The story behind specific watches remains something of a secret. Their very rareness enhances their appeal to authorities. We call them unicorns… We realize they exist, we’ve seen a few however grant is nearly inexistent and no documents can help! The vintage Blancpain Air Command Chronograph is a unicorn watch, and this is one reason to be energized today, as Blancpain is going to reissue this watch. Meet the Blancpain Air Command Chronograph Re-Edition.
The story behind the Blancpain Air Command can be followed to the creation of the Type 20 norm for the French Ministry of Defense, which was looking for a high-precision chronograph fit for meeting requesting determinations – dark dial with iridescent hour markers and hands to augment decipherability, development with a flyback work, just as a little seconds hand. Blancpain may have begun to investigate chronographs, even without being chosen by the French armed force. A couple of years after the fact, other military started looking for a comparable instrument. Blancpain, which had already prevailed upon the American Navy with its Fifty Fathoms jumper’s watch, drew motivation from it to build up a chronograph for the United States Air Force. This watch was offered to American military pilots through the merchant Allen V. Tornek, for whom Blancpain is thought to have created twelve watches as models. The complete creation of Air Command chronographs was likely very limited.
According to Phillips Watches, “there is no official documentation about this model and researchers are of the assessment that it was never commercialized or delivered in series” and “no orders were put and the Air Command project was not pursued”.
The few existing instances of vintage Blancpain Air Command can be depicted as a pilot-arranged chronograph form of the Fifty Fathoms, with which it shares likenesses in the plan. It was furnished with a 42mm steel case, a bi-directional bezel, a dark dial with iridescent Arabic numerals and hands, a tachymeter scale on the dial and a Valjoux 222 Flyback.
Renowned as the most sought-after military chronograph of the last part of the 1950s, the Blancpain Air Command model has now been given another rent of life.
The 2019 Blancpain Air Command Chronograph Re-Edition
For this 500-piece restricted edition of the Air Command Chronograph, Blancpain needed to remain as reliable as conceivable to the first 1950s watch, with, nonetheless, a couple of concessions to innovation – for this situation, the combination of a ultra-vintage look with present day materials and an advanced movement.
The resemblance between the old model and the re-edition is explicit. Before we move to the insights about this watch, it must be said that Blancpain has worked effectively here, keeping the extents and the subtleties relevant. The execution, as you can anticipate from the brand, is awesome and the development is a long way from being an old tractor.
The instance of this Blancpain Air Command Chronograph Re-Edition is made of steel and retains both the general state of the old model just as the extents. It measures 42.5mm in breadth (a significant reasonable measurements and near the first model) for a truly satisfactory 13.77mm tallness. The case comes with flawlessly chamfered carries and is topped by a tightened “countdown” bi-directional pilot’s bezel, with a dark cleaned earthenware embed and radiant hour markers (mirroring the bakelite bezel of the vintage watch). On top is a crate type sapphire precious stone, again to resemble the old plexiglass. The last touch is given by a pleasant patinated earthy colored calf leather strap.
The dial is a reasonable reference to the old model. Surely, the Blancpain Air Command Chronograph Re-Edition is 99% dedicated to the first; the engravings, the scales (seconds and base-1000 tachymeter), the Arabic numerals, the bi-compax design or the pilot-style hands are completely replicated flawlessly. The solitary concession is the little seconds that has been replaced by a 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock, the 30-minute counter being situated at 3 o’clock.
To improve the vintage look, all the iridescent areas of the dial and bezel are painted in “old radium” Super-LumiNova (hands, numerals, bezel markers). The dial has a marginally more present day and lavish completing and features a discreet sunburst design. The Flyback notice at 6 o’clock is additionally new to this re-edition. Compared to the vintage form, the new Air Command offers a bigger dial opening, fundamentally because of the enormous development running inside.
While the 1950s Blancpain Air Command was outfitted with a hand-wound Valjoux 222, its 2019 re-edition features a prestigious and incredible type. it is powered by the type F388B, with a high frequency of 5Hz (or 36,000 vibrations/hour), guaranteeing greater exactness. The development is likewise programmed and shares its base with the one found in the Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback . The Caliber F388B is additionally currently prepared, with a vertical grip, section wheel, flyback and against attractive silicon parts for the regulating organ. The view through the caseback reveals a pleasantly improved development, with cleaned angles, brushed scaffolds and basically, another propeller-formed and gold-colored rotor.
The Blancpain Air Command Chronograph Re-Edition (ref. AC01-1130-63A) will be restricted to 500 pieces and estimated at CHF 18,500. More subtleties at blancpain.com .