Carrousel, minute repeater and chronograph, an exceptional “Le Brassus” trio
Having introduced a series of world firsts in its Carrousel Volant and Carrousel Minute Repeater models, the Manufacture Blancpain maintains its well-deserved status at the very peak of the watchmaking art, by becoming the first to associate these two horological complications with a flyback chronograph in a self-winding version.
Watch brands capable of presenting such highly complex models are few and far between, and even those that develop these movements in-house are an even rarer species. This unusual threesome in the Le Brassus collection is distinguished by a range of complications exclusive to Blancpain. First of all, the carrousel (or karussel), an exceptional mechanism revived and revamped by Blancpain in 2008, is represented in this model by its famous one-minute flying carrousel.
Then comes the minute repeater. Blancpain has conducted a great deal of research to optimising the sound of its repeater mechanisms. The blades of its cathedral gong wrap one and a half times around the movement in order to emit a sound of surprising quality. Its transmission is optimised by fixing the gongs inside the case, a solution making it possible to achieve remarkable volume and clarity. The latest improvement to the purity of the sound is a flying governor that reduces the background noise produced by the movement. Finally, to avoid any risk of damage, the system automatically disconnects the crown-adjustment system when the repeater slide is activated.
The third function also stemming from the Blancpain classic legacy is the chronograph, the king of short-time measurements, particularly with the flyback or instant-restart function (historically used by pilots). Simply pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock enables the wearer to restart a time measurement while a first measurement is in progress. Meanwhile, the recurrent signature features of chronographs from the Manufacture – namely the column wheel and the vertical coupling-clutch – ensure the peerless precision of the function’s activation. This original version of an unusual arrangement featuring a 30-minute counter at the centre of the calibre demonstrates the horological mastery of the Blancpain movement design engineers. The extreme user friendliness of this new chronograph is matched only by its inner complexity.
This triple association is presented in a new red gold 45 mm case with a chapter ring, a 30-minute and hour-markers in grand feu enamel. Radiating an understated and effective style, the combination of the openworked dial and the sapphire crystal case-back both highlights and provides in-depth views of this complex device. The special-shaped chronograph minutes and seconds hands are long enough to ensure maximal readability as they sweep over their corresponding indexes in an aesthetically pleasing way. As one would expect from such an exclusive calibre, the bridges and mainplate are in 18-carat gold, a material that does nothing to facilitate the arduous task of the watchmakers from the Vallée de Joux.
The entire sum of this legacy and this expertise is combined within the new Carrousel Répétition Minutes Chronographe Flyback in the Le Brassus collection – a line epitomising the peak of the watchmaking art and vividly reflecting Blancpain’s innovative strength.