Blancpain’s newest Métiers d’Art piece features a gemstone used for the very first time by the world’s oldest watchmaking brand – the silver obsidian from Mexico. For this one-of-a-kind timepiece, Blancpain used its favorite artistic technique called Japanese rokushō patina.
The new Blancpain’s watch named “The Big Wave” took inspiration by the motion of the turbulent sea.
The Mexican silver obsidian gemstone is well-known for its soothing qualities. This semi-transparent volcanic rock serves as a base for “The Great Wave” applique in white gold. The technique which has been used in order to create this applique includes several phases. First, it is fixed to a Shakudō base before being coated with a unique patina achieved by immersing it into a bath of rokushō salts. The moment when the patina has been applied, the Shakudō is removed.
Also, some parts of the wave roller are polished in order to enhance the impression of a huge billowing wave. In the final phase, the engraving is affixed to the silver obsidian. The final result is a shimmering overall look of the dial which plays on an amazing changing tones. The engraving encrusting “The Big Wave” is inspired by the Grand Wave of Kanagawa, a Japanese woodblock print created by the artist Hokusai.
Blancpain’s master-engravers have chosen to intensify the contrast between the power and the motion of the wave, as well as to enhance the symbolism of purity and balance which characterize the Mexican silver obsidian.
Blancpain’s latest Métiers d’Art Villeret piece is powered with the caliber 13R3A mechanical hand-wound movement which is actually a modified 13R0 caliber with an added power reserve display. The impeccable mechanism provides the usual functions of hours and minutes and it is capable to store enough energy to keep the watch working for eight days thanks to the association of three mainspring barrels connected in series. They successively wind and unwind. The second barrel serves as a relay for the first, thus refilling its energy so as to maintain its force, and is in turn wound by the third barrel.
Blancpain “The Great Wave” (ref. 6612-3433-63AB) is presented in a beautiful double-stepped case fashioned in platinum. It is secured to the wrist with a bespoke storm gray calfskin strap crafted by the Swiss artisan.