Flashback: the Leman series (part 1)

Let me try to provide a comprehensive overview on what has been undoubtedly one of the most important watch families made by Blancpain, the Leman series. The overview is split in three parts, we start with the first collection introduced in the mid 1990s under the name 2100 and characterized by a variety of 38mm timepieces.

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Flashback: the 2003 Fifty Fathoms 50th Anniversary

In 2003 Blancpain celebrated the 50th anniversary of an horological icon, the Fifty Fathoms and therefore the first professional diving watch introduced 1953.

To commemorate this significant milestone Blancpain released the Fifty Fathoms 50th Anniversary reference 2200A-1130-71 in a limited run of 150 pieces, split into three series with 50 watches each for Asia, Europe and North America.

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Flashback: The Trilogy series

Launched in 1996 and discontinued in 2003, the Blancpain Trilogy series was the first attempt by the Manufacture since it’s resurrection to revitalize the strong heritage from the 1950s that was initiated by the first professional diving watch Fifty Fathoms and the very rare chronograph Air Command.

 

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Flashback: Leman Flyback Split Second A’Toute Vitesse from 2005

I remember vividly my excitement when I saw the first ever 40mm Blancpain Leman watch introduced in a catalogue 2004, the Flyback Split Second Ref 2086. The watch immediately resonated with me, and for a few years to come I was not even aware of this one:

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Deconstruction Vintage Blancpain Fifty Fathoms by The Naked Watchmaker

An example of the original Fifty Fathoms divers watch manufactured in the early 1950’s.


(This watch was restored & photographed at Blancpain in their restoration workshop.)

 

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Deconstruction Rolls by The Naked Watchmaker

The Rolls watch history is linked with Blancpain and the development of the automatic wristwatches. In the 1920s, Frédéric-Emile Blancpain met the British watchmaker, John Harwood, who had been working on the concept of automatic winding in wristwatches. The two worked together and used a Blancpain base movement to develop a circular automatic wristwatch in 1926. – In 1931 F.-E.Blancpain collaborated with the French watchmaker Léon Hatot, with another form of automatic winding system. Placing the movement inside a carriage allowing it to slide back and forth, winding up the mainspring. The size of the calibre meant that a small ladie’s rectangular watch could be made, which had not been available before. The name of the watch Rolls may have been influenced by the way in which the automatic functions. It has also been suggested that F.-E. Blancpain selected the name in connection with the Rolls Royce brand.

 

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