When it comes to great achievements, sometimes what you don’t say is more important than what you do; meet the new Blancpain Tourbillon 12 Jours.
The Blancpain Tourbillon 12 Jours
With nothing more than a casual glance at the Blancpain Tourbillon 12 Jours you quickly realize that although the name is simple, the timepiece it is attached to is anything but. A classic evening watch in every sense of the term, this gorgeous addition to the Villeret collection is presented in a 42mm case in your choice of either 18ct red gold or platinum, the latter being limited to just 188 pieces.
The wonderfully refined face is all but dominated by a rather prominent one-minute flying tourbillon taking up most of the real estate just below 12 o’clock, making it is very easy to overlook some of the finer details. Contrasting magnificently against the cambered grand feu white enamel dial it is impossible not to stare at this beautifully constructed mechanical mechanism. Force yourself to look a little further down however and you will discover a rather fascinating little by-line in French; “12 Jours”.
Now for those of you who have long since forgotten their high school French this probably doesn’t seem particularly significant, so I will translate for your benefit; 12 Jours = 12 days. That’s right, the mechanical movement behind that clean-looking white dial is able to run continuously for 12 days straight. What’s even more incredible is that it does it with just a single barrel.
As impressive as this is though, it is not entirely surprising. You see, Blancpain was already showing us what they were capable of all the way back in 1998, when they unveiled the Calibre 25: the world’s first self-winding tourbillon with an 8-day power reserve. Building on that knowledge the brand developed the new Calibre 242, comprised of some 243 parts including a silicon balance spring and pallet-fork horns in order to alleviate the effects of magnetic fields.
The movement, as you might expect, has also been superbly finished aesthetically, denoting just how proud Blancpain is of its latest achievement, and well it should be. As you can see in the photos the oscillating weight has been entirely open-worked and the “kerbs” have been eliminated so as to provide a broader space for decoration. The bridges and power-reserve disc are entirely decorated with a hand-guilloché motif, while the ratchet-wheel features a bevelled wheel-rim design. It really is quite stunning in the flesh.
The watch sits comfortably on the wrist, with its slim profile – its only 11.65mm thick – allowing it to slide easily away under your cuff when you feel the need to be discrete. Paired with a supple alligator leather strap it will make the perfect companion for your next black tie event. Just don’t expect too much change back from US$150,000 for this high-priced escort.
For more information on the Blancpain Tourbillon 12 Jours please visit the official Blancpain website.
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