One master watchmaker toiled away for an entire year to make this watch. Why did Blancpain go through such labor? The craft of merging six previous masterwork timepieces into a single watch that includes all the complexities of the previous six—in one sophisticated mechanical movement—is the ultimate gentleman’s challenge among highly skilled watchmakers. The effort includes the painstaking hand finishing of the movement’s 740 tiny parts. Just look at the automatic Blancpain caliber 1735 movement through the sapphire crystal on the back of the watch, and you’ll be impressed. In addition to this first-rate finishing, the 18k gold movement bridges and solid white gold automatic rotor are hand engraved with a “Clous de Paris” style. This masterpiece easily epitomizes the traditional-style luxury watches collectors look for. It is also a dedication to historic watch-making techniques as well as homage to the heritage that Swiss watchmakers strive to preserve.
In contrast to many modern, über luxury timepieces that experiment with novel designs, the 1735 Grande Complication is an extremely classic timepiece on most levels. In fact, compared to many contemporary luxury watches, the style might be considered outdated—which is actually part of the point. The face represents a simple, easy-to-read dial that emphasizes elegance and legibility. Hour indicators are petite Roman numerals with focus on the many hands and subdials. The watch, after all, is primarily an engine to showcase the movement’s many complications, such as the time, a perpetual calendar (including date, month, day of the week, and leap year), a moon phase indicator, a Rattrapante (split-second) chronograph, a minute repeater, quarter repeater, and of course, a tourbillon escapement. All are packed into a dial that is relatively unassuming. It looks more like an instrument than most showy luxury goods we see these days.
For Blancpain, this watch isn’t about an ostentatious display—it’s for the qualified connoisseur who knows what to look for. Blancpain describes the 1735 Grande Complication as a “benchmark of watch-making art.” He recommends years of exposure to high-end watches before you can fully appreciate the value and workmanship required to complete such a timepiece. The watch is contained in a 42mm wide solid platinum case. For its level of complications, the watch is relatively thin at just 16.5mm thick, with the movement being just 11mm thick.
It is fitted to a black crocodile strap and arrives with a silver-colored dial. Just one piece in the limited edition was made with a black dial.
$1,026,500 for Silver Dial