Over the course of the past decade, watch lovers have witnessed an increased attention to the world of women’s timepieces. Some brands, however, have long focused on what was once termed, “the fairer sex.
” Blancpain is one such brand. Not only has this Swiss company been creating women’s watches for nearly a century, but also it was the first leading Swiss watch brand to have a female CEO.
Valentine's Day 2020 © Blancpain
It was in 1930 that Blancpain 1735 unveiled its first automatic watch for women. That was under the leadership of Frédéric-Emile Blancpain, the seventh-generation family member to run the company. Two years later, in 1932, he passed away and left the company to his assistant Betty Fiechter, who took over the helm as CEO. What a surprise that must have been for the Swiss watch industry. You can almost hear the gossip, the whispers, the wonders as to whether or not she could handle the task.
Betty Fiechter © Blancpain
In fact, not only did she run the brand, but also, she brought it to new heights, insisting that Blancpain continue to innovate when it came to women’s watches. It was under her direction that, in 1956, Blancpain created the first Ladybird watch. Not only did it set a world record for being the smallest round watch at the time (it was equipped with the 11.85mm in diameter Calibre R550 movement), but also it featured the winding crown on the back.
Today, under the auspices of the Swatch Group, and the vigilant eye of Marc A. Hayek as President and CEO, Blancpain continues to create women’s watches that deftly blend high-horology with artistic elegance. The Ladybird remains an important series for the brand. All of its women’s watches are designed expressly for ladies. They are not just scaled down men’s watches with a quartz movement inside. They are equipped with automatic movements that are finely finished by hand and that boast all of the attributes of haute horology.
As mentioned, the Ladybird Ultraplate is an important series for Blancpain – one in which the master artisans deftly combine technically advanced movements with Métiers d’ Arts to enhance the dials even further. In some instances, there are dials with hand-painted mother of pearl motifs and bezel-set diamonds, in other instances feminine swirls and waves of diamonds grace the dials, and certain models even feature heart-shaped motifs that not only adorn the dial, but also spread over onto the straps. In all instances, the watches are powered by the top-notch automatic Caliber 615 that is ultra-thin and equipped with a silicon balance spring.
Ladybird Ultraplate © Blancpain
Easily one of the most beloved collections is the Blancpain Quantie’me Phase de Lune signature moonphase watch. For the creation of this iconic moonphase indication, Blancpain’s artists added a sublime touch that radiates femininity: the moon is a woman. During a full moon, the face can be viewed through the aperture with eyes closed, long eyelashes and high eyebrows perfectly coiffed. Cherub-like lips grace the face, along with a fine beauty mark on the cheek to the right of the lips. The beauty on the dial of this watch is matched by the savoir faire on the inside. It is powered by the automatic Caliber 913QL.P movement with hours, minutes and seconds as well as date indication. Other Moonphase models include day and month indication and there is even a version with retrograde date hand.
Quantième Phase de Lune © Blancpain
Naturally, Blancpain also creates women’s versions of its beloved Villeret watches and Complet Calendar lines. While these may not be designed just for women, they are core pieces that women desire. Additionally, in its universe, where Blancpain has a commitment to the Oceans and to the “Art of Living,” the brand has several women on its ambassador roster. In fact, just late last year, Michelin-star chef Marie Robert came on board as a friend of the brand. The 31-year-old chef at Café Suisse de Bex was elected “Chef of the Year” by Gault & Millau gourmet guide. According to Hayek, Blancpain is continually crafting “a delicate and contemporary vision of feminine timepieces.”
Villeret Complete Calendar © Blancpain