New L-evolution Collection – Innovative movements for exceptional watches
Excellence is a tenacious habit. Blancpain is pursuing its successive introductions of innovative high-end movements with the new Calibres 13R5 and 66R9, derived from the 13R0, along with Calibre 5025, all now powering a set of exceptional watches. Such an unshakeable faith in the future deserved a new stellar collection, evocatively named L-evolution. Blancpain L-evolution 8 Jours Watch
The Blancpain philosophy could be aptly summed up in of Artistotle’s famous maxims: “ excellence is an art won by training and habituation ; it is therefore not an act, but a habit ”. After the two remarkable Calibres 13R0, 1315 and 225, two new movements are now enriching this exclusive series : Calibre 13R5 with date and power reserve; and Calibre 66R9 featuring a complete calendar with moon-phase display.
These innovative movements, which are writing a new chapter in Blancpain’s rich watchmaking history, naturally needed to find a showcase worthy of their stature. Therefore, as the founding act of a reinvented future that begins today, the Manufacture in Le Brassus has chosen to create a new line of exceptional models, the L-evolution Collection. The Automatique 8 Jours, Moon Phase 8 Jours, Tourbillon GMT and Alarm GMT watches are thus taking up their appointed place within this new fine watchmaking sanctuary.
A poem in the writing
Blancpain is thus pursuing its well-established “ Tradition of Innovation ”. More than a mere habit, this is an abiding characteristic of the Manufacture in Le Brassus. Like the first four lines of a poem in the writing, the new models form the classic new L-evolution Collection. Comprising sporty, contemporary and perfectly streamlined cases with a revamped design and an imposing 43.5 mm diameter, this new collection is resolutely geared towards the future. While already encompassing four models available in 2009, its future undoubtedly holds in store a number of other beautiful and fascinating surprises.
Wearing a piece of the sky on your wrist is undoubtedly the most poetic expression of the passage of time. With its exclusive new Calibre 66R9, Blancpain once again pays homage to a complication that has become inseparably linked to the brand by incorporating it within its new L-evolution Moon Phase 8 Jours model. A proprietary movement and a lyrical complication thus combine to reveal the expertise of the Blancpain movement construction engineers and master-watchmakers.
The moon phase is to Blancpain what a snowdrop is to winter : a messenger of rebirth. It was thanks to this complication that the brand succeeded in capturing the hearts of connoisseurs of fine mechanisms. Thus granted renewed credibility by the Manufacture in Le Brassus, the moon phase made a significant contribution to the revival of mechanical horology in the 1980s. Blancpain brought this complication back to the forefront in 1983 by launching the legendary moon-phase Calibre 6395, which was to lead to the renaissance of the entire mechanical watch industry.
Strengthened by this token of undeniable legitimacy, Blancpain took a further step towards perfecting one of its favourite complications in 2003, with the launch of its Calibre 6763 endowed with an extraordinary 100-hour power reserve. Calibre 66R9, which is being unveiled in 2009, represents another milestone. The Manufacture in Le Brassus is presenting a brand-new movement driving moon-phase, complete calendar and power-reserve indications. Derived from the exclusive mechanical hand-wound Calibre 13R0, the new Calibre 66R9 further consolidates Blancpain’s standing within the select circle of authentic watch “ Manufactures ”.
An original date correction system
Calibre 66R9 stems from a longstanding quest for perfection and for essentials. Equipped with three barrels, this movement is endowed with an impressive 8-day power reserve. Nonetheless, the most significant efforts have been devoted to the heart of the movement : the balance and spring assembly. In order to optimise the regularity of rate of the oscillating organ, Blancpain has opted for a flat balance-spring – ensuring perfect isochronism – and a titanium balance. While extremely hard to machine, titanium features several decisive advantages : first of all, it is far less sensitive to changes in temperature than traditional alloys, meaning it does not dilate when subjected to heat; secondly, it is far lighter and thus less energy-consuming; and finally, it is amagnetic.
Another technical challenge brilliantly taken up by the Blancpain movement construction engineers and watchmakers relates to the calendar adjustment. The date, day, month and moon phases on the Calibre 66R9 may indeed now be corrected at any time of day or night – including around midnight – an operation that would normally be liable to damage the mechanism if performed near the date-change time. Thanks to meticulous research and exhaustive testing on this development that took almost three years to perfect, the Blancpain watchmakers and movement construction engineers have succeeded in developing an original protective system guaranteeing the exceptional reliability of Calibre 66R9. The balance adjustment system has also been entirely revised : most mechanical calibres are equipped with a mobile organ known as an “index”, which serves to vary the active length of the balance-spring and thus the speed of oscillation of the balance. While some brands opt for the more decorative “ swan’s neck ” adjustment system, Blancpain has replaced this traditional mechanism with micrometric adjustment screws placed directly on the rim or “felly” of the balance. When the screws are tightened from inside, the active diameter of the balance is reduced, thereby increasing the speed of oscillations – and vice versa. Equipped with square heads to facilitate handling, the screws thus enable extremely fine adjustments, and each quarter-turn corresponds to a 30-second modification per day.
This engine, which is a natural source of pride for all those who have contributed to its development, combines these daring technologies with extremely meticulous traditional finishes : a finely circular-grained mainplate, bevelled and polished movement parts, a “ côtes paraboliques ” motif and bevelled bridges. This stunning array of details contributes to creating a rare degree of perfection that an informed connoisseur will revel in discovering through a transparent case-back that also reveals the high-density gold oscillating weight ensuring perfect winding.
The dial itself reflects the well-structured and avant-garde nature of the movement within. Three distinct levels, from the mainplate adorned with Côtes de Genève through to the oversized Roman numerals at 3 and 9 o’clock, provide a three-dimensional vision of the face of this watch. This impression is accentuated by broad apertures with delicately bevelled cut-outs affording glimpses of the power-reserve, day of the week, month and power-reserve discs.
Available with a steel or red gold case radiating a compact, sporty-looking design, the Blancpain Moon Phase 8 Jours model joins the prestigious new L-evolution collection testifying to Blancpain’s incorrigibly dynamic approach to its art.