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Pre-Baselworld 2015: Blancpain Villeret Grande Date

Blancpain has just released a preview of one of the timepieces they will debut at the 2015 Baselworld trade show in March. The Blancpain Villeret Grande Date, fits within Blancpain’s classical Villeret collection, and is being offered for the first time with a grand date function. This refers to the large date display (at 6 o’clock) consisting of two side-by-side apertures. The caliber 6950 that drives the date, hour, minute and seconds functions, was designed and produced totally in-house in the brand’s manufacture in Le Sentier (in the heart of the Joux Vallee). Notably, the movement has an instantaneous change at midnight. The movement boasts two main-spring barrels, a free sprung balance wheel, silicium balance spring, and it’s regulated by gold screws. A clear sapphire caseback offers a view of the high-level movement finishing and the honeycomb-pattern oscillating weight.

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Blancpain Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback Ocean Commitment

Last week, Blancpain introduced the Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback Ocean Commitment limited edition timepiece, which has a portion of the sales from each watch going to support oceanic environmental causes. This special Bathyscape Chronograph comes in a 43.6 mm diameter grey satin-brushed ceramic case. The crown and pushers are ceramic as well. The blue sunburst finish dial features applied, lume-filled Liquidmetal indexes, combined with large luminous treated rectangle shaped hour and minute hands. This makes it easy to read the time in any lighting condition. Subsidiary dials at 3 and 9 o’clock, feature a perfect circular guilloche finish, and count the chronograph hours and minutes, respectively. A small seconds indication is located at 6 o’clock, and includes a luminous continuous sweeping seconds hand. The unidirectional rotating dive bezel is made of matte grey ceramic with a polished blue ceramic insert, dive

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New Blancpain boutique on 5th Avenue

Earlier this month Blancpain opened a new flagship boutique on 5th Avenue. While it is not their first boutique in New York City — they previously operated a boutique at 781 Madison Avenue — it is the biggest on US soil. At 1722 square feet, it is much more spacious than their previous 781 Madison location, which was approximately 1000 square feet.

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Blancpain's 2014 Novelties Premiered in NYC

Last Thursday, Blancpain had an intimate luncheon on the rooftop terrace of the Nomad Hotel, where Blancpain’s US Brand President, Adam Bossi, presented US press with all of their 2014 novelties. After his presentation, we had a chance to try on, photograph and discuss the timepieces, all while enjoying a delicious lunch that was specially prepared for Blancpain, under the supervision of Michelin 3-Star Chef Daniel Humm.

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Baselworld: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe

Blancpain’s big introduction at Baselworld this year was the new vintage inspired Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe. It is presented in a 43 mm x 13.4 mm case and comes in your choice of brushed satin steel for $10,500 or ceramized titanium for $12,000.

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Blancpain Fifty Fathoms - Unsigned

LIP Blancpain watches were not the first dive watches on the market when they were introduced in 1953. They were, however, the most modern dive wristwatches at that time. The reliability and compactness of Fifty Fathoms models, which were originally designed for military use, became legendary. The reputation earned them the right to be used by armies such as French Navy, Czech, Polish, German federal, some Nordic countries, and also by the US Navy (SEAL, under water demolition team, Frogman).

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Blancpain X Fathoms

Blancpain has just introduced what they claim to be the most high-performance mechanical dive watch in the world. The X Fathom's coolest feature is a mechanical depth gauge, shown in the central of the dial via a display with "0-90" markings in yellow and a dedicated hand. As the display indicates, the depth gauge works from 0 to 90 meters. This function is rarely seen in mechanical watches - although Panerai, IWC, and JLC are the three brands that have produced mechanical depth gauge wristwatches in the past. The biggest advantage of a mechanical depth gauge being built into a timepiece is that it eliminates the need for a dedicated depth gauge. Many divers wear both a depth gauge and professional dive watch. The X Fathoms has some other important and unique diving features such as a 5-minute counter

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Blancpain Vintage Dive Watch Exhibit

Earlier this year, Blancpain held a traveling vintage exhibition that consisted of more than 50 historic Blancpain dive watches, as a Tribute to Fifty Fathoms. The exhibit was displayed during Baselworld 2011, which is where I was able to take photos of some of the most important and collectible timepieces.

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Blancpain Carrousel Sapphire

Introduced at Baselworld 2010, the Blancpain Carrousel Sapphire is quite an impressive timepiece. It features a rose gold case with a sapphire crystal on the front, back and on both sides of the case. It even features a sapphire crystal in place of the plates and dial, which creates the illusion that the movement is floating inside the case. It looks really cool in person. Another key feature, is the carrousel movement (a "carrousel" improves accuracy by negating gravity's effects, much like a tourbillon).

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Blancpain Carrousel Répétition Minutes Le Brassus

This is the Blancpain Carrousel Répétition Minutes Le Brassus, which is the second part of an ongoing collector series, called Le Brassus, paying homage to the small town where Blancpain's manufacture is located. Two years ago, Blancpain presented the Le Brassus one-minute carrousel movement, a world's first (a carrousel, like a tourbillon, negates the effects of gravity to improve watch accuracy). This year, a minute-repeater has been added to the already complicated one-minute carrousel movement. Next year, another complication will be added, followed by an additional complication each year thereafter.

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