Jehan-Jaques Blancpain started making watches in 1735, in Villeret, a municipality of the Bernese Jura. Hence the name of a collection of timepieces, all anchored in a long tradition. At this year’s Baselworld, Blancpain will present a new self-winding, three-hand watch with date, adorned with a Grand Feu enamel dial, in a red gold case, housing the in-house Calibre 1335, with a whopping eight-day power reserve.
The Grand Feu enamel is a remarkable stable material that maintains it’s radiance indefinitely. Crafting it involves applying several successive layers of enamel that are fired at temperatures of over 1000°C. The enamel-painted numerals also undergo the stern trial of the furnace. After each operation, the dial is carefully examined and manually touched up, since the procedure is rendered even more complex in this instance by the cambered shape of the dial.
According to how the light plays across it, the Grand Feu enamel dial gives a subtle nod to tradition by revealing the tone-on-tone “JB” logo engraved between the numerals IV and V, VII and VIII. This is the secret signature with which enamelers historically initialled their works.
The sapphire crystal case-back provides an opportunity to admire the delicate interplay of the decorative effects, featuring Côtes de Genève on the movement bridges and a honeycomb pattern on the oscillating weight.
This mechanical self-winding model is driven by in-house Calibre 1335, of which the beauty is matched by a remarkable 8-day power reserve, demonstrating the expertise of the Manufacture and which will doubtless be appreciated by passionate connoisseurs.
Fitted with a chocolate-toned alligator leather strap, this new 42mm-diameter watch is a powerful new addition to the iconic Villeret collection.