Blancpain has prepared a true horological marvel for this year’s World Brand Piazza, a special section of Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair. The brand is displaying Minute Repeater Carrousel timepiece 00235-3631-55B with cathedral gongs from the Le Brassus collection. The fact that makes this timepiece so special is that it displays Blancpain’s unmatched success of creating a watch that puts together two complications that can satisfy even the most demanding watch enthusiasts. It includes both a minute repeater with cathedral chimes and one-minute flying carousel.
A minute repeater is a great function which enables a watch to audibly chime the correct time, by using three different sounds. A low note signifies an hour, the combination of two notes – high and low – marks a quarter of an hour and finally, while single high notes are used to tell how many minutes have passed since the last quarter of an hour. This feature is activated on the wearer’s demand, and it was originally developed to enable its wearer to use the watch even in the dark.
Nowadays, with the passing of time, there are plenty of other methods to tell the correct time, with the most prominent ones probably being the inclusion of luminous hands and hour-markers. But still, the repeater complication remains one of the most cherished functions, because it requires an intricate mechanism that is able to effortlessly signal the right time while punctually performing its basic time-keeping function. It is also important to note that the brand made improvements to this complication with various innovations, like the system by which cathedral gongs are fixed in case to insure great sound quality, or the protective device which guards the movement if crown is manipulated while the chiming mechanism operates.
The other impressive complication used in Blancpain’s watch is the carrousel which is fairly similar to tourbillion. Just like the tourbillion, the carrousel feature is developed to neutralize the harmful effects of gravitation on a balance wheel and on an escapement. While a tourbillon involves a turning carriage, a carrousel on the other hand includes a platform where the balance wheel and its bridge go around as on a merry-go-round, hence the name carrousel.
Nearly Lost Complication Saved from Oblivion by Blancpain
This function was originally developed in the late 19th century by a Danish horologist, Bahne Bonniksen. After that, it was nearly forgotten, but the turning point came when Blancpain revived it and improved it, so it would make a revolution in precisely 60 seconds, unlike original watches that rotated at much longer and unspecified rate.
Even separately, these complications are admirable. The success of Blancpain is even greater for the fact that it is the only manufacturer which came up with both functions in a single product. The mechanism that allows all this is Calibre 235 self-winding mechanical movement that consists of 444 parts. The mechanism includes 54 jewels and has a power reserve of 65 hours. The movement is exposed through the sapphire case back and through the skeleton central part of the dial. The outer part of its dial is white grand feu enamel with roman numerals.
The movement is fitted into a red gold round case that is 45 mm wide and 15.35 mm thick. Besides, the watch has water resistance to 30 meters and comes with a brown alligator strap.