As it created the world’s first automatic 8-day power reserve tourbillon, a torch was lit showing the way for a new “natural” combination – bringing the practicality of a perpetual calendar to the tourbillon. There is perhaps no higher calling for a tourbillon, whose rotation evens out gravitational errors, than a calendar which never needs adjustment, correctly accounting for the variation in the length of months in the Gregorian calendar.
Although rare examples of tourbillon/perpetual calendar wristwatches have existed, they have all suffered from one, nearly insurmountable inconvenience: they have all been manual winding watches. It is almost inevitable that a precious timepiece of this sophistication will not be worn every day, imposing the burden, every time the watch is allowed to run down, of resetting a complex calendar mechanism.
Here the towering difference between Blancpain’s tourbillon base movement and the rest of the watchmaking world revealed itself. In its pioneering conception of the world’s first automatic tourbillon, Blancpain had created the perfect mate for a complex calendar. Even if the automatic tourbillon perpetual calendar watch were not worn, the easy option of placing the watch in a winder to keep it running is available.
In this way, the owner can ensure that the calendar will always be correct and the watch will always be ready to wear. The Blancpain innovation has created the most practical tourbillon perpetual calendar in the world.
The implementation of this pioneering concept did not come easily however Blancpain’s watchmakers faced significant challenges in integrating a perpetual calendar mechanism with its complex system of cams and wheels, all of which must be placed under the dial, with the flying tourbillon assembly, which is meant to be visible through the dial. Their painstaking efforts to meld these components together in a visually pleasing and balanced way were rewarded with the final result.