complication exclusively developed by Blancpain, the Traditional Chinese Calendar is based on fundamental principles established for millennia and profoundly rooted in Chinese tradition.
On its dial, the hours, minutes and the Gregorian calendar rub shoulders with the main indications of the Chinese calendar: traditional double-hours, day, month with indication of leap months, signs of the zodiac, as well as the five elements and the ten celestial stems. The moon phases, defining traditional Chinese months and a key element in all Blancpain complete calendars, are also presented.
To mark the transition to the year of the tiger 2022 (1 February 2022 to 21 January 2023), Blancpain has created a new edition of this emblematic timepiece: a model in platinum with a white grand feu enamel dial whose oscillating weight is engraved with the Chinese zodiac sign of the year, the tiger.
Faithful to the aesthetic signature elements of the Villeret collection, the refined 45 mm doublestepped case is equipped with under-lug correctors enabling easy function adjustments. It frames a display revealing Blancpain’s artisanal savoir faire. Whilst the chapter ring is composed of gold appliques, the other indications are enamel painted. The main hands shaped like slightly hollowed leaves are associated with a blued serpentine hand sweeping over the Gregorian date numerals, a shape that is reminiscent of the 18th century watchmaking tradition.
The Traditional Chinese Calendar model is driven by the self-winding 3638 movement, whose complexity stems as much from the number of the indications to be displayed, as from the irregular nature of their cycles. While there are well-trodden paths from more than two centuries of watchmaking experience that guide watchmakers in the development of their mechanisms, the creation of the Traditional Chinese Calendar, for its part, started from a blank page. This complication is the result of a major challenge, which took five years of research and development to be completed.
Useful and symbolic, the Traditional Chinese Calendar invites fine watchmaking enthusiasts to consider different approaches to the concept of time as complementary. The 50 individually numbered timepieces composing this 2022 series bear fresh witness to this wealth of diversity.