Blancpain's "Métiers d'Art" tradition exhibited in Hong Kong
In tribute to its longstanding tradition of hand craftsmanship, Blancpain recently hosted an exclusive "Métiers d'Art" exhibition at The Landmark, Mandarin Oriental, in Hong Kong. During three days, selected guests had the opportunity to discover the brand's fine design, decorative and finishing techniques through a series of live demonstrations and conferences.
Early November, Blancpain welcomed VIP clients, journalists and watch connoisseurs in Hong Kong for a fascinating "Artistic Crafts" tour. On this occasion, the Manufacture displayed rare "Métiers d'Art" timepieces highlighting the brand's expertise in engraving, enamel painting as well as damascening and shakudō art forms.
Stemming from ancestral techniques, each"Métiers d'Art" piece requires remarkable know-how and meticulous operations performed by a small number of master-artisans, hence endowing each art piece in the collection with unique character. These creations are entirely designed and developed in Blancpain's Le Brassus workshops, housing the production of the brand’s entire range including Grand Complication models.
This exhibition was also graced with the presence of one of Blancpain's in-house engravers, who demonstrated different designs and motifs applied to the watches' dials and backs; a bespoke service offered to purchasers of these unique artworks. Moreover, an expert-illustrator gave a live performance of the art of dial painting. By viewing the variety of watches on display, guests gained further insights into the infinite creativity and sources of inspiration drawn on by the Blancpain artisans. Over the past years, natural and mythical symbols have been brought to the fore, as exemplified by the model featuring the Hindus God "Ganesh" presented in 2015, and the latest timepiece depicting typical Swiss cows unveiled at Baselworld this year.
At the end of the visit, Mr. Marc Junod – Vice-President and Head of Sales at Blancpain – along with Mr. Jalil Elkouch-Bordier – Brand Manager Blancpain Hong Kong – gave speeches emphasizing how passion, respect for tradition and constant innovation have been driving the work of the Manufacture since its founding in 1735. Specially invited to the event, Prof. Chi Jo-hsin – Professor at the Chinese Culture University (Department of History) and former Director of National Palace Museum (Department of Antiquities) – in turn shared stories about these artistic crafts, thus enabling the audience to discover Blancpain's age-old watchmaking heritage.
This exclusive event was followed by a fine dining experience at the Michelin-starred "Amber" restaurant (Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong) directed by the talented Dutch-born chef Richard Ekkebus. Guests enjoyed a tailor-made gourmet menu evoking the close ties between the world of gastronomy and watchmaking. An ongoing quest for perfection, quality, precision as well as hand craftsmanship have naturally woven a connection between Blancpain and the Art of Living that has been perpetuated for more than 30 years.