It is a common belief that God is omnipresent, but as the physical identity of God is still a mystery, we humans connect with the Almighty by practicing different religions in different parts of the world. And every religion offers a representation of God which can be used as an object of worship and symbolism. Why am I rambling on about a topic like religion, and how exactly does it relate to horology? I would like to introduce to you the Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh watch.
The Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh watch, as the name indicates, is a tribute to the Hindu Lord Ganesha, and it is a new offering from Blancpain’s Villeret line of watches. Lord Ganesha, also known as Vinayaka (Knowlegeable) and Vighneshwara (Lord of obstacles) is one of the most worshipped deities in the Hindu religion. Another interesting fact about Lord Ganesha is that he is known as the patron of arts, and Blancpain launching the stunningly artistic Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh watch around Lord Ganesha’s birthday couldn’t be a better birthday present for him.
Another major change is that this new “alveol” screw-in caseback, which might be best described as a pie crust shape.Like all Planet Ocean 8500s (shall we say PO 8900s currently?) It retains, clearly, its helium escape valve. The main change is that the circle nearest to the crystal has been broken down to minute segments. This makes it somewhat easier to precisely line up the bezel into a minute past the 15 minute mark (that were already distinguished). What has not changed, however, is that the “action” of the bezel. It’s still a very great all-around sense with medium effort and a very strong lockup.This new Planet Ocean features the 8900 rather than the typical 8500. Regardless of the name change, however, the biggest difference between this movement and elderly 8500s is actually the brand new METAS certification. In fact, it’s that the METAS-certified movement that gives it the “Master Chronometer” title on the dial.Because we’ve covered 8500-family moves in so many different reviews, I wanted to perform this movement section a bit otherwise. Obviously, the rotor itself is beautiful, so we’ll be utilizing both rotor and sans-rotor shots going forward.The first consideration to describe about METAS certification is that it’s not directly competing with COSC certificate. In fact, a condition of passing the METAS test would be to have already passed the COSC. Therefore, all Master Chronometers (watches that are METAS accredited) are also chronometers in the traditional sense. After a chronometer enters METAS testing, its magnetic resistance will be analyzed. Omega has been slowly upgrading the 8500 family of motions with silicon parts that allow them to operate under extreme magnetic fields, but METAS is the first independent certification of the performance. Here, the motion will be tested in a magnetic field of 15,000 gauss in two distinct positions, far more successful than somebody would experience in their ordinary life. The motion is then “cased” (placed inside the watch it’ll be sold in) and tested again.
The Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh is a product of Blancpain’s award-winning Métiers D’Art studio located in Vallée de Joux. The Métiers D’Art studio is renowned for a wide range of artistic crafts including fine engraving, enameling, damascening, shakudō, and more. Having won the Artistic Crafts prize for the Blancpain Villeret Shakudo Ganesh watch in 2015, Métiers d’Art studio is back with another unique interpretation of the Ganesh theme in the Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh watch. The beautiful portrait of Lord Ganesha on the dial of the Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh is a result of combining fine engraving, damascening, and shakudō, and is testimony to the skills and craftsmanship of Blancpain’s artisans.
The black patina on the dial of the Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh is achieved with the help of shakudō, which is an alloy of gold and copper. Unpatinated shakudō resembles bronze, and Blancpain’s artisans delicately treat the surface multiple times to achieve the final subtle black shades that mark this art form which was originally developed for the decoration of swords and jewellery. Another art form which adorns this dial, and whose application in watchmaking is limited to Blancpain, is damascening. Damascening is the art of inlaying different metals into one another, and it is utilized to hand-carve fine designs on the dial of the Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh watch, following which gold is hammered into the resulting troughs.
Continuing the golden theme on the intricately finished dial of the Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh, this watch is equipped with a 45mm-wide red gold case with Blancpain’s signature double-stepped bezel, adding to the overall warmth of the design. At the helm of this watch is the ultra slim manually wound in-house caliber 15B, offering a power reserve of 40 hours. The movement has been moderately decorated with finely hand-applied Côtes de Genève along with beveling and circular graining, and can be viewed from the transparent case back.
The Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh is literally a one-of-a-kind watch, as only one is being produced. It is targeted towards devotees of Lord Ganesha who want to maintain a divine connection with him every single second of the day by having his picture on the dial of their watch. The Blancpain Villeret Métiers D’Art Ganesh comes on a brown alligator strap with a price of £111,550. blancpain.com