Compared to many timepieces offered today, this Blancpain Quantieme Retrograde (ref. 3653-2954-58b) not only sports a brilliantly executed marquetry mother-of-pearl dial but also comes equipped with a gorgeous retrograde calendar complication that shares the dial real estate with a traditional moon-phase display.
Conveniently placed at 12 o’clock, the indicator of moon phases is accompanied by five star-like diamonds that, to my knowledge, do not represent any actual constellation.
The whole composition is adequately balanced by the off-centered hour and minute indicator, which is placed at 6 hours and features a set of tiny rose gold hands pointing at bold Roman numerals.
Although created by an extremely skilled hand, the raised sub-dial leaves an impression of incompleteness. Perhaps, it could look better if it sported a hair-thin rose gold rim or something like that.
As usual in this niche, the watch has its elegant rose gold bezel set with more than forty diamonds and also sports a finely cut diamond in its winding crown, which is not only exquisitely decorated but is also surprisingly ergonomic. At 36 millimeters in diameter, the watch is on a larger side, but, thanks to a large dial opening, doesn’t look too massive.
According to the Swiss brand’s press release, the new watch is to be powered by their Caliber 2650RL automatic movement that, besides featuring the usual Geneva Stripes pattern on its bridges, also sports a unique, flower-shaped oscillating weight, which is crafted from solid gold. The 65 hours of power reserve that this mechanism offers are more than adequate for a watch of this pedigree. Perhaps, the energy that this mechanism’s mainspring is able to store is even excessive, since this is definitely not a daily beater and the watch will probably spend most of its life either in a safe or in a winder that will always keep the watch ready for every special occasion.
So far, this is one of the finest complicated timepieces that will be offered to women around the world in the coming year.
For a recommended price of $41,000 USD, this is a rather expensive piece of jewelry. On the other hand, given the total mass of precious metals, diamonds, and, what is the most important, hundreds of hours of extremely skilled labor put into making each of these little beauties, the price tag is well justified.
Blancpain Quantieme Retrograde (ref. 3653-2954-58b) specification
Price: $41,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Blancpain Caliber 2650RL, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 32
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 65 hours
Movement decoration: Gold rotor in the shape of a flower
Functions: Hours, minutes, retrograde date, moon phase
Case: Rose gold
Bezel: Rose gold, 40 diamonds on the bezel
Crown: Rose gold, set with a diamond
Size: 36.00 mm
Case height: 10.70 mm
Lug width: 18.00 mm
Dial: Mother-of-pearl marquetry
Numerals: Arabic and Roman
Hands: Rose gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: White alligator leather strap on an 18-karat rose gold buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective coating