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Introducing The Blancpain Air Command Flyback Chronograph Limited Edition (Live Pics, Pricing)

Introducing The Blancpain Air Command Flyback Chronograph Limited Edition (Live Pics, Pricing)

Speedy Take

The Blancpain Air Command was initially created by Blancpain during the 1950s, and was apparently planned for use by the US Air Force, the US Navy having just embraced the 50 Fathoms jumper’s watch. The Air Command was a flyback chronograph, built to some degree along the lines of the Type 20 spec, and apparently 12 watches were made and offered to USAF pilots through Blancpain’s US merchant, Allen Tornek. It’s currently an amazingly uncommon chalice watch for vintage Blancpain gatherers – they’ve showed up at closeout once in a while. One is coming up at Phillips Hong Kong not long from now , with a gauge of $50-100,000; and before that, another (not a similar watch) pounded in 2016, additionally at Phillips (in the 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronograph closeout) for CHF 100,000 . 

The new Blancpain Air Command, 2019 edition.

The parcel notes for the two watches are practically the equivalent in the fundamentals. The inventory article for the 2016 closeout peruses, ” … researchers have stated that it was rarely sequentially fabricated or commercialized,” and afterward proceeds, “In the same way as other Swiss producers, Blancpain was hit by the quartz emergency and … needed to sell a significant number of its resources, including some incomplete watches. With just a small bunch of examples of this legendary model known to have endure, it is difficult to figure out what the specific particulars of the Air Command are.”

A vintage Blancpain Air Command, Lot 27 from Phillips’ 2016 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs auction.

It at that point proceeds to say, “Notwithstanding, as a portion of the Air commands have Blancpain-marked developments, it is conceivable that models like the one introduced here have just been amassed and fitted with a Valjoux 222 after the auction of the cases, dials, bezels and pushers and hands.” While the beginnings of the first Air Command appear to be bound to stay a secret (though on the off chance that we had records from the time, numerous energetic gatherers would without a doubt be denied of the joy of contending with one another) it was an attractive flyback chronograph, with exemplary mid-century instrument-watch great looks, and Blancpain has as far as beautifiers, remained extremely near to the first. To be sure, from the dial side, from the start it is hard to recognize one from the other. The new-for-2019 model is marginally bigger than the first (42mm, versus 42.50 for the new model). The Arabics are bigger in the new model (just like the crown), “Flyback” is available in an exceptionally quelled style on the new person, and obviously, the distinction in chronograph pusher situating parts with the more up to date development. The new model has no running seconds, with a 12 hour counter where there was a running seconds on the first; however taken overall, it’s a very devoted multiplication, directly down to the extended 3-minute markers in the 30 moment register.

Left, the first Air Command; right, the new model. 

The new watch, be that as it may, has a totally different development from the flyback Valjoux type 222 in the vintage model. It utilizes the Blancpain type F388B – this is a section wheel controlled, flyback programmed chronograph with vertical grasp, and which runs at 5 hertz, or 36,000 vph, giving the chronograph a 1/10 of a second resolution. 

Starting Thoughts

If you will do a homage to a vintage model this is an incredible method to do it. What a ton of us love about vintage watches is, indeed, the wistfulness they can summon, obviously practically vintage watches are by and large second rate compared to their cutting edge partners, particularly with the advances in materials innovation, ointments, gaskets and seals, and development plan which the last ten or fifteen years have brought us. The mind-boggling inclination from a plan angle, from current brands, is by all accounts to utilize ecru Super-LumiNova (fairly unexpectedly, incidentally “ecru” really signifies “crude” or “unbleached”) with an end goal to duplicate the appearance of yellowed radium or tritium paint, however as Jason Heaton referenced in one of his accounts for us, you don’t really need to consider this to be an endeavor to wrap oneself in acquired brilliance – now, and in spite of the way that “fauxtina” is a term that is by all accounts staying put, you can as effectively view at it as simply one more shading decision on the off chance that you want. 

While the new Air Command truly prevails by and large of catching the appeal of the first vintage model, the one other niggle I can see people having with it is the propeller-formed rotor. This is such a thing that will in general come across as either an irritating piece of kitsch, or an innocuous piece of fun, contingent upon what your identity is (and perhaps on which side of the bed you escaped today). Propeller-formed twisting rotors on avionics themed watches are, similar to ecru lume, present in enormous enough numbers that I for one don’t have a problem with them however much I did even a couple of years prior (maybe this is only an indication old enough related acquiescence, yet I can’t figure out how to awaken a lot of shock about it). The rotor in the Air Command is sensibly all around done, at any rate, and the fairly calm brushed completion the red gold has been given, is wonderfully agreeable with the style in which the remainder of the development has been done. A propeller on a watch whose plan began during the 1950s is somewhat of a time misplacement, as by the mid 1950s most air powers were falling over themselves attempting to switch as quick as conceivable to fly aircraft, yet it’s as yet an attractive looking rotor.

All acclaim, by chance, to Blancpain for excluding a date window – typically I don’t care about them however a date guichet would have been jarringly strange on this watch (same for adhering to a two-register plan). Generally, this is an exceptionally aware just as reliable homage to quite possibly the most intriguing, to avoid mentioning secretive, vintage Blancpain watches, and the utilization of current materials and an advanced development adds fundamentally to the allure. These will be delivered in somewhat bigger numbers than the not very many enduring vintage Air Command watches – Blancpain is offering this watch as a 500 piece restricted edition.

The Basics

Brand: Blancpain

Model: Air Command, ref. AC01-1130-63A

Diameter: 42.50mm

Thickness: 13.77mm

Case Material: steel, with two way pivoting steel bezel with artistic supplement; sapphire gems front and back

Dial Color: dark with tachymeter scale

Indexes: Arabic with ecru Super-LumiNova

Water Resistance: 3 bar/30 meters

Strap/Bracelet: calf cowhide, 22mm

The Movement

Caliber: F388B

Functions: time; flyback chronograph

Diameter: 31.80mm

Thickness: 6.65mm

Power Reserve: 50 hours

Winding: automatic

Frequency: 36,000 vph

Jewels: 35

Additional Details: column wheel with vertical clutch

Estimating & Availability

Price: CHF 18,500

Availability: TBD

Limited Edition: yes, 500 pieces.

For more, visit blancpain.com.

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