… but (to me) no less desirable since it has grown on me a lot and one week ago entered my modest collection…
With a lot of pleasure I introduce the Blancpain L’Evolution GMT Reveil, reference 8841-1134-53B, 43,5mm steel case, 13,75mm height, 10atm water resistance, brought to life by calibre 1241H with 407 parts and 40h power reserve.
The combination of GMT funtion with alarm was introduced by Blancpain in the mid 2000s as a Leman model, parallel to the Breguet Reveil du Tsar which uses the same movement. Later calibre 1241 found it’s way into the Villeret series and the here shown L’Evolution.
The L’Evolution series was designed to be the successor of the Leman, hence the L in the name. The extremely well executed case was created from scratch, featuring removable lugs. The Blancpain Leman typical double ring bezel found a new interpretation as a stepped flat bezel. The size of 43,5 mm was chosen to be able to house various Blancpain eight day movements that had been developed at the same time.
The case pays tribute to the Leman series with its sensual curves, newly designed crowns and a case back that is very close to the predecessor. Because of the controversial nature of the L’Evolution dials (we’ll get to that in a minute), the case probably never got the attention it deserves, so let’s take a closer look:
The dial pays tribute to the Leman series as well, albeit in a secondary aspect. As the Leman did, the L’Evolution features multi level dials that in reality generate unbelievable depths. In the L’Evolution however thise multi level dials lose all their modesty and try a Blancpain untypical path. Interestingly enough, the dial of the L’Evolution GMT Reveil offers more legibility than it’s Leman pendant, which is mainly due to the fact that the date window got relocated to the eight o’clock position and the GMT function is indicated at the outer rim of the dial.
Calibre 1241H with it’s 407 components is different to many other alarm watches since it uses a hammer on a coil chime instead of hitting the inner case. Blancpain has used a beautiful and subtle decoration for the movement, as you can see here:
So, how does the L’Evolution GMT Reveil wear? Actually, it sits very comfortably on the wrist, which is also helped by the position of the screw in crowns. The watch originally comes on a matte black alligator strap on a very solid double folding clasp (principally the same we know from the Fifty Fathoms), but I thought I’d prefer a different solution and put it on a custom made Blancpain strap that compliments the dial a bit more.
Closing the report I’d like to get back to the dial, which so far did not get a lot of coverage. Now, already my Leman watches with their multi level dials got me quite frustrated when it comes to showing the depths of those dials in photos. Capturing true three dimensional character is quite a challenge, and the L’Evolution GMT Reveil does not make it easier at all. Nevertheless, I continue to give it a shot, so here are some close ups that hopefully give you a better impression of the details and their flawless execution, even if it’s clearly not a design for everyone:
The new Blancpain catalogue tells us, that this timepiece and other L’Evolution models, all Leman timepieces and also the Villeret GMT Reveil are discontinued. For me that meant it was time to find one of the probably most controversial but beautifully executed watches the Manufacture has done and add it to the collection. Also, this gave me the opportunity to share a closer look with you 😉
I hope you enjoyed the introduction and the photos!