Blancpain’s latest Ladybird collection is an Ode to Elegance
More than just a colourful option for women, Blancpain’s latest Ladybird references offer serious watchmaking know-how in an extremely elegant package
With this year being the 70th anniversary of Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms and what that collection means to the watch industry, it is easy to overlook yet another of Blancpain’s novelties for the year, the Ladybird. On the surface, these new and colourful offerings may seem like just another collection that has been given some new colours along with a dazzling array of diamonds to entice female fans. In truth, however, Blancpain’s Ladybird collection is not simply adapted from a man’s watch with the size reduced. Instead, it was created specifically with all the watchmaking savoire faire of this centuries-old brand to cater to the women of today.
If you look back at the brand’s history, women have always been important to Blancpain. In 1933, the manufacture was the first Swiss watchmaking company to have a female CEO and owner after Betty Fiechter purchased the firm. A few years before that, the firm had already created one of the world’s first automatic wristwatches for women under the name Rolls. This paved the way for further innovation in watchmaking for women and in 1956 when the Ladybird first debuted, it was equipped with the smallest round movement ever conceived at the time.
The novelties found within the latest Ladybird collection do not break any records. What is on offer instead is a vibrant range of colour variations including midnight blue, peacock green, forest green, lilac or turquoise set on a backdrop of textured mother-of-pearl on the dial. These coloured Roman numerals are also accompanied by a strap in a matching hue. Additionally, 70 diamonds are set onto the dial to accompany the small seconds and/or moon-phase indicator found there. And on the 34.9mm case, an additional 59 diamonds with a total weight of 2 carats give the watch an extremely elegant exterior.
This is not to say however that the watch is completely devoid of mechanical prowess. The Calibre 1163 movement powering the small seconds version along with the 1163L for the one with the moon phases indicator, both come packed with a relatively long four-day power reserve and a silicon balance spring. Through the transparent caseback, enthusiasts will notice that the movement is fi nished with the Côtes de Genêve decoration. Additionally, the gold oscillating weight of the self-winding mechanism offers circular open-worked patterns that mirror those found on the dial.