Set to be presented in flesh (or rather in brilliantly executed mix of rose gold and white mother-of-pearl) during the upcoming Baselworld 2013 international trade show, the new Blancpain Chronographe Grande Date (Ref. 3626-2954-58A) automatic timekeeper seems to be very similar in styling to the lovely Blancpain Quantieme Retrograde ladies watch that was first revealed less than half a year ago.
The device features the same easily recognizable white mother of pearl dial, which is split in half with a thin rose gold band featuring approximately 36 tiny diamonds. As usual, the upper part of it sports an off-centered hours and minutes display, while the lower one is occupied by the beautifully executed chronograph complication with a 30-minute counter on the right, a 12-hour sub-dial on the left, and a standard central seconds totalizer, well, in the center.
Although I am still not sure whether I like the big date indicator at 6 o’clock, the rest of the dial looks absolutely marvelous, including the aforementioned set of diamonds of different sizes that visually separate the two parts of the dial echoing the forty-something brilliantly-cut diamonds that decorate the rose gold bezel of the timepiece.
Being less than 39 millimeters in diameter and more than 13 millimeters thick, the body of the watch may look somewhat bulky, but that’s the price many would certainly pay for wearing a watch, which is powered by a complex manufacture caliber. Oh, and speaking about price, I feel compelled to warn you that this watch isn’t particularly affordable. At this time, the Swiss-based luxury brand offers this beauty at a recommended street price of $43,900 which makes it quite an investment. However, given the level of technical sophistication that this watch possesses (starting with its beautifully sculpted case and going all the watch to the gorgeous caliber that animates it,) the price seems to be totally justified. It’s not just the logo on the dial that you are paying for here.
Comprising 495 components and built on 44 jewels, the BP Caliber 26F8G automatic movement is, as usual, nicely decorated and features the signature flower-shaped oscillating weight done in a rose gold alloy that slightly differs in color from the case itself.
What I can’t forgive the makers of this beautiful timekeeper is the use of ostrich leather for the strap. While alligators and crocodiles are not the cutest animals inhabiting this planet, the ostriches are so cute that you can sometimes forget that it can kill you with its mighty kick.
Well, even if you don’t have any special feelings about the birds, the leather will probably make your heart melt thanks to its unique smoothness and softness to the touch.
Blancpain Chronographe Grande Date Automatic (Ref. 3626-2954-58A) ladies watch specification
Price: $43,900 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, BP Caliber 26F8G, in-house, 25.60 mm x 7.00 mm, 495 parts, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 44 jewels
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 40 hours
Movement decoration: Hand-finished, rose gold oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph, large date
Case material: Rose gold
Bezel material: Matches case, 2.105 diamonds
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 38.60 mm
Case height: 13.10 mm
Lug width: 18.00 mm
Dial: White mother-of-pearl
Numerals: Arabic and Roman
Hour markers: None
Hands: Rose gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: White ostrich leather strap on rose gold buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire