MITRAJIT BHATTACHARYA Publisher & President, Chitralekha Group and President, The Horologists.

Haute Horlogerie is all about combining the art and science of watchmaking skills. And it gets even more sought-after if you can add emotion to it. That’s what Blancpain’s Métiers d’Art studio has done with a newer version of a unique timepiece bearing the image of Lord Ganesh, bringing together fine engraving, damascening and shakudō work, launched during the recently concluded Ganesh festival.

The predecessor of this Ganesh themed watch won the Artistic Crafts prize in the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2015. The black patina of the dial is created using the shakudō technique. 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. The dial base presents another art form, damascening, whose application to watchmaking is also exclusive to Blancpain. The fine designs are hand-carved into the surface of the dial, following which gold is hammered into the resulting troughs. The images themselves are fine gold hand engravings that are held in place without the use of adhesives.

The watch itself is part of Blancpain’s Villeret Collection. Its 45 mm red gold case with Blancpain’s signature double-stepped bezel houses hand-wound in-house Caliber 15B. The transparent case-back showcases the movement finishing featuring finely hand-applied Côtes de Genève along with beveling and circular graining.

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