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Blancpain Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar 2023

The watchmaker presents a new version of its unique calendar watch.

When it comes to making watches with non-Gregorian or non-civil calendars, no one has more experience than Blancpain. The brand has released a Chinese calendar watch prior to each Lunar New Year. The Chinese calendar is lunisolar, which means it combines lunar and solar calendars. For the coming year of the Water Rabbit, it's created two limited edition models in platinum and red gold, available at its boutiques and at all authorised retailers respectively.

The Chinese calendar is rather complex due to it following a 60-year cycle. In a year, there are six months of 29 days and six months of 30 days following the lunar cycle, which totals 354 days. The difference between the lunar and solar years is made up with a leap month every three years.  

The Blancpain Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar displays both the Gregorian and Chinese calendars, with correctors embedded in the case for quick adjustments when needed. Here’s how to read the calendar:

 

The dial of the Blancpain Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar displays the date, month, leap month, and year based on the 60-year cycle.

The dial is in grand feu white enamel, which requires multiple firings in a kiln to create the bright white glossy surface on which the Chinese calendar is presented. The Roman numeral hour markers are applied, and the crown and oscillating weight are each adorned with a Madagascar ruby, its auspicious red colour symbolising luck for its wearer. The rotor is further engraved by hand, another craft that has consistently been practised at Blancpain, with a pair of fluffy rabbits and the ‘Year of the Water Rabbit’ inscribed on it.

The back of the watch reveals the oscillating rotor with a pair of fluffy rabbits engraved on it.

Powering the watch is Blancpain’s Calibre 3639, which has a generous 7-day power reserve, ensuring your calendar will maintain its accuracy even when the watch isn’t worn daily. The 45mm platinum-cased watch is limited to just 50 pieces globally and, based on past editions, will have a pricing of CHF 82,000.

Update: Local pricing for the watch is at S$91,900 for the rose gold model, available at all authorised retailers. The limited edition platinum model is a boutique exclusive and retails for S$121,500. 

Article originally featured on Crown Watch Blog