At Blancpain, excellence lies at the heart of all its watch creations, combining expertise, innovation and aestheticism. The new Villeret Ultraplate is the most recent example. This platinum timepiece with a blue dial marks a return to essentials in which hours and minutes reign supreme. Issued in an 88-piece limited edition, it is exclusively available in brand boutiques worldwide.
Elegance and discretion have characterized Villeret models since their early days in the 1980s. The new Villeret Ultraplate watch is no exception. It has a resolutely contemporary face while preserving the collection’s emblematic aestheticism and authenticity. The Villeret style is distinguished by a delicately rounded double-stepped bezel, stylish hands meticulously crafted in the shape of cut-out sage leaves, applied Roman numeral hour-markers crafted in gold and a delightfully slim case.
Like all Blancpain models, the new Villeret Ultraplate limited edition guarantees enhanced reliability and running efficiency. Based on the renowned 1150 caliber, the hand-wound 11A4B Manufacture movement offers four days of autonomy driven by two series-coupled barrels and equipped with high-performance hairsprings. This construction enables a constant energy pulse, guaranteeing precision from the first hours of operation through to the final minutes. Particularly concerned with ensuring the user friendliness of its watches, Blancpain has equipped the new Villeret Ultraplate with a power-reserve indicator. The latter is displayed on the back to preserve the elegance of the dial. Protected by a sapphire case-back, the mechanism has been subtly decorated to reflect the purity of the watch face. The entirely redesigned bridges are adorned with the traditional côtes de Genève motif, as well as beveled edges.
The new Villeret Ultraplate in platinum comes with a case measuring 40 mm in diameter and 7.40 mm thick. Graced with a blue dial, it is paired with a blue alligator strap secured by a pin buckle. This exclusive model issued in an 88-piece edition is dedicated to Blancpain boutiques worldwide.
On October 30th in its emblematic Boutique on New York’s Fifth Avenue, Blancpain unveiled a legendary 1930s jewelry watch that belonged to Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe. The display of Monroe’s stunning cocktail watch is part of an exhibition entitled Timeless Elegance, featuring personal belongings and a curated selection of photographs of the beloved American actress. Noted photographer Lawrence Schiller, who regularly collaborated with Monroe, attended the inauguration of the exhibition, which will be open to the public from October 31st through November 23rd 2019.
Blancpain has chosen Marilyn Monroe’s cocktail watch to showcase its expertise and pioneering spirit in the world of feminine watchmaking. “We are particularly proud to present for the very first time this cocktail watch owned by Marilyn Monroe,” said Marc A. Hayek, President and CEO of Blancpain. “Especially since Marilyn Monroe had very few pieces of jewelry, despite the memorable Diamonds are a girl’s best friend which she loved to sing.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with Blancpain to celebrate the one and only Marilyn Monroe,” said Jamie Salter, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Authentic Brands Group, owner of the Monroe Estate. “Blancpain’s history of luxury craftsmanship and innovation withstands the test of time and aligns perfectly with Marilyn’s enduring legacy.
The Art Deco-inspired 1930s model, purchased by Blancpain at auction, is displayed alongside several historic personal items that reveal the extraordinary existence and complex personality of the actress including: dresses, books, a director’s chair, a Screen Actors Guild membership card, stationery and receipts from her New York experience. Additionally, there are portraits featured including several signed by Lawrence Schiller, in attendance at the exhibition’s opening. These intimate objects are presented in a refined atmosphere, through a retrospective of Blancpain’s women’s timepieces both past and present.
Revealed for the very first time to the public at large, the Blancpain watch may have been a gift to Marilyn Monroe from her third husband, author Arthur Miller. Crafted in platinum and paved with 71 round-cut diamonds and two marquise-cut diamonds, it bears the “Blancpain” insignia on its white rectangular dial with yellow hour-markers and blue hands, as well as the mention “Rayville Watch Co. 17 Jewels” on its tiny mechanical FHF 59 movement.
The slender geometry and structured setting of this precious watch embody a perfect balance between avant-gardism and elegance, both day and night. The watch has an inimitable manner of combining charm, ingenuity and a unique temperament. Like Marilyn Monroe herself, is iconic with a timeless aura.
