Bianchet updates their flying tourbillon with a new model with grande date. Introducing the Bianchet Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618.
Press Release with commentary in italics.
New: Bianchet Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618
The Bianchet Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618 will have a retail price of CHF 65,500 before tax. Limited Edition of 200 pieces.
We have featured Bianchet and their interesting tonneau shaped cased flying tourbillons. Our fascination is partly with the technical virtuosity demonstrated by the watches, but also in the rather interesting approach to pricing. The earlier releases, which are now sold out, with flying tourbillon but no date was retailed at CHF 55k, and this novelty with the new grand date is set at just above CHF 70k. We mention this as the rest of the industry seem to be running away with prices of watches, and of tourbillons escalating to way above CHF 100k.
But the formula remains with consistent with what Bianchet have been doing since their inception. Their entire catalog comprise only of one watch in various executions of case and dial. This is still the case, as the earlier references have been sold out. And now the novelty is the only watch in their catalog. And with the same formula of the tonneau shaped case, and an openwork sports tourbillon in a modern 43mm x 50mm case with colour accents. Eight colour are offered in this novelty.
The Bianchet Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.168 is a candidate for the GPHG 2023 Edition. At time of publishing, the GPHG has just completed the first round selection by the Academy Members. There are further rounds of selection by the Jury before the awards are made in November 2023 in Geneva.
An unusual combination of age-old construction principles and ultramodern watchmaking style, the Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618 is the expression of transparency, pure lines and high-tech spirit, meant to seduce lovers of prestigious grand complication timepieces.
Swiss watchmaker Bianchet, creator of tourbillon watches whose contemporary style is imbued with timeless design principles, is asserting its passion for horological complications with the new Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618. The aesthetic sensibility of Bianchet, inspired by age-old construction principles and Italian design, is recognisable from the pure lines of its refined tonneau case, and the construction of its in-house-developed skeleton movement, whose proportions respect those of the golden ratio of 1.618. With its two horology complications, this watch expresses refinement, strength and natural balance, in a resolutely contemporary trend of style and materials.
Driven by a passion for design and a rich Italian heritage, the founders of Bianchet put the pursuit of beauty at the heart of the brand’s creative universe. An uncompromising quest for aesthetic perfection down to the smallest detail. The Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618 is a sensory, cultural and mechanical horological creation, conceived and designed according to the mathematical principles of the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci sequence, that underlie the beauty of the universe.
By applying thousand year-old design principles deriving from the iconic geometric ratio 1.618, which has been used in the most harmonious compositions in art, architecture and music for centuries, Bianchet infuses perfect proportions into ultramodern timepieces.
For the sake of harmony, the two complications of the new Bianchet calibre are perfectly positioned according to the golden triangles used to design the movement, while the architecture of the bridges originates at the central point of the tourbillon cage to follow the curves dictated by the Fibonacci spiral. The back bridges for their part, form concentric golden circles, whose diameters respect the ratio of 1.618, while key elements of the movement front, including the tourbillon cage, the hour wheel and the big date, are positioned according to the geometric rules of the golden circles. This unique construction, which combines symmetry and asymmetry, gives the Bianchet B1.618 movement all its personality, depth and balance.
Invented by Cartier in 1906, the tonneau case was conceived to be both elegant and comfortable. A very innovative shape at the time, it still represents the epitome of class and sophistication. By adding pure lines and harmonious proportions underlined by refined colour accents, Bianchet creates a watch that is both sophisticated and sporty.
One of the few tonneau-shaped carbon watches capable of withstanding a pressure of 10 ATM (100 metres of water depth) and shocks of 5000G, the Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618 has been designed to be versatile, and can be endorsed during sports and water activities.
The lightness of the cutting-edge material, the softness of the natural vulcanised rubber, combined with the perfect and sensual curves of the case, create a unique tactile experience.
Crafted from Titanium-Dust-High-Density-Carbon, an exclusive composite of carbon fibres infused with titanium powder, the case of the Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618 combines the performance of a highly resistant and light material, with the preciousness of a noble metal.
Adding to the high density of the composite, which is made of circa 500 compressed layers of 0.03 mm thick carbon fibres, the titanium powder is infused between every two layers, bringing light and subtle reflections to this cutting-edge material.
The orientation of the carbon fibres, arranged following variations of 45 and 90 degrees between the layers, allows to achieve an isotropic material structure that is extremely homogeneous, dense and resistant, while offering aesthetically pleasing patterns enhanced by the titanium particles.
A streamlined tonneau case
The sleek, unadorned bezel of the new Bianchet flying tourbillon watch blends seamlessly with the case middle, following its curves down to its discreet lugs, which give the case its chic and elegant look. The caseback, also in perfect continuity with the bezel and middle, adds balance and finesse to the case with its fluid and flowing shapes, whose balance is dictated by the proportions of the golden ratio.
