Since its birth in 1735, Blancpain follows tradition, pursues transcendence, and becomes ‘the founder of classic timepieces’. Its excellent watchmaking strength has been preserved and developed in history. After entering the new century, driven by a new generation of watchmaking masters, it is becoming more and more brilliant. Unlike most fine watchmaking workshops, Blancpain embraces and defends respect for ancient watchmaking craftsmanship in a unique way: While other brands are keen to outsource complex decorative craftsmanship to skilled artisans, Blancpain is even better, inviting craftsmen into the brand’s watchmaking centre, Le
In the complex watchmaking workshop of Brassus, several extraordinary craftsmanship (gold carvings, damascus gold setting, enamel, red copper) are gathered together in the ‘Master of Arts’ (Métier)
d’ art) studio. Owning this large and exclusive team of master craftsmen has enabled Blancpain to continuously create art classics. The five newly launched ‘Liang Zhu’ micro-painted enamel high-end custom watches, together with countless masterpieces of art, have carried forward the outstanding human art crystal.
Enamel, first appeared in the Flanders area of the Eastern Roman Empire, is an ancient legendary craftsmanship. The enamel is mixed with mineral silicon, lead, borax, feldspar, quartz and other raw materials in appropriate proportions, and various colored metal oxides are added separately. After baking and grinding, they are made into powdery color materials. Different methods of enamel technology are filled or drawn on the body made of metal tires and baked to become enamel products.
The enamel dial, like the same old hand-carved dial, records the era when the mechanical process was not as developed as it is today, and the Europeans’ dual pursuit of the beauty of art and craft. The life-like love scenes, classic paintings, flowers, birds, insects and fishes, and lakes and mountains on the dial, which contain deep cultural heritage, are also regarded as the epitome of European history. However, in the middle and late 20th century, only a few watchmaking brands with a long and noble historical tradition continued to invest in this craft, Blancpain is one of them.
‘Liang Zhu’ orphan watch, a new chapter in micro-painted enamel
Blancpain’s new ‘Liang Zhu’ micro-painted enamel watch is made using the difficult micro-painted enamel technique. The superior micro-painted enamel has a translucent and lustrous luster and a moving color that will never fade. After years of baptism, it is always new. Compared with other enamel processes, its biggest advantage is that the pattern lines are more abundant, and it can draw more fine patterns. But this requires not only profound painting skills and artistic understanding, but also complete understanding of the complex chemical changes behind enamel painting. To this end, Blancpain’s master of micro-painting enamel studied for several months, and in the practice constantly realized the skills and connotation of traditional oriental painting, and finally creatively reproduced the profound artistic conception of Chinese classical aesthetics.
Behind the success of a micro-painted enamel, there are many secrets of production. First, coloring is one of them. Blancpain’s enamel masters know the texture and characteristics of hundreds of different colors of glazes and vividly present the scenes in Liang Zhu’s story in multiple colors. The master of enamel craftsman uses high-quality magnifying glass and selects a high-quality brush to first draw the pattern on the flawless enamel surface plate, and reproduce the delicate lines of the picture with delicate strokes. In order to give the picture a freehand color like traditional Chinese ink painting, the process of grading only needs to undergo repeated experiments to ensure that the color does not fade and distort with the firing.
Firing is also a key step in the success or failure of micropaint enamel. Different from the ordinary firing process, in order to restore the aesthetic mood of traditional Chinese ink painting, this haute couture watch is made by firing once, which requires more sophisticated skills. Each step in the firing process bears a high degree of risk, and if it is inadvertently lost, it will be lost. In addition, the fire and time need to be handled with extreme care; in addition, the texture of the enamel is extremely fragile, and there is a possibility of cracking at any time during the production process. Therefore, the skills and patience of the master of micro-painting are almost harsh.
The value of micropainting enamel lies not only in its rarity, but also in the uniqueness of each work. The original enamel raw material is a transparent material similar to glass. After grinding into powder, it is mixed with oil paint to become a raw material. Usually it is repeatedly fired hundreds of times in a 800 ° C kiln to stabilize its color, temperature and temperature in the kiln. The length of time must be carefully controlled, because different reactions at different high temperatures can produce the same two works of the same enamel craftsman, which has considerable art collection value.
Unique micro-painted enamel watch is inspired by traditional oriental scrolls. Blancpain relies on its sophisticated creative process and extraordinary artistic understanding to vividly restore the classic picture in traditional Chinese ink painting to a 45-inch square dial. on. The master watchmaker uses extraordinary micro-painting enamel technology to outline a bay of lotus ponds on the dial-green leaves and branches of varying shades are layered, and white and ochre lotus flowers shake in the wind as if dancing gently. The butterfly leaps on the delicate lotus flower, and the back of the dial is ingeniously crafted with gold carving techniques to outline the butterfly shape. The entire watch combines superb watchmaking craftsmanship with extraordinary aesthetic accomplishments, and it can be regarded as the masterpiece of the brand’s high-end customized timepieces. At the same time, as a practitioner who has been deeply involved in social welfare, Blancpain also generously donated this unique watch as a charitable lot, and all the proceeds were donated to the China Disabled Persons Art Troupe to express this classic The creators of timepieces pay high respects to the self-improvement of the disabled.
