Bianchet is a new independent Swiss watch brand founded by husband and wife team Rodolfo and Emmanuelle Festa Bianchet in 2017. Sharing a passion for tonneau-shaped watches and ultra-contemporary aesthetics and materials, the couple launched its first watch, the Tourbillon 1.618, in 2021. Incorporating a big date complication, Bianchet introduces its second watch, the Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618. A limited edition of 200 pieces, the latest model will be showcased at the upcoming Geneva Watch Days event.
Although there are only two watches in the brand’s collection, Bianchet has demonstrated a preference for streamlined tonneau-shaped cases, something they share with brands like Richard Mille, Franck Muller, Cvstos, et al. Like the inaugural Tourbillon 1.618, the new watch flaunts a curved tonneau case crafted from a carbon fibre composite infused with titanium powder (titanium-dust-high-density-carbon). This highly resistant and lightweight material is composed of 500 compressed layers of 0.03mm thick carbon fibre injected with titanium powder to produce subtle reflections. The marbled patterns of the case are created by the orientation of the carbon fibres arranged at 45 and 90 degrees. Light-blue rubber is used as a gasket on the case and to sheathe the crown, adding an attractive touch of colour. The natural vulcanised rubber strap – in blue or black – accentuates the sleek, streamlined profile of the watch and is attached to the wrist with a titanium folding clasp.
The case, which has a diameter of 43mm, a length of 51mm and a thickness of 14.35mm, weighs just 55 grams (excl. strap). It might be lightweight, but the brand claims this is one of the few tonneau-shaped carbon watches capable of withstanding pressures of 100 metres and shocks of 5000G. The screwed crown guards, caseback and blue rubber gasket reinforce the case.
One thing Rodolfo and Emmanuelle like to highlight is how the design of their cases and movements incorporate the mathematical principles of Fibonacci’s Golden Ratio. The numeric designation 1.618 on Bianchet’s two tourbillons directly references Fibonacci’s geometric ratio. Perfect proportions are the name of the game, and the flying tourbillon and big date complications of the B1.618 are perfectly positioned according to the golden triangles used to design the movement. The architecture of the bridges originates at the central point of the tourbillon cage to follow the curves of Fibonacci’s spiral. The bridges on the reverse side also form concentric golden circles with diameters respecting the ratio of 1.618, while the dial-side elements – tourbillon cage, hour wheel and big date – are positioned according to the geometric rule of golden circles.
The flying tourbillon, with its titanium cage, performs its rotations at 6 o’clock, while the big date complication is displayed on two separate discs and stands out on the dial thanks to its blue frame and white numbers. The outermost flange bears the minutes track with blue accents at 5-min intervals. A second openworked flange attached to the minutes track has white Super-LumiNova dots indicating the hours. The baton hour and minute hands pick up on the blue accents of the case and dial.
The hand-wound calibre powering the B1.61 8 is a proprietary movement assembled and finished by hand in the Bianchet workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Beating at 21,600vph, the balance wheel has adjustment weights. When the barrel is fully wound, the power reserve is approx. 90 hours.
The Bianchet Flying Tourbillon Grande Date B1.618 is a limited edition of 200 pieces, and customers can choose from any of the eight colour variations available. The price is CHF 65,500 excluding taxes. For more information, please visit bianchet.com.