Fragile, sensual and breathtakingly beautiful, the ultimate woman shares many commonalities with the spirit of Blancpain’s feminine timepieces. Convinced that women appreciate the expertise and magic of mechanical watches, the Manufacture was a pioneer in this world of all-female refinement. In 1930, Blancpain introduced the world’s first self-winding ladies’ wristwatch, the Rolls (now a popular collector’s piece) followed in 1956 by the Ladybird, equipped with the smallest round movement of the time.
Blancpain’s epic saga of feminine watches was written by Betty Fiechter, an equally extraordinary woman who made history much like Marilyn Monroe. As the first woman to head a watchmaking company in 1933, her intelligence and visionary spirit paved the way for jewelry watches at Blancpain and resulted in the brand’s international reputation. Fiechter’s career trajectory was similar to Marilyn Monroe’s, who became the second American woman to run her own production company. Their destinies were to meet and mingle in a unique creation: the Blancpain cocktail watch.
The link between the star and the Maison is also revealed through a small aesthetic nod gracing Blancpain’s Moon Phase watches. Marilyn Monroe’s historic beauty mark epitomizes sensuality and glamour. In the 1980s, when Blancpain updated the moon phase indication – which has since become a signature of the Manufacture – it gradually became distinctive thanks to the smiling face of its moon.
Since the 2006 launch of the Women collection, all the ladies’ Moon Phases models feature a female face adorned with a star-shaped beauty mark. Like the Hollywood star, Blancpain’s women’s models encapsulate the same quintessential uniqueness and timeless elegance.
Blancpain is proud to announce the official opening of its largest flagship store in Beijing, located at the prestigious China World Mall, one of the country’s most thriving retail facilities.
With its impressive 380sq.m two-story showroom, this brand-new boutique is ideally situated on the ground floor of the upscale “China World Mall” tower, adjacent to Beijing’s central business district. This excellent exposure is further enhanced by the shop’s unique architecture featuring a main entrance entirely made of glass, and directly accessible from the road. Blancpain is to date the only watch brand in the building to have a street-facing façade. Inside the mall, the store offers a second entry point featuring a design closely inspired by the brand’s centuries-old “farmhouse” production facility in Le Brassus, a small village located in the Vallée de Joux, Switzerland.
Just as in all Blancpain boutiques around the world, visitors are invited to enter a true place of hospitality and to experience an immersion into the brand universe. The interior reflects the Manufacture’s proud heritage and its commitment to the philosophy of “Innovation is Our Tradition”. The polished cherry woodwork and streamlined furniture evoke the authentic atmosphere of the workshops where Blancpain’s master watchmakers exercise their art. The boutique’s warm ambiance is completed by a comfortable seating area, a lounge bar, a magnificent staircase as well as a private VIP suite for clients who desire a more intimate shopping experience.
Exhibited across two levels, Blancpain‘s watchmaking masterpieces and latest collections showcase the brand’s technical expertise by highlighting the wide range of sophisticated and complicated in-house movements – from the classic and refined Villeret collection to the legendary Fifty Fathoms dive watches and the elegant Women timepieces. This store also houses a customer service center enabling clients to have their watches serviced locally, while receiving product and maintenance advice tailored to their individual needs.
Every detail has been carefully selected to enable visitors to discover and explore Blancpain’s horological know-how, perpetuated for more than 280 years with the same passion for excellence, meticulous craftsmanship and technical innovation.
Blancpain is convinced that public awareness is vital to achieve its goals of preserving and protecting the world’s oceans. In continuation of the important role played by the Fifty Fathoms watch in the history of diving, the Manufacture collaborates with Editor Dietmar W. Fuchs, and invites renowned photographers to share the wonders of the underwater world. The result, Edition Fifty Fathoms, is an annual limited-edition publication launched in 2008 which presents four underwater photography portfolios. Forty photographers have already published their work, starting with the patriarch of underwater photography, Ernest H. Brooks II, who notably uses light and shadow to display his passion and creativity. In recognition of his valuable participation in this project, Blancpain has decided to dedicate the 2018 Anniversary issue of Edition Fifty Fathoms to black & white photography.
The sixth World Ocean Summit took place from March 5th to 7th, in Abu Dhabi, with Blancpain as its Founding Supporter. The overarching theme for this year was Building Bridges. Key topics included: the similarities and differences between the ocean and land economies; financial opportunities in the blue economy; improving investment structures for ocean finances; cities and their role in innovation; the role of ports and the shipping industry; sustainable coastal tourism; blue carbon systems, illegal activity and piracy.