This Blancpain antique micro-painted enamel pocket watch owned by a private collector records the longing and love of European nobles for a comfortable and leisurely life at that time through the delicate strokes of the master of art. On the enamel plate, a noble man and his lover played on a wooden bridge in the suburbs, and the trees and grass around the bezel decorated a quiet and idyllic landscape. The vivid figure posture and oil painting-like color use show the profound accomplishment of Blancpain master enamel. In addition to the technique of micro-painting enamel, Blancpain’s art masters are also proficient in using many types of enamel technology to create a variety of artistic watches, including plain enamel, birth enamel, and filled enamel.
Daming fire plain enamel
Daming fire enamel has always been revered as the supreme realm of enamel skills. Large fire enamel face plates usually require multiple firing processes, and each kiln firing process may have the risk of cracking and color difference. During the firing process, the metal surface plate must first be curved and arched, and then the metal surface plate should be sprinkled with fine enamel powder, and finally fired to make the enamel vitrified. After the firing is completed, the enamel painter will manually draw the chronograph scale and time scale on the surface, and then roast it to ensure that the surface decoration is perfectly firm on the surface. Plain big fire enamel refers to a single-colored big fire enamel. Due to its mellow color and classic style, it is particularly suitable for the brand’s introverted traditional timepiece temperament. It has been widely used by Blancpain in many watches. on.
This Villeret series of eight-day power display black enamel dial watch uses black enamel surface, unlike the bright and colorful of painted enamel, black enamel seems to have a calm and restrained general style. Behind the seemingly ordinary black, it is unknown that it is the most difficult to burn in plain enamel. If you want to achieve the highest standard of pure color and saturation, you need to glaze and fire repeatedly in the high temperature open flame of 900 degrees to 1200 degrees. Each of these processes bears a high risk. ,
The black face plate highlights the flaws and is not inferior. Therefore, the production rate of black enamel is extremely rare, and it is also very precious. In addition, the surface processing, molding, or window cutting of the dial is even more difficult.
Blancpain Villeret series of eight-day power watch with white enamel surface, glaze color is warm and fresh, with a translucent feel, very vitality. Unlike some low-temperature enamels on the market, Blancpain’s enamel masters use a high temperature of more than 900 degrees for the firing process, and finally fire the white enamel surface at a high temperature of 1000 to 1200 degrees. Because the temperature is too high to use a metal tread, the tread beneath the enamel surface is made of a special confidential material developed exclusively by Blancpain. The enamel surface fired in this way has a jewel-like gloss and texture, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, high temperature resistance, waterproof and moisture resistance, hard and solid, no aging and deterioration, and the light color does not change after thousands of years. In addition, the Da Minghuo enamel dial uses a traditional craft imperceptibly-two mysterious ‘JB’ marks are engraved between the time numbers 4, 5, and 7, 8. This tradition of secret signatures originates from past enamel craftsmen, who usually engraved their acronyms in their works. Behind this small detail that is not easy to perceive is the deep love and respect of Blancpain for the source of craftsmanship.
Filled enamel and birth enamel
Different from filigree enamel, the infill enamel is first carved into the groove area to be colored on the dial, and then filled with enamel color. After high temperature firing, the enamel is fully melted and fills the entire groove area. A technique of polishing. According to the thickness of the glazed layer, a variety of enamel textures and colors can be displayed on the surface of the fired plate. Filling enamel is relatively time consuming and laborious, but the finished product is delicate, the overall feeling is strong, and the firing power is relatively high.
In 2015, Blancpain was designed for Only
The dial of a Chinese calendar orphan watch created by the Watch Charity Auction is fired in black glazed enamel, and through sapphire crystal, the balance wheel specially crafted for this charity orphan is black-filled enamel. Craft with ‘ONLY’ engraved on it
The elegant inscription of ‘WATCH’ uniquely presents the special significance of this watch.
In addition, Blancpain has also used the birth enamel process in watch making. L-Evolution launched in 2013
In the series of sapphire one-minute Carrousel watches, Blancpain added complex spider web patterns to the dial in order to create multiple visual layers, and changed the practice of the previous three-layer sapphire crystal splint to two-layer sapphire crystal. The way the previous layer is born of enamel gives the one-minute Carrousel watch a new look. With the double-layered sapphire crystal and a layer of blue birth enamel, the structure and movement of the movement are still clearly visible, and the irregular spider web shape changes make it feel like you are in the maze of time. The mysterious color created by the birth enamel makes the viewer even more obsessed with obsession.