It is a common belief that God is omnipresent, but as the physical identity of God is still a mystery, we humans connect with the Almighty by practicing different religions in different parts of the world. And every religion offers a representation of God which can be used as an object of worship and symbolism. Why am I rambling on about a topic like religion, and how exactly does it relate to horology? I would like to introduce to you the Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh watch.
The Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh watch, as the name indicates, is a tribute to the Hindu Lord Ganesha, and it is a new offering from Blancpain’s Villeret line of watches. Lord Ganesha, also known as Vinayaka (Knowlegeable) and Vighneshwara (Lord of obstacles) is one of the most worshipped deities in the Hindu religion. Another interesting fact about Lord Ganesha is that he is known as the patron of arts, and Blancpain launching the stunningly artistic Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh watch around Lord Ganesha’s birthday couldn’t be a better birthday present for him.
International Watch Co., known as IWC (or IWC Schaffhausen), is a luxury watch company based in Switzerland. IWC is the only big watch manufacture in eastern Switzerland ( all other manufacturers are located in western Swiss areas). IWC Schaffhausen was founded 1868 by the U.S. watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones to unite the craftsmanship of Switzerland watchmakers together with the technology skills from the U.S. to manufacture movements and timepiece components for the USA. IWC is unique among similar companies for keeping detailed records for every single watch produced since 1885. Since 1885, quality, materials used and instances are tracked. Younger IWC watches are shown in the records with reference amount, delivery date and the name of the licensed dealer. Every IWC collector can ask for this information for many watches older than ten years. IWC says it can repair and service all watches produced since 1868. IWC Schaffhausen movements in more affordable watches and chronographs (IWC Portuguese Chronograph) are from ETA. Notable watch versions include the Aquatimer, Ingenieur, Portuguese, Da Vinci, Portofino in addition to Pilot’s Watches.Swiss watchmakers IWC are well known among collectors to the watches they’ve produced for various militaries such as Britain’s Royal Air Force. The DNA of these historic military designs pervades IWC’s collection, most prominently in the major Pilot’s series and the Pilot’s Mark XVIII, both of which can be military-styled, aviation-oriented pieces. Now, IWC have released a set of special variations of the models, the Mark XVIII Heritage and Big Pilot’s Heritage, all accessible new materials and equipped with different calibers of varying specification.
The Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh is a product of Blancpain’s award-winning Métiers D’Art studio located in Vallée de Joux. The Métiers D’Art studio is renowned for a wide range of artistic crafts including fine engraving, enameling, damascening, shakudō, and more. Having won the Artistic Crafts prize for the Blancpain Villeret Shakudo Ganesh watch in 2015, Métiers d’Art studio is back with another unique interpretation of the Ganesh theme in the Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh watch. The beautiful portrait of Lord Ganesha on the dial of the Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh is a result of combining fine engraving, damascening, and shakudō, and is testimony to the skills and craftsmanship of Blancpain’s artisans.
The black patina on the dial of the Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh is achieved with the help of shakudō, which is an alloy of gold and copper. Unpatinated shakudō resembles bronze, and Blancpain’s artisans delicately treat the surface multiple times to achieve the final subtle black shades that mark this art form which was originally developed for the decoration of swords and jewellery. Another art form which adorns this dial, and whose application in watchmaking is limited to Blancpain, is damascening. Damascening is the art of inlaying different metals into one another, and it is utilized to hand-carve fine designs on the dial of the Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh watch, following which gold is hammered into the resulting troughs.
Continuing the golden theme on the intricately finished dial of the Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh, this watch is equipped with a 45mm-wide red gold case with Blancpain’s signature double-stepped bezel, adding to the overall warmth of the design. At the helm of this watch is the ultra slim manually wound in-house caliber 15B, offering a power reserve of 40 hours. The movement has been moderately decorated with finely hand-applied Côtes de Genève along with beveling and circular graining, and can be viewed from the transparent case back.
The Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh is literally a one-of-a-kind watch, as only one is being produced. It is targeted towards devotees of Lord Ganesha who want to maintain a divine connection with him every single second of the day by having his picture on the dial of their watch. The Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh comes on a brown alligator strap with a price of £111,550. blancpain.com