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Wednesday, December 21, 2005 

BLANCPAIN

BLANCPAIN watchesIn 1988, Blancpain—a brand with historical connections dating back more than two and a half centuries—unveiled a complete watch collection dedicated to complicated mechanical watchmaking.
Born on the premise that it would never make a quartz watch, Blancpain has regularly mastered the most complex horological feats of excellence. Indeed, the first Blancpain collection included the six most difficult timekeeping legacies: the ultra-slim watch, the moonphase, split-seconds chronograph, perpetual calendar, tourbillon and minute repeater. Every timepiece the brand creates is dedicated to the master watchmaker that bears its name, and pays homage to the traditional art of watchmaking begun by him.
Blancpain’s expansive history is inextricably tied to the rural village of Villeret, nestled in the Jura Mountains, where Jehan-Jacques Blancpain set up shop in 1735 in a farmhouse—and gradually built a full-fledged watchmaking atelier. Blancpain’s work was steeped in invention and innovation. These are the benchmarks of the brand even today.
Blancpain garnered international acclaim in 1991, when it unveiled the now-famed “1735” model—one of the most complex timepieces in the world. Six years in the making, the 1735 housed a movement comprised of 740 parts and offering a wealth of different functions. Other critical accomplishments of the 1990s included creating the smallest self-winding chronograph, and creating the ultra-complicated Self-Winding Tourbillon Split-Seconds Flyback Chronograph watch.
In the year 2000, The Swatch Group acquired Blancpain and CEO Nicholas Hayek vowed to continue in the brand’s rich tradition. Following this creed in 2001, Blancpain unveiled the Quattro platinum watch—an elegant self-winding timepiece housing a tourbillon regulator, perpetual calendar, flyback chronograph, and split-seconds chronograph. The 39-jeweled movement features a platinum rotor and consists of 432 parts—each hand finished to exacting detail.
In 2002, Blancpain unveiled a very classic new watch collection—appropriately named Villeret. Bold in size and endowed with signature Blancpain aesthetic references (including long hands, a slender bezel and a stepped case), the Villeret series of timepieces combines the beauty of a clean, uncluttered face with the technical sophistication of complex automatic movements.
The most recently unveiled Villeret watch, referred to as the 4040, is a 40mm-wide case of 18-karat white or red gold that houses an extra-slim self-winding movement with hour and minute displays and a power-reserve indicator. Water resistant to 30 meters, the watch features a silvered opaline dial with Roman numerals and long, leaf-shaped hands.

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