Introduced in 2019 with the AC01 limited edition, the collection Air Command now quickly expands. Let’s take a first look at the brand new 36.2mm Air Command AC03, which was launched in two versions today.
Rather surprisingly Blancpain has chosen to create a smaller version of the AC02. While there have been small Air Command timepieces in the 1990s within the Monaco Yacht Show editions, there have been none ever with substantial historic roots to the iconic predecessor from 1957.
So we actually talk about a modern take on a historic design, with size, materials and colors fulfilling contemporary desires, but case shape and dial layout referencing the origins of the Air Command. Actually, the AC03 models mirror the AC02, just in a smaller size.
A significantly smaller version of a given timepiece often runs the risk of distorted proportions. Not so in this case: Blancpain has clearly succeeded in widely keeping the balance of the Air Command design and therefore offers a compelling alternative for smaller wrists. Yes, the diameter/height ratio is of course a bit different, as is the relation between dial and bezel width.
Here you see two official beauty shots of the Air Command AC03-12B40-63 in titanium grade 23 and reference AC03-36B40-63 in satin brushed red gold:
The timepiece features caliber F188B, of course based on the well known F185, stripped of the running seconds and the date function. The movement consists of 255 parts and offers a power reserve of 40 hours.
The decoration of caliber F188B mirrors the larger AC02‘s F388B, as does the 18ct gold rotor:
Another similarity is the blue dial & ceramic bezel in combination with either satin brushed Titanium Grade 23 or red gold.
With 36.2mm in diameter and 11.5mm in height the Air Command AC03 is a strong option for small wrists. Despite the smaller size it promises to be an eye-catcher, with as beautiful details as the classic size AC02. One might argue that a 38mm size would have been more universally attractive, though.
The Air Command AC03 is available immediately as a regular collection model in both versions.
Let me add the official press release and the technical sheet:
You can find the new Air Command AC03 here on the Blancpain website. A recent hands-on essay with the titanium AC02 is available here in the blog, the first impressions on both AC02 timepieces can be found here and my most recent essay on the Air Command AC01 here.
All photos credit Blancpain.