I have a soft spot for thoroughly hand-engraved watch dials. For me, it’s the epitome of having the ability to wear conventional handmade artwork on your wrist. Of course, it is true that watch movements when created properly are highly artistic, but I am speaking about more conventional “representative” artwork which is meant to portray the real (and dream) world around us. So with this said, you’ll know why I am so keen on these new Blancpain watch repair Replica OrologiVilleret Shakudo watches that incorporate the Japanese metal alloy and engraving method into the new Swiss watches.Blancpain isn’t a stranger to watches using hand-engraved dials. The company has been making some of the most amazing hand-engraved watches (and moves) which are available today. Blancpain frequently works with extremely skilled artists equally in house and commissioned to produce a series of nice limited edition watches which come in numerous varieties. The new Blancpain Villeret Shakudo collection also has a few models meant to showcase with special craft, and each is a bit unique. All these are, naturally, in honor of the Hindu god in addition to the endangered ancient fish species which in a few of the sponsorship efforts Blancpain is trying to help protect and study.
By Harlan Chapman-Green
Patek Philippe has recently updated it’s Calatrava range to include a new dress watch. The 5153 in white or yellow gold is a particularly splendid piece that features a date window, a beautiful guilloche dial and a hinged dust cover on the back. It also has a retro aviation style crown and is rather portly.
Today’s dress watches tend to have small dials and large bezels to show off the precious metals they’re made of and most high end manufacturers of these pieces are guilty. Apart from one. Blancpain.
Before I start I should point out that I’m not talking about overall diameters of watches, but rather their styling. You see, nowadays most of the people who can afford to buy a Patek or a Vacheron or some such dress watch live in modern mansions that feature at least three Bentleys in the garage and an interior designed by a Danish designer. Therefore companies now have to modernise their designs to fit which leads to what I’m going to coin as bezelbulging. Whereby a watch is given a larger bezel than is really needed.
Blancpain doesn’t really do that. Their dress watches such as those in the Villeret collection all sport thin bezels which help to make the dials look larger than they are. Indeed it works in the case of the Chronographe Pulsomètre. But what about the Pulsomètre part?
This watch features a heart rate monitor that doesn’t rely on physically taking your heart rate. Instead, you use the chronograph and measure how long it takes your heart to beat 30 times. That’s pretty cool but is hardly a main feature.
At 43mm this is a large size for a dress watch. However, it’s pretty sleek so there’s little chance it’ll catch on a cuff. What makes it more special is that the dial is enamel and the markers are all painted by hand. Looking to the rear is we are presented with a sapphire crystal window displaying the movement and a beautiful honeycomb style rotor. The movement beats at 36,000 beats per hour, which is quite fast for a watch, but not mental.
Did I mention the chronograph is a flyback? The chronograph itself is a very complex mechanism, despite the fact that they’re everywhere. The flyback chronograph is another level of complication in the world of chronographs. Unlike, say, the Rolex Daytona, a flyback chrono doesn’t need to be stopped to be reset. A couple of examples are the Breguet Type XX, XXI and XXII and of course the Chronographe Pulsomètre.
Being a complex Blancpain watches toronto Replica Orologiyou can be sure this will cost upwards of $17,000, but if you love classic design watches over modern, then this is worth a look. If you were looking in this sector to purchase then also consider Breguet’s Classique collection. For more info, please visit blancpain.com
Harlan Chapman-Green – Contributing Writer
First introduced to horology with the Patek Philippe Calibre 89 by his father two years ago, Harlan enjoys his passion for fine horology. He prefers to spend his time in the boutiques of upmarket brands, trying out new pieces constantly. His preferred 3 brands are A. Lange & Söhne, Breguet and Vacheron Constantin. Although not much for the smaller brands, he still finds the complications intriguing and wishes to own one watch from each of his three favourites. Read his articles here.