Monochrome Watches
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Blancpain Expands the Air Command Collection With a Smaller 36.2mm Model

A watch intended on paper for a feminine audience... but that will certainly resonate far wider.

| By Brice Goulard | 3 min read |

When presented in 2019 in its steel version, the first re-edition of the legendary Blancpain Air Command made a sensational entry on the market. Faithful, greatly designed, with a truly cool vintage flair and solid mechanics under the dial, this inaugural limited edition became a hit. Last year, the brand expanded the collection with two new models, part of the permanent collection. Equipped with a blue dial and encased in titanium or gold, this 42.5mm model is now joined by scaled-down versions that, apart from the different size, look exactly the same. And if the brand advertises them as feminine models, I’m sure the new Blancpain Air Command Flyback Chronograph 36.2mm will resonate in many men’s minds too. 

Design-wise and from a certain distance, the resemblance between this new 36.2mm version and the classic Blancpain Air Command is uncanny. Some proportions or details might have changed a bit, but basically, we’re looking at a downsized model, no more. And that is a very good thing. No flower, diamonds or feminine-oriented clichés here. Just a well-designed, instrumental model that can be worn by active women, or by men too. After all, 36mm used to be the norm of the industry for many decades.

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All the great attributes that we’ve come to like in the 42.5mm watch are back. The design is thus greatly inspired by a timepiece that was offered to American military pilots through the distributor Allen V. Tornek, for whom Blancpain is thought to have created a dozen watches as prototypes. The vintage Blancpain Air Command can be described as a pilot-oriented chronograph version of the Fifty Fathoms, with a flyback chronograph Valjoux 222, a 42mm steel case, a bi-directional bezel, a black dial with luminous Arabic numerals and hands, a tachymeter scale.

The new, downsized Blancpain Air Command Flyback Chronograph is thus sharing the same overall design and finishing, now in a more compact case of 36.2mm in diameter and 11.50mm in height. Available in grade 23 titanium or in 18k red gold, like its bigger brother, the case is decorated with brushed surfaces and polished bevels. The domed sapphire crystal is framed by a bi-directional blue polished ceramic bezel with a luminous 60-minute scale. The back also features a sapphire crystal revealing the movement.

As with the case, the dial of the new 36.2mm Air Command remains extremely close to the larger version, with a bi-compax layout, large Arabic numerals, luminous hands and a series of scales on the periphery with a tachymeter scale. The dial is also here executed in sunray-brushed blue, with the hands matching the colour of the case. All elements are covered in light cream-coloured Super-LumiNova. The watch is worn on a matte blue calf leather closed by a pin buckle, either in titanium or gold.

Under the sapphire crystal is the in-house calibre F188, an integrated automatic chronograph movement, with column-wheel and a vertical clutch, ensuring stutter-free activation of the chronograph seconds hand, as well as smooth and optimal stop/start functions. This movement runs at a 3Hz frequency and boasts a 40h power reserve (vs. 5Hz and 50h). It features a silicon balance spring and, finally, it also comes with a retour-en-vol (flyback) function.

The Blancpain Air Command Flyback Chronograph 36.2mm is released as part of the permanent collection and will be priced at EUR 17,500 in titanium and EUR 28,920 in red gold. For more details, please visit

8 responses

  1. Every aspects of this watch are great, except the 30m water-resistance, which is very silly

  2. 40 h power reserve, 30m water resistant, 17500 eur in titanium, numbers are not helping Blancpain on this watch !!!! It will be a big no for me !!! And by the way i think 38mm would have been far more attractive and coherent….

  3. Dream watch…but agree with the 30m water-resistance been not enough, they would have sold these buy the bucket if 100m, as I think is the norm.

  4. I am with Pierre on this one . Too small too little water resistance too expensive but a good looking watch

  5. Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo Chrono GMT also has all these extra things: a GMT function, 15 extra hours on the power reserve, 5mm less in height, a record-breaking calibre, and an original design, for 600 EUR more list price. That’s the version I like; there’s also the blue dial, steel one, which is only 200 EUR more, and has 100m water resistance.
    Shame – at 10-11K EUR this might be worth it.

  6. Not expected a dressing but not diving watch with leather strip, 30m may suffice, for today’s specification is really far from satisfaction…

  7. Do you toxic turds just scroll around looking for things to moan about?

  8. Having a bad day Tim, and decided to take it out on human beings instead of inanimate objects?


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