To celebrate Chinese New Year, Blancpain is unveiling a new limited edition luxury timepiece featuring the Rat, the first animal of the Chinese zodiac, which heralds a year of luck and prosperity.
Blancpain’s Traditional Chinese Calendar is a watchmaking masterpiece combining the fundamental principles of the age-old lunisolar calendar stemming from Chinese tradition with the date according to the Gregorian calendar. Five years of research and development were required given that the basic unit of these two time-division systems is not the same, this represents a major technical feat.
While the Gregorian calendar is based on the solar day, the lunisolar Chinese calendar is based on the lunar cycle, composed of 2953059 days. In order to maintain consistency with the seasonal cycle, a leap month is added to the Chinese calendar every two or three years.
This timepiece, which is more complex than a perpetual calendar, features the animal of the year, the Rat, in a window at 12 o’clock. The moon phrases, which are used to determine the months of the Chinese calendar and represent an emblematic element of Blancpain’s calendar models, are highlighted in a window at 6 o’clock.
Issued in a 50-piece limited edition, the timepiece is entirely assembled and meticulously crafted by a single master watchmaker in the Grande Complications workshop of the Manufacture in Le Brassus.