INTRODUCING: The Blancpain Air Command delivers new pilot’s chronographs under 37mmHenry Zwartz
Blancpain’s Air Command series is getting two new options for the range in titanium and red gold. They’re smaller than the previous 42mm-plus sized versions we are used to, and are being marketed as more “feminine”. But these watches could be great for anyone seeking vintage-esque dimensions, or who, like me, usually prefer watches on the smaller side. For make no mistake these are two very good-looking chronographs.
Blancpain’s Air Command collection is an impressive series of technically accomplished and handsome chronographs by the 287-year-old watch manufacturer (Blancpain being founded in its original iteration in 1735).
The aesthetics draw on the military chronographs of the 1940s and early 1950s, a style that’s also on display with other brands like Hanhart and IWC.
The collection of 42.5mm sized chronographs is now seeing the addition of two sub 37mm options, one in a high grade 23 titanium, the other in gold. The case sits at a svelte 36.2mm x 11.5mm with 18mm lug widths.
Though we don’t have the individual weights of each watch, the use of such a high grade titanium in a chronograph will no doubt make that particular model wear exceptionally lightly while also retaining great robustness.
The case has a beautiful alternating satin-brushed top and polished finishing on the flanks. The models offer two distinct timing methods, a flyback chronograph and countdown bezel.
Moving to the watch face, we have a classic layout with counters and tachymeter scale on a sunburst dark blue dial, piston-type chronograph pushers and a glassbox-style sapphire crystal.
The series is inspired by a rare chronograph that the watch manufacturer made in the 1950s and the storied aesthetics of that age are clearly on display, albeit expressed with the advantages of modern tech. Depending on which model you opt for, the hands look to be either gold or titanium, matching the respective case material.
Speaking of tech, the bezel insert is thoroughly 21st century, being ceramic. The F188B movement is an automatic with 40 hours power reserve, with vertical clutch, silicon balance spring, and column-wheel system helping provide a smooth action when engaging the chronograph function and resetting the hands to zero.
Turning to the back of the case and we get a display case-back showcasing the handsome movement, including a skeletonised rotor and fine levels of finishing one would expect from Blancpain.
Perhaps the only real turn-off is the modest water resistance of 30m. This is clearly a watch designed for the air not the sea.
Blancpain Air Command pricing and availability:
The Blancpain Air Command is available now from Blancpain retailers. The titanium cased version is $24,700 AUD and the red gold cased version is $40,800 AUD
|Case Material||Titanium or Red Gold|
|Case Dimensions||36.2mm x 11.5mm|
|Power Reserve||40 hours|
|Price||$24,700 AUD / $40,800 AUD|