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By Chris | June 22 2014
Perhaps it is not surprising that fine watches and fine dining should be good companions. After all, both are creations of meticulous masters whose well-honed skills produce a product we enjoy. Timing naturally is an important aspect of cooking, and while there are no studies on how diet impacts watchmakers, watch brands often use haute cuisine to get journalists in the mood to view their latest creations.
One such partnership that apparently works well from all three perspectives is the relationship between Blancpain, Daniel Humm and a top line gathering of writers who write about time keeping. The La Brassus based watchmaker which traces its history to 1735 last week used a private rooftop tent atop the 1976 Zurich born Chef’s newest hit NoMad as a pleasurable venue. As an aside, Humm’s Eleven Madison Park ranked fourth in the World in the Elite Traveler 2014 100 Best Restaurants.
On a timely note, Blancpain U.S. President Adam Bossi was able use the event to celebrate the Villeret Carrousel Phases de Lune’s win the day before in an online voting contest put together by a watch magazine.
While the timepieces presented were launched in March in Basel, Bossi said high demand by retailers and private customers during the show meant this was the first time all 25 new versions and launches had been presented to the press in a single sitting. For veterans of the world’s largest watch and jewelry trade fair, one knows no matter how influential your audience, if an Arabian Sheik or Chinese billionaire happens to want to see a particular watch collection at the same time you have your appointment, well…
Part of Blancpain’s cache with collectors is its expertise in producing movements via Manufacture Blancpain (formerly Frederic Piguet). While the house only makes about 26,000 of its own watches in a year, it produces 100,000 movements, using its know how to supply other high end watchmakers both inside and outside the Swatch Group family.
The brand’s mantra is “tradition and innovation” with its interpretation being that the tradition of making watches is about innovation. The result is a hardbound book with over 300 pages, including over 200 pages specifically dedicated to the various ways Blancpain keeps can assist elite travelers in keeping time.
To that end, hollowed rotors enabling better viewing of the movement, under-lug correctors that don’t require tools, the ability to correct complications between 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, a larger viewing window on the Flying Tourbillon and a fun 30-second retrograde for women (below) wowed the watch journalists.
One way elite travelers interested in product will be able to get a closer view is the new New York boutique that will open in July on Fifth Avenue between Cartier and Versace. While the windows facing the street and the interior will replicate its Les Brassus farmhouse roots, an “eye catching” visual of a whale swimming in the ocean will highlight Blancpain’s nurturing of oceanic causes and celebrate its Fifty Fathoms collections. Inside a high tech projection system will enable the space to be used for partner events, hopefully bringing patrons of other like-minded brands, with Bossi mentioning Lamborghini.
Full details on its over 250 different watches ranging from the high four digits to hundreds of thousands of dollars are at Blancpain.com and regularly in the pages of Elite Traveler.