The famous China Garden in Zurich, a gift from the city of Kunming, was the setting chosen by Blancpain for its presentation of this world first. During the evening, the many guests enjoyed a chance to discover an interpretation of time different from that generally envisioned in the West. The wealth of this technical and cultural diversity, as well as a distinctive form of artistic expertise, are admirably expressed in this new horological masterpiece.
Water is one of the five elements in Chinese culture, and it was thus on the small island in the centre of the garden’s ornamental pond that Blancpain President & CEO Marc A. Hayek testified to the technical feats inherent in the new timepiece and revealed the origins of this accomplishment: “It represents the culmination of five years of research, development and reflection on the history of Blancpain in China.” There could thus have been no finer showcase for this presentation than Zurich’s China Garden, one of the finest of its kind in the world.
The complexity of the new Calendrier Chinois Traditionnel watch, based on the moon, stems as much from the number of indications to be displayed as from the irregular nature of their cycles. As part of the event, well-known contemporary Chinese philosopher, Leung Man Tao, provided insight into the importance of the moon and its influence on the Earth, as well as the age-old fundamental principles of reading and interpreting time that are profoundly rooted in Chinese culture.
Throughout the evening, invitees were immersed in the Chinese universe through the cuisine, the particularly beautiful decoration, and the various artistic demonstrations. As befits a language that has no alphabet but instead several thousands of characters formed by lines or strokes, a calligrapher was on hand to transcribe guests’ wishes. An enamelling specialist from the Manufacture Blancpain was also present on this occasion.
In addition to the many national or international guests, a delegation from Kunming had flown in for the event. The list of well-known figures in attendance included famous German actor Erol Sander, motor-racing driver Prince Albert von Thurn und Taxis, Mrs Nayla Hayek, Chair of the Swatch Group Board of Directors and Chinese artists Feng Yuan Zheng and his wife Guo Jingjing.
Photo 1: President & CEO of Blancpain Marc A. Hayek
Photo 2: Mr Lee, calligrapher, Mr. Hayek, President & CEO of Blancpain, Mrs Hayek, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Swatch and Mr Man Tao, philosopher
Photo 3: German actor Erol Sander and Prince Albert von Thurn und Taxis