Like many watchmaking maisons, Blancpain releases a new watch to mark the Chinese New Year. But Blancpain has always done their a bit different – with a full Chinese Calendar, showing th elunar months, signs of the zodiac as well as the standard Gregorian calendar.
Press Release information with commentary in italics.
New: Blancpain Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar Year of the Rabbit
The new Blancpain Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar Year of the Rabbit is a limited edition of 50 pieces, and retail for SGD 91,900 inclusive of GST.
Following the tradition set (at least in recent memory) since 2018, Blancpain has been releasing their Chinese New Year watch with the dual display in Traditional Chinese Calendar and Gregorian Calendar. This year, to commemorate the arrival of Year of the Water Rabbit on 22 January 2023, is this novelty. This is exactly the same model as the released as the Year of the Dog for 2019, but with a different engraving on the rotor, which depicts two water rabbits in place of the relief engraving of a dog. Blancpain has continued to release other zodiacs in the Chinese Calendar for the Year of the Pig 2020, Year of the Rat 2021, and Year of the Ox 2022.
The watch remains the same 45mm platinum case, with the same grand feu enamel dial and use the same Cal 3638 self winding movement with a white gold rotor.
The water rabbit stars in the 2023 series of Blancpain’s Traditional Chinese Calendar watch
From 22 January 2023, the water tiger of Chinese astrology will give way to the water rabbit. To mark this transition, Blancpain is pursuing its custom initiated in 2012 by unveiling a new edition of its Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar model. Crafted from platinum in a 50-piece limited edition, this watch displays the main indications of the Chinese calendar on its dial, while its oscillating weight honours the new year’s zodiac sign.
The Traditional Chinese Calendar is an exclusive timepiece developed by Blancpain. Its complexity is similar to that of the perpetual calendar and it is produced in the Grand Complications workshop of the Manufacture in Le Brassus, where only a few watchmakers are capable of mastering its construction.
This exceptional timepiece is based on the principles of Chinese tradition and its lunisolar calendar, which it combines with the Gregorian calendar. The white grand feu enamel dial features a chapter ring composed of gold appliques swept over by hands shaped like hollowed- out sage leaves. The dates of the Gregorian calendar are indicated by a blued steel serpentine hand. They are painted in enamel, as is the main information of the Chinese calendar, i.e. the double hours, the day and month with the mention of the leap months, the signs of the zodiac, as well as the five elements and the ten celestial pillars. Moon phases – a signature complication that Blancpain returned to the forefront of the watchmaking scene in the early 1980s – are also represented. They are not only an integral part of the Brand’s complete calendars, but also serve to determine the months of the Chinese calendar.
Crafted from platinum and measuring 45 mm in diameter, the double-stepped case of the Traditional Chinese Calendar is faithful to the aesthetic of the Villeret collection. The famous Blancpain correctors are concealed beneath its lugs and can be activated by the simple touch of a finger. Equipped with a sapphire caseback, it houses the 3638 self-winding movement whose gold oscillating weight is engraved with the zodiac sign of the year 2023. Depicted as a couple, the Blancpain water rabbit inspires gentleness and trust, two notions that emanate from its refined, perceptive and diplomatic nature.
Issued in an individually numbered 50-piece limited edition, the Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar testifies to Blancpain’s technical prowess while celebrating the incomparable wealth of cultural diversity.
Blancpain Villeret Calendrier Chinois Traditionnel Specifications
Traditional Chinese Calendar [double-hour indication, signs of the zodiac, date and month of the Chinese calendar. Indication of the five elements, the celestial stems and the leap months] ∙ gregorian calendar ∙ moon phases ∙ under-lug correctors ∙ secured movement ∙ white grand feu enamel dial ∙ oscillating weight set with a Madagascar ruby ∙ self-winding.
Case Platinum, oscillating weight and crown set with a Madagascar ruby
Diameter: 45mm, height 15mm. 30m water resistance
Diameter: 32mm, height 8.3mm. 464 components, 39 rubies. 168 hours power reserve.