Watch aficionados cannot fail to notice Blancpain’s portfolio of superb timepieces for men, yet among the exquisitely plain-faced Villeret models and the grand complications of the Le Brassus collection, Blancpain’s ladies timepieces still catch your eye and demand a second look. Blancpain clearly take their ladies collections very seriously and more often than not the result is something very special as can be seen with their exclusive St Valentin editions, a beautiful Chronographe Grande Date model and a white Fifty Fathoms piece with pale blue accents. They have never shied away from developing designated ladies watch collections, and are adept in the art of blending complications with delicate styling on models specifically created for their female customers.
BlancPain – Self-winding Calibres Since 1930
Much has been said about how the Le Brassus company were at the forefront of self-winding watches for women, but really it is an account worth retelling. Under the direction of Frédéric-Emile Blancpain, the seventh generation of the Blancpain family manufacture, in 1926 the company produced an automatic wristwatch for the first time – four years later, they adapted the innovation to watches of small sizes, made especially for women, launching the Léon Hatot ‘Rolls’, so named after the revolutionary rolling movement whose mobility within the case provided the winding.
Such attention given to their ladies portfolio back in 1930 is meritorious given the fact that in much more recent times, although thankfully less so now, many watch companies shunned automatic mechanical calibres, and justified the use of quartz in their ladies watch collections as a solution for women, suggesting that the busy female customer would find winding a watch an inconvenience. The Blancpain Heure Décentrée Petite Seconde Rétrograde is the latest model to join the brand’s ladies portfolio, and it is a stunning addition.
Blancpain Heure Décentrée Seconde Rétrograde – Tasteful Embellishment
Blancpain’s designers love to embellish their ladies watches with diamonds, but tastefully so. With this piece they are used to great effect to split the dial as they wind seductively from top to bottom. At the upper dial the hours and minutes are indicated via chubby openworked hands with numerals at the quarter hour which graduate in size. The time indication has, as its backdrop the added detail of a waved decoration emanating from the centre. At the lower dial the retrograde 30 seconds indication promises to be a compelling feature as it jumps back to zero on the half minute. A cluster of diamonds fills up the empty dial space on both sides.
Blancpain Heure Décentrée Seconde Rétrograde – A Final Flourish
The 36.8mm rounded case also has its fair share of brilliance. Look closer and you will see that careful consideration has been given to styling so that the two rows are made up of diamonds of varying sizes which follow the profile of the double-stepped case form. A diamond-set crown provides a perfect flourishing touch. Inside the self-winding Calibre 2663 SR generates its power using the distinctive Blancpain flower-shaped rotor, viewable through a caseback made from sapphire.
Three editions of the Blancpain Heure Décentréé Petite Seconde Rétrograde will be available; red gold case with white mother of pearl dial, white gold case with blue mother of pearl dial and a steel case model with a white dial. Price starting 26,100 Euros !