the first modern dive watch, and the Ladybird, a jewelled mechanical watch unveiled three years later whose movement, the smallest round movement of its era, set a milestone in twentieth-century watchmaking.
Proposed with multiple variations combining precious exteriors with fine mechanical movements, the Ladybird has continued to work its magic within Blancpain’s collections. Now the brand is celebrating this very special timepiece by renaming its women’s collection after this 1950s legend, reinvented in an array of new Ladybird Colors.
Betty Fiechter © Marie de Pimodan
For a celebration of the femininity, creativity and vibrancy of the Ladybird Colors, in early December Blancpain invited members of the press to Le Café Suisse in Bex, Switzerland; an establishment in the capable hands of the Michelin-starred chef and friend of the brand, Marie Robert, who put together a menu rich in colour, aromas that teased the tastebuds and delicate flavours enhanced by a pinch of salt from Bex’s very own mines, which guests had the pleasure of visiting before sitting down for lunch. This gourmet feast for the senses echoed the deliciously refined personality of the Ladybird Colors.
Presented in seven colour executions, the Ladybird Colors has a 34.9mm case in red gold or white gold. A generous 59 diamonds, hand-set on the bezel, lugs and crown, bring sparkle to this jewel of a watch whose white mother-of-pearl dial is the backdrop to applied Arabic numerals in gold. For an original touch, they are sized to form a subtly asymmetric hour circle and underscored by a band of diamonds. Time is recorded by slender openworked hands in the shape of sage leaves.
The heart of the Ladybird Colors beats with equal refinement as Blancpain has chosen for it the in-house Calibre 1153, renowned as much for its slender profile as for its ample four-day power reserve. Visible through the sapphire back, it boasts a circular-grained mainplate as well as chamfered, satin-brushed bridges decorated with Côtes de Genève. The gold oscillating weight is openworked for a clear view of the movement. Inside and outside form a harmonious whole that adorns the wrist courtesy of an alligator leather strap in peacock green, midnight blue or satin white on the red gold version, or in lemon yellow, tangerine orange, lilac or satin white on the white gold version, for an infinitely feminine and joyful watch.
Ladybird Colors © Marie de Pimodan
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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