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Cyclical Employment

James D. Malcolmson

Rather than produce yet another decorative dragon motif or similar theme aimed at the growing Chinese watch market, Blancpain has had the good sense to turn the Chinese lunar calendar over to its complication developers as a pressing horological problem. Blancpain’s Traditional Chinese Calendar ($87,800) is far more complex than a perpetual calendar mechanism (the Gregorian calendar date is also displayed by a central hand) because it must account for the irregular cycles of the Chinese calendar. More than 20 fine linear springs are employed in this duty. A dial at 9 o’clock displays the lunar months as well as the irregular leap month that determines the date of the Chinese New Year. The 10-year elemental and celestial cycles are displayed at 3 o’clock. The watch, which also contains a traditional Chinese hour dial and zodiac aperture, is clearly one of the most ambitious calendar complications ever created, and yes, there is also a dragon engraved on the rotor for good measure.

Blancpain, 877.520.1735, www.blancpain.com

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