Invented in the late nineteenth century, after long years of neglect the carrousel complication rose from its slumber two years ago, thanks to the ingenuity of Blancpain. Identical to the tourbillon in its function, the carrousel has never enjoyed the same degree of success, dogged by its reputation for being excessively complex to make. In 2008, Blancpain was first to include a carrousel in a wristwatch, incidentally the world’s first one-minute carrousel. This year, the company has again put exquisite mechanics centre-stage, with the carrousel in the title role, when it unveiled the Carrousel Minute Repeater Le Brassus, the highlight of Blancpain’s 275th anniversary celebrations.
Four years in the making, this exceptional grande complication presents several technical innovations. The two sounding rings of the cathedral gong minute-repeater are one and a half times the diameter of the movement. They are attached to the inside of the case to produce a clearer, stronger sound. This new movement also features an innovative safety system that disconnects the crown to avoid damage to the movement should the crown be turned while the repeater is sounding.
This movement, the Calibre 1736 with 414 parts, brings the first tangible indication of the anticipated evolution of Blancpain’s famous Calibre 1735, which the firm says is scheduled for 2015. Until then, other grandes complications should emerge, providing further examples of Blancpain’s technical prowess.
Shifting up a gear
Especially prolific in this anniversary year, Blancpain also presents the new Villeret collection with its new Calibre 6639 with complete calendar, moonphases and eight-day power reserve; the L-Evolution with circular indication of the 52 weeks of the year; the latest Fifty Fathoms flyback chronograph with complete calendar and moonphases, and a new Super Trofeo. With production of 600 pieces this year, the Super Trofeo has a distinctly Lamborghini look, such as case lugs in carbon fibre, produced using technology straight out of the Italian automaker’s studios.
With a new season of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series about to get under way, Blancpain reinforced its racing credentials when it recently announced a partnership with the FIA World Championship GT1. This new championship, the brainchild of FIA president Jean Todt, joins the Super Trofeo in inciting Blancpain to invest in two more race cars.