Only the presence of the coloured rubber gaskets makes it possible to identify the boundaries of each element of the Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618 case, so harmonious are its curves. This construction, that is both pleasant to the eyes and to the touch, is subtly underlined by two strokes of colour, giving personality to this tonneau case, which was created with purity, harmony and a sensory experience in mind.
“A watch must arouse the senses and emotions. The sound of the movement ticking, the visual magic of the flying tourbillon and the tactile experience provided by the case materials are all elements we work on to create a unique sensation,” explains Emmanuelle Festa Bianchet, co-founder of Bianchet.
Manufacture movement in titanium
Pursuing their passion for the tourbillon mechanism, the founders of Bianchet embraced the vaulting challenge of developing their own flying tourbillon movement, which bridges and tourbillon cage are entirely made in titanium, with the addition of an openworked big date. The transparency of the skeleton construction and the hand-made finishing reveal the refinement of the architecture, while giving life to the soul of the movement.
The tourbillon mechanism, invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1795 to defy the force of gravity, is considered one of the most prestigious complications in Haute Horlogerie. Bianchet’s flying tourbillon movement rotates with a precision of -4+4 seconds per day, without any bridge obstructing the beauty of this fascinating piece of mechanical engineering. As if suspended in mid-air, the titanium tourbillon cage, which bears the Bianchet signature, has been designed to defy gravity in style.
Showcasing a perpetual motion, like floating at the heart of the openwork architecture, the Bianchet flying tourbillon mechanism is mounted on ball bearings, which give it fluid rotation and unequalled precision. The adjustment of the movement in six positions further enhances the accuracy of the watch, regardless of the position in which it is laying.
Revealing the intricacies of the calendar function, the fully skeletonised Big Date complication of the Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B 1.618 movement displays the date in a format that is both easy to read and aesthetically minimalist. A simple colour accent on the aperture identifies the current date, without detracting from the mechanical subtlety of the two discs that rotate in time with the days. Bianchet chose to adapt the big date complication, invented by Lange & Söhne in 1994, in a contemporary and essential style, revealing its mechanical ingenuity.
Two suspended flanges supporting Superluminova blocks, which recall the hour indicators made in the same high-tech material, are placed symmetrically on both sides of the openwork dial. Already present in Bianchet Tourbillon B1.618 Openwork model, they give the movement a distinctive touch, while playing with light, depth and transparency to create a modern and sculptural architecture.
Entirely made in Switzerland and assembled in the Bianchet workshop in La-Chaux-De-Fonds, the calibre of the Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618 is ennobled by hand finishing, which sublimates the beauty of its components. Particularly difficult to achieve on titanium, hand-bevelling, which is guided by the craftsman’s hand, gives life to the contours of the bridges, reveals the shapes and adds sparkle to the winding parts.
Various finishing techniques add light and changing reflections to the geometry of the arches and enhance the sophisticated architecture of the movement, while leading the eye towards the transparency and subtleties of this double-complication watchmaking mechanism.
“By creating our own movement, we have taken up an important challenge aimed at building a Bianchet legacy of increasingly fascinating tourbillon watches, created for lovers of Grand Complications and unique watchmaking experience,” says Rodolfo Festa Bianchet, founder and CEO of Bianchet.
A blend of ultramodern spirit and classical heritage, the “Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618” represents the meeting of opposites. Through the unusual encounter between high-tech and noble materials, fine watchmaking techniques, and age-old design principles, Bianchet gives birth to a new paradigm in contemporary watchmaking, full of singular emotions and unparalleled sensations.
The “Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618” watch will be produced in only 200 pieces in 2023, Bianchet offering its customers a choice of eight colour variations.
Bianchet Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618 Specifications
Manual wound Flying Tourbillon with Big Date complication
Power Reserve: 90 hours (+/- 5%)
Water resistance: 10 ATM (100 metres)
Weight: 55 grams (excluding strap)
Swiss Made Guarantee: 5 years
Flying tourbillon 60 seconds. Tourbillon cage in titanium, mounted on ball bearings. Adapted to 6 positions.
Frequency: 3hz – 21’600 vibrations/hour
Skeletonized Grande Date complication.
Titanium main plate and bridges. Non-magnetic tourbillon cage. Balance wheel with variable inertia.
Finishing: Hand-finished. Hand beveling on titanium bridges and tourbillon cage. Sand-blasting, satin-brushing on plates and bridges. Lacquer applied by hand on crown, tourbillon cap, and big date.
Manufacturing Partners: Inhotech, Precision Engineering, Feller, Crelier, Goldec, Bandi, AE Decolletages, Ultradec, Protofil, CMT Rickenbach, Quickparts, GMG
Carbon Version: Titanium-Dust-High-Density carbon / Crown in grade 5 titanium. / Natural vulcanised rubber.
Finishing: Case finished by hand. Hand polished crown. Lacquer applied by hand.
Glass: Sapphire crystal on bezel and back with glare-proof treatment on both sides
Dimensions W: 43 mm L: 51 mm H: 14.35 mm
STRAP: Natural vulcanised rubber
Titanium folding clasp