Blancpain Ladybird (1956) – The World’s Smallest Round Mechanical Watch

As the world returned to normalcy following the end of the Second World War, Blancpain turned its attention to the precious domain of feminine timepieces. The styles of the day prized small dimensions above all else. Great creativity and ingenuity were required of Blancpain’s masters to miniaturize the elements of a mechanical watch to suit the scale of the times. The results amply rewarded their labours.

The 1956 Blancpain Ladybird was a sensation upon its introduction, featuring what was at the time the smallest round mechanical movement ever conceived. Since its introduction, Blancpain has evolved and refreshed the Ladybird. New movements have been introduced over the years in both manual winding and automatic winding versions.
Each of these new movements represented a milestone in the watchmaking art. The Calibre 610 manual winding movement was, at its introduction in 1993, the thinnest in the world; the Calibre 615 automatic movement presented two years later was the smallest automatic calibre in the world. Both of these world records were achieved not by a simple process of miniaturization, but through brilliant engineering and innovation in construction.

Careful study coupled with expert watchmaking has kept the Ladybird in the fashion limelight. Its size has grown somewhat since its introduction, but not too much. In 2006 Blancpain launched “Blancpain Women”, a full collection of feminine timepieces in today’s larger sizes. Leaving the Ladybird as a smaller alternative gives women the choice of wearing the more historical but smaller elegant size or making bolder contemporary statements with a watch from the Blancpain Women collection.

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