Formosa clouded leopard: two Métiers d'Art models in a Boutique edition for Taiwan
The Formosa clouded leopard, endemic to the island, is an important symbol in the collective consciousness of the Taiwanese. The Paiwan aboriginal people consider the leopard to be a spiritual icon. If not extinct, the animal is extremely rare. Blancpain had a wish to represent this emblematic feline by drawing on its expertise in the realm of hand decoration. Like the Formosa clouded leopard, the artistic techniques practiced by Blancpain are rare in watchmaking. Some, such as miniature enamel painting, are only offered by a handful of watch companies worldwide. Others, such as shakudō, are produced exclusively by the Manufacture. The range of Blancpain's craftsmanship is vast and represents an age-old heritage. Five skills, fully integrated within the Métiers d'Art workshops at the "Farm" in Le Brassus – as is always the case at Blancpain – have been selected to interpret the theme of the Taiwanese clouded leopard on the dial: the art of porcelain, miniature enamel painting, shakudō, engraving and damascening.
The Formosa clouded leopard enamel painted on porcelain is framed by a 33 mm white gold case with a diamond-set bezel. The accompanying movement is the Manufacture 1154 self-winding calibre, whose meticulous finishing is revealed through the back of the timepiece. The engraved and damascened shakudō model comes in a 45 mm red gold case. Traditionally favoured for highly decorative timepieces, the sapphire crystal caseback reveals the 15B hand-wound movement adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif.