The new Blancpain L-evolution Tourbillon Large Date (refs. 8822-15B30-53B and 8822-36B30-53B) automatic wristwatch seems to be the world’s first timekeeper to have its power reserve indicator implanted right into the oscillating weight of its winding rotor. This is perhaps one of the most attractive complications that I have seen during the last decade.
First presented two years ago, the sporty L-Evolution line has been updated with this new, highly-complicated Blancpain L-evolution Tourbillon Large Date model.
Besides the flying tourbillon escapement, which is attached to the bridge with a single beam, the new watch also features a peculiarly looking power reserve indicator.
While most such indicators are usually placed either on the dial or on one of the bridges of the movement in order to be visible through a transparent case back (or through a cutout in a solid cover,) this particular watch has the power reserve display placed inside the oscillating weight.
As you can see on the pictures, the Swiss watchmaker had to employ a rather complicated transmission system of wheels and pinions in order to connect the fixed mainspring barrel with the indicator that constantly and unpredictably changes its position together with the swinging winding rotor.
Another problem that was successfully solved was designing of an “automatic clutch” that would disconnect the indicator from the mainspring barrel when the latter is fully wound.
Although the complication was created purely for its own sake, this is a very nice feature and I hope that we will see it again in the upcoming watches of the famous Swiss brand.
As to the Blancpain L-evolution Tourbillon Large Date itself, it is designed in the same style as other members of the series.
Designed as a sporty watch, it has its signature pair of stylized Roman numerals, hour markers and the hands are generously covered with Superluminova.
The black dial is decorated with Geneva stripes and is partly skeletonized in order to provide view at the Caliber 4225G‘s perlaged baseplate and the pair of rotating disks that form the Large Date display.
Although looking really massive and heavy on the images, the watch is in fact quite compact being only 43.5 mm in diameter (not much for a sporty watch segment, which is currently dominated by real monsters.)
The illusion of massiveness is, perhaps, formed thanks to the satin-brushed finish of the case, which is available both in rose and white gold, and its thickness: in its thickest point the case is almost 15 millimeters high.
Still, the watch won’t look like a crab on you hand and will look great if worn with casual dress.
Blancpain L-evolution Tourbillon Large Date automatic wrist watch specification
Price: $158,000 (MSRP, ref. 8822-15B30-53B)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber 4225G, 46 jewels, 414 parts, in-house, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Circular Geneva stripes, skeletonized oscillating weight with gold medallion housing a power reserve indicator
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, flying tourbillon, big date, power reserve indicator
Power reserve: 168 hours (7 days)
Case material: Satin-brushed white gold (Ref. 8822-15B30-53B) or Satin-brushed red gold (Ref. 8822-36B30-53B)
Bezel material: Matching case
Crown material: Matching case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.50 mm
Lug width: 23.00 mm
Case height: 14.90 mm
Dial: Black, partly skeletonized
Numerals: Roman, applied, luminous
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black or brown leather
Case back: Sapphire