Blancpain unveils a new Traditional Chinese Calendar watch for 2018


In 2012 Blancpain surprised the entire watch industry by introducing the first wristwatch ever to feature a traditional Chinese calendar. This highly useful and symbolic accomplishment is based on basic principles established for thousands of years and deeply rooted in Chinese tradition. To celebrate the upcoming year of the dog (Feb. 16, 2018–Feb. 4, 2019), the Swiss manufacturer is proud to announce a new platinum-cased Traditional Chinese Calendar watch (ref. 00888-3431-55B). Issued as a limited edition of 50 pieces, this model is available in Blancpain boutiques only. In addition to the platinum piece, the brand has also launched a non-limited red gold version. The pricing for both timepieces has not yet been announced.

Unlike the Gregorian calendar, which is a solar calendar, the traditional Chinese calendar uses the lunar cycle (29.53059 days) as the base unit. Since the calendar year features 12 lunar months (approximately 354 days), and is 11 days shorter than the solar year, a leap month is added every two or three years to maintain the match with the seasons cycle. This means that a year with a leap month is longer than the 365/6-day year. The addition of a leap month is the reason why the date of the Chinese New Year varies in the Gregorian calendar. Though nowadays Chinese officially use the Gregorian calendar, the country and its numerous communities around the globe still use the traditional calendar to schedule important  life events such as weddings, funerals or beginning a business.

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All functions are displayed on a beautiful white grand feu enamel dial

 

The latest Blancpain Traditional Chinese Calendar watch displays the main indications of the traditional calendar. At 12 o’clock we have a counter indicating the double-hour numerals and symbols (24-hour cycle). Positioned at 3 o’clock is a counter showing the five elements and 10 celestial stems (10-year cycle). The month of the calendar (12-month cycle), its date (30-day cycle), as well as the leap month indicator are all located at 9 o’clock. Finally, at 12 o’clock, we have an aperture revealing the current year’s zodiac sign. In addition to these indications, the watch also displays hours, minutes and Gregorian calendar. Completing the white grand feu enamel dial we have an integral part of all Blancpain complete calendars – the moon phase indicator. Positioned at 6, this complication gives the connection between the lunar cycle and traditional Chinese months and symbolizes the parallels linking the Chinese culture to the world’s oldest watchmaking brand.

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The white gold oscillating weight is engraved with a dog

 

Blancpain’s new platinum-cased Traditional Chinese Calendar watch (ref. 00888-3431-55B) measures 45mm in diameter and is water resistant to 30 meters. The case is 15mm thick and has a transparent sapphire case back. The case also features a crown set with cabochon-cut Madagascar ruby. Inside the watch is the caliber 3638 with 39 jewels. Featuring 464 pars, this self-winding movement beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour and offers a generous power reserve of up to 7 days! Its white gold oscillating weight is engraved with a dog. The latest Blancpain timepiece is presented on a stylish black alligator leather strap.

 

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