On June 14th 2013, Blancpain is officially opening a boutique in the Xintiandi district in a ceremony attended by its President and CEO, Marc A. Hayek. With what is now its 8th boutique in China, the world’s oldest watch brand is also one of those with the longest historical presence in the land of the Forbidden City. Through this new flagship store, the Manufacture in Le Brassus intends to pay tribute to the loyalty of the Chinese people. The largest of the brand’s 30 boutiques to date is for the first time offering an integrated customer service centre as well as a lounge bar, and this inauguration is being marked by the presentation of a unique version of the Calendrier Chinois Traditionnel.
Susan Chen, Swatch Group China Country Manager, Vincent Lo, Chairman of Shui On Development Ltd,
Marc A. Hayek, Blancpain President & CEO, Heinrich Schellenberg, General Consul of Switzerland,
Jack Liao, Blancpain China Brand Manager
Active in China for many years as an expression of its own long-term vision, the Manufacture in Le Brassus takes a keen interest in this exceptionally rich culture. The moon-phase, which serves to determine the months of the Chinese calendar and has been an integral part of Blancpain’s complete calendars for 30 years, symbolises the closely interwoven parallels between Chinese culture and the world’s oldest watch brand.
Regarded as the ambassador of Swiss horological expertise, Blancpain enjoyed the immense privilege in 2008 of exhibiting the first contemporary wristwatch in the Palace Museum of the Forbidden City. The 2012 presentation of the first wristwatch equipped with a traditional Chinese calendar was a further tribute to this civilisation. Today, the ties are as strong as ever and it was a natural step for this new boutique brimming with newly previewed services to be established in China.
Featuring a blend of historical and modern elements, Xintiandi is one of Shanghai’s most popular districts, a place where people love to stroll along the open streets lined with boutiques as well as cafés and restaurants with terraces. Located at the entrance to this zone, this new over 600 square-metre Blancpain ‘embassy’ welcomes visitors into a decor pervaded by its horological heritage and expertise. The pure, elegant area spread over two floors presents the brand’s finest creations and for the first time offers a range of additional services.
After a visit to the ground floor, a circular staircase leads visitors to the upper floor, where they can discover a new Blancpain world through the brand’s first lounge. A quest for excellence, expertise and authenticity are a set of values that the Manufacture from Le Brassus shares with the art of living. Blancpain thereby celebrates its passion for the world of gastronomy by offering a choice of traditional “Swiss Made” products that may be savoured on the splendid terrace overlooking the entrance to the Xintiandi district.
The second new feature for Blancpain is a service centre located inside the boutique. Thanks to this up-close-and-personal service, customers enjoy the possibility of having their watches serviced locally, as well as observing the meticulous work of the watchmakers in action through the transparent workshop windows.
To celebrate the inauguration of this new boutique and in tribute to this culture of which the contemporary representatives continue to display a strong interest in fine watchmaking, an emblematic complication model from the Villeret collection is being presented in a unique version: a Traditional Chinese Calendar in platinum framing a red champlevé enamel dial and featuring a jewel set crown. Its oscillating weight is also enamelled with the Wu Xing pictogram representing the five elements, thus embodying an inseparable link between this exceptional creation and its symbolism.