Friday, August 28, 2015

The Art of Living with Blancpain

Blancpain earned the reputation of having developed the most complicated and expensive timepiece many years ago and that is what stuck to my mind.

In my earlier years of watch appreciation, I really liked the Blancpain Villeret collection for the simple look and that collection has stuck with me since then. Of course one learns of the Fifty Fathoms diver's watch but it is the Villeret collection that I find most appealing. So when I was invited to view some artistic pieces by Blancpain, I jumped at it of course.

The Blancpain Art De Vivre (The Art of Living) event features handcrafted timepieces - many piece unique. When you enter the Mount Pleasant bungalow you are greeted with a watchmaker's work bench and Ms Caroline working on the engraving of a dial. Caroline is one of the few in-house artists with the talent for engraving. Looking through the microscope, Caroline sits at the bench showing off her skills and the TV in the background shows the ongoing work.

I was immediately drawn to the Blancpain Villeret Damasquinée which features a snake - this is made for those born in the Year of Snake. A beautifully crafted timepiece featuring a hand engraved 18K golden snake on a titanium dial.

On the back features an in-house manual winding ultra-thin Calibre 15B with a power reserve of about 40 hours. Well finished timepiece with a 45mm rose gold case.

Then I was introduced to the Blancpain pocket watch - honestly, I didn't know they still made pocket watches. In this case, it is still in the Villeret collection and it is called the Blancpain Montre de Poche demi-Savonnette which I believe in French means pocket watch... The dial is cambered grand feu white enamel.

And the movement is entirely hand decorated and in this case, with the Rose des Vents motif. The pocket watch is almost 45mm and in a rose gold case.

Then came the "simple" Villeret timepiece - or so I thought... But this is no simple Villeret. Rather, it is called the Grande Décoration.

What's so special about this Villeret Grande Décoration timepiece? Well the front comes with a grand feu white enamel dial and the beauty is also at the back! In this case, it features the building of Blancpain in Le Brassus.

The second on featured that night was that of the Sydney Opera House - piece unique as with the Le Brassus piece.

Closer to home, the next movement features the Petronas Twin Tower in Kuala Lumpur. Also hand decorated and piece unique.

All these timepieces comes with the hand wound Calibre 15B with a power reserve of about 40 hours. The case is 45mm and in rose gold. Impressive!

I enjoyed the evening thoroughly mingling amongst friends and fellow horology enthusiasts. Many thanks to Jenny and Blancpain for the invitation.

Photos taken with an iPhone 6.

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