The newest artistic piece from the Blancpain’s Métiers d’Art studio features the image of Ganesh – the god of wisdom and learning, as well as the remover of obstacles. Ganesh is one of the most important gods in the Hinduism and it is represented with the head of an elephant.
The image of the elephant-headed god was rendered by using the arts of fine engraving, damascening, and shakudō. Interestingly, the same godlike creature was depicted on the Villeret Shakudo timepiece that won the Artistic Crafts prize in 2015, Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
This exceptional novelty is also a part of the Blancpain’s Villeret Collection. The watch features an amazing shakudō dial. The manufacturer’s artisans subtle treat the surface several times to achieve the final delicate black shades that mark the shakudo technique. This art form originates from Japan, where it was historically used to decorate katana fittings, jewelry and other ornaments. The alloy of gold and copper visually looks like bronze, because of its high copper content (approximately 96–90%), but when it goes through a distinctive process of patination and heating, it gets its characteristic indigo-black patina, which resembles lacquer.
One of the most interesting of the Indian deities is depicted with four arms, although the number may vary from two to sixteen. In this depiction Ganesh holds various objects in his hands. The left side of his body symbolizes emotion, whilst the right size symbolizes reason. An axe is depicted in the upper left hand, and a lotus in the upper right hand, connoting that the only way to reach spiritual perfection is to cut secular attachments and overcome emotions – in a way the lotus thrives in water, but is not affected by it. The lower left hand holds a bowl filled with laddus which are ball-shaped sweets very popular in India, symbolizing the wealth and good fortune bestowed upon Ganesh’s devotees. The lower right hand is displayed in a blessing pose, whereas a small mouse appears near the feet of Ganesh, signifying that the ego is conquered, and no longer affected by the worldly temptations.
The Swiss watchmaking brand is the only watch house that has mastered this time-honored motif. Furthermore, the dial base also presents yet another art form dubbed damascening whose application to watchmaking is also exclusive to the Swiss company.
Blancpain Métiers d’Art Villeret Ganesh is housed in an elegant red gold case with Blancpain’s signature double-stepped bezel, measuring 45mm in diameter. The case accommodates hand-wound in-house manufactured caliber 15B. The ultra-slim mechanism consists of 117 individual parts and it is built on 20 jewels. The impeccable movement is capable to store enough energy to keep the watch ticking for approximately 40 hours.
The reverse side of the watch reveals the movement finishing featuring finely hand-applied Côtes de Genève together with beveling and circular graining.
This one-of-a-kind timepiece was introduced last month, coinciding with the Ganesh Festival in India.