INTRODUCING: Blancpain Traditional Chinese Calendar 2022
Dive watch enthusiasts will undoubtedly hail the epochal Fifty Fathoms as Blancpain’s signature creation. While that may be true, Blancpain also ranks highly when it comes to elegant dress watches – in particular, refined calendar complications. The Manufacture’s mastery of this category of watches spans the full suite of calendar features from annual and complete calendars, to perpetual calendars. None, however, are as unique as the Traditional Chinese Calendar, which the brand debuted in 2012.
The Traditional Chinese Calendar took five years to develop and is truly one-of-a-kind, flaunting a level of technical sophistication that is said to surpass even that of the perpetual calendar. Besides the usual hours and minutes, and Gregorian calendar displays, the watch also charts the lunisolar calendar, based on 12 lunar cycles as a base unit, as well as signs of the zodiac, five elements and celestial stems common to traditional Chinese calendar.
Since the complication’s introduction - an unabashed attempt to court the hugely lucrative Chinese market - Blancpain also saw it opportune to create limited edition runs of the watch to commemorate the Chinese Lunar New Year. For the Year of the Tiger, the brand issues a 50-piece limited edition of the Traditional Chinese Calendar in platinum that brandishes the groundbreaking complication and then some.
Framed by a polished, double-steeped 45mm case, the watch features a grand feu enamel dial that presents the both Chinese and Western calendar displays on a pristine and immaculate canvas. Despite bearing a wealth of information, the thoughtful and expertly executed dial layout ensures that the presentation is distinguished and legible. Additionally, the case is equipped with under-lug correctors for owners to make easy adjustments to the displays.
As customary to all commemorative Traditional Chinese Calendar Lunar New Year editions, the 464-part movement is equipped with a winding rotor that features an intricate engraving of the zodiac animal of the year. While this is not the kind of watch for collectors who are looking to rock their Chinese New Year NWAs with ostentation, the Traditional Chinese Calendar is a keeper for those who appreciate cultural cross-pollination in watchmaking, and its deep, yet subtle, technical sophistication.
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