Blancpain, once a brash upstart which began as a brainchild of the illustrious Jean Claude Biver (now head of the LVMH Watches), has turned into a graceful swan and gained an elegance under the care of Marc Hayek of the Swatch Group. Mark has imbued it with the class, finese and elegance that only a cultured individual like himself can. This Baselworld 2015, we came to terms with the beauty embued on the latest products, the Métiers d’Art models impressed us a lot…and more of that in another article. Here we present a hands-on review of the Blancpain Nuit et Jour for the ladies.
Review of Blancpain Nuit et Jour
It is increasingly more common these days not to ignore the market segment of well informed ladies collectors who are not only keen on jewellery and convenient quartz movements, but also in nicely finished and made mechanical watches, and often with complications. With this background, Blancpain presented an innovative watch with the Nuit et Jour equipped with a mechanical movement incorporating two retrograde indications for Day and Night. This watch is in an elegant case which has become a Blancpain signature – a double stepped case with rounded shoulders. The bezel is set with two spiral shaped rows of 140 diamonds, fitted with a white ostrich strap.
The Blancpain Nuit et Jour watch is beautifully executed in design, being very elegant, and graceful, befitting a high end ladies timepiece. And the dial is in mother of pearl, and is made of three parts in four levels. The different levels create a wonderful depth perception as one gazes on the dial. Each level is made of a mother of pearl layer perched on a base of German silver, and becomes progressively thinner.
The large cutout on the dial displays the rotating Day Night disk which turns twice a day. Each rotational change takes approximately four minutes, and the decorations of the details of the sky and the sun and moon are shown in intricate detail using artistic techniques like la décalque
(depositing material), le champlevé (contour forms in relief), and le marquetage (integration
of superimposed motifs in mother of pearl). The gradations in blue on the sky is achieved by deposit on the mother of pearl, and show the transition from day to night.
Another interesting feature is the double retrograde indicators. The hour hand and seconds hand are both retrograde and the minute hand is sweeping the full dial.
The movement of the Blancpain Nuit et Jour is the in-house caliber 1163 is based on the Blancpain caliber 1150, and is nicely finished. The movement is well decorated, with the pride of place with the rotor engraved with the motif of the sun and moon and the stars in the firmament.
Overall, a beautiful timepiece for the ladies, appealing to the traditional and feminine with jewellery and artistic beauty as well as to the mechanical side demanding a complicated timepiece. Te recommended retail is US$51,500.