Founded by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain in Switzerland in 1735, Blancpain is the oldest surviving watchmaking brand in the world with legends such as the Fifty Fathoms (the first purpose-built diving watch, which was introduced in 1953) and the 1735 Grande Complication (the most complicated watch ever made when it was launched in 1991) to its name.
Although the brand went dormant during the 1970s quartz crisis, it was thankfully revived the following decade with a singular focus on beautifully crafted mechanical watches. In fact, a famous Blancpain watches slogan is: “Since 1735, there has never been a quartz Blancpain watch. And there never will be.”
The Blancpain Leman was one of the brand’s most popular collections throughout the 2000s, housing a wide assortment of models ranging from ultra-slim watches with simple dials to sporty chronographs to grand complications. The watch took its name from Western Europe’s largest lake, the Léman (better known as Lake Geneva), which was visible from Blancpain’s then-new premises. While the Leman has since been discontinued (the Blancpain Villeret is the worthy successor), this expansive Blancpain watch range has left quite a legacy behind. One especially impressive piece is the Blancpain Leman Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar ref. 2652 watch, which is what we’re highlighting today.
Brief History of the Blancpain Leman Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar
In the year 2000, Blancpain unveiled the Caliber 5625, which was the world’s first automatic perpetual calendar tourbillon movement with an 8-day power reserve.
While the perpetual calendar tourbillon had of course already existed, they were mostly manual winding ones. Therefore, a self-winding version, especially one with a lengthy power reserve, was not only mechanically remarkable but also exceptionally practical. The purpose of the one-week-plus power reserve is to keep the watch running (even if it’s off your wrist for a few days) to avoid having to reset all the indications.
To house the notable movement, Blancpain created the Leman Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar watch, also known as the Léman Tourbillon Quantième Perpétuel 8 Jours. The watch was first available with 38mm cases and eventually with 40mm cases — in various precious metals. Among all the variations, we are especially partial to the more compact 38mm Blancpain Leman Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar ref. 2625 in 18k rose gold.
Blancpain Leman Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar 2625
The Blancpain Leman Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar 2625-3618A-53B features a 38mm case (12.4mm thick), fashioned from 18k rose gold. Like all Leman cases, it includes a double-stepped bezel, which adds a nice touch to the look of the piece. The left case band is proudly emblazoned with the BLANCPAIN name while the slightly curved lugs are thoughtfully designed to fit comfortably around the wrist. The right side of the case is home to the grooved winding crown, which is also carved with Blancpain’s insignia.
As this is a grand complication, the dial of the Blancpain Leman Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar is packed with indicators, displays, and mechanisms. First of all, there’s the flying tourbillon mechanism at 12 o’clock that forgoes the traditional bridge architecture and opts for a cage instead to provide an unobstructed view of the captivating whirling mechanism.
There are also three subdials at the 3, 6, and 9 positions, which serve to display the current day, month, and date, respectively. Plus, look closer at the dial and you’ll spot a power reserve indicator on the bottom right (that spans from one to eight days) and a leap year cycle window embedded in the subdial at 6 o’clock. Since the Blancpain ref. 2625 is a perpetual calendar, the indicators will not have to be corrected (as long as the watch keeps running) until the year 2100, which is when the leap year will be skipped.
However, if you do need to correct the indicators, there are discreet pushers on the sides of the case: a date corrector at 4 o’clock, a month and leap year corrector at 8 o’clock, and a day corrector at 2 o’clock. At the center of the dial is the pair of skeletonized rose gold hands, which sweep around the dial to point to the rose gold square faceted hour markers. The hour markers are further accented with adjacent luminous plots for legibility in the dark.
The dial is protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, as is the back of the watch. The transparent caseback means we can see the groundbreaking self-winding Blancpain Caliber 5625 movement powering the watch, which is comprised of 308 components including 29 jewels. The movement’s gold rotor is not only beautifully decorated and intricately finished but it also features a carved-out Blancpain logo at its core. Simply sublime. The rose gold edge of the caseback is also engraved with the watch’s unique production number.
Completing the striking style of the rose gold Blancpain Leman Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar ref. 2625 watch is an elegant brown crocodile leather strap, furnished with a matching rose gold buckle.
Blancpain – A Tradition of Innovation
As a watchmaker of high-end Swiss-made watches, especially of high horology pieces, Blancpain has worked hard to earn its pristine reputation.
Those in the know, such as seasoned watch collectors and knowledgeable enthusiasts, understand that Blancpain is one of the best in the business at making complicated luxury timepieces.
Blancpain proudly asserts its tradition of innovation by continuously striving to bring something new to the centuries-old watchmaking space. And the pioneering Leman Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar reference 2625 is an exquisite illustration of Blancpain’s commitment to mechanical, craftsmanship, and design excellence.
Gray & Sons, At Your Service
If you have any other questions you’d like to ask about this fine pre-owned Blancpain Leman Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar timepiece or other used Blancpains watches, feel free to reach out to Gray & Sons and our in-house watch experts will be happy to assist. Not only is Gray & Sons an expert in selling, trading, consigning, and buying pre-owned and vintage Blancpain watches with over 40 years of experience, but we also operate an independent service facility where we offer repairing and restoration of vintage and pre-owned Blancpain watches.