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Blancpain Air Command Titanium Brings the Vintage-Styled Pilot’s Watch to the Regular Collection | Features

Blancpain launched the Air Command Flyback Chronograph, a well-received and considerably sudden revival of a uncommon, collectible pilots’ chronograph developed for the US Air Pressure, in 2019 as a restricted version in metal. This yr, following within the footsteps of its extra well-known military-produced timepiece, the Fifty Fathoms divers’ watch, Blancpain brings the Air Command into its common assortment, its first non-limited model boasting a titanium case and a deep blue livery adorning its dial, strap, and bezel.

The trendy Air Command takes its cues from a prototype made within the Fifties for the French Ministry of Defence, who requested a pilot’s watch with a black dial, luminous hour markers and palms, and a high-precision chronograph motion with a flyback perform. The mannequin that was finally made for the US Air Pressure — shortly after the aforementioned Fifty Fathoms was adopted by the U.S. Navy — was provided to USAF pilots by distributor Allen V. Tornek and is at the moment, based on Blancpain, “essentially the most sought-after army chronographs of the late Fifties” because of its shortage. The retro styling of the up to date mannequin features a ratcheted, bidirectionally rotating countdown bezel (right here with a blue ceramic insert), which allows an aviator to gauge the remaining time of his or her gasoline reserve in flight, and a tachymeter scale for calculating air speeds primarily based on a 1,000-meter distance. That scale encircles a sunburst blue dial (slightly than the black dial of the classic watch and the 2019 mannequin) whose numerals, markers and palms are handled with Tremendous-LumiNova for optimum legibility in a darkened cockpit. Two finely snailed subdials at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock tally 30 elapsed chronograph minutes and 12 chronograph hours, respectively.

Additionally true to the Air Command’s Fifties ancestor are the box-type sapphire crystals, one over the huge dial opening, the opposite behind the 42.5-mm case, product of satin-brushed grade 23 titanium (a kind of titanium hardly ever utilized in watchmaking). The latter crystal gives a showcase for the motion, Blancpain’s manufacture Caliber F388B, a variation on the Caliber F385 that powers such fashions because the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph. With a lightning-quick stability frequency of 5 Hz, the self-winding motion permits the built-in stopwatch perform to measures elapsed instances to 1/10-second intervals. The chronograph’s vertical clutch allows the central seconds hand to snap easily into motion and seamlessly cease and begin time measurements, the column wheel on the coronary heart of the mechanism speaks to the motion’s classical structure, and the flyback mechanism permits instantaneous stopping and re-starting of the chronograph. Composed of 293 parts, together with 35 jewels, and holding an influence reserve of fifty hours, Caliber F388B differs from the one utilized in its steel-cased predecessor solely in its use of a conventional Blancpain openworked rotor slightly than the propellor-shaped rotor that distinguished the 2019 restricted version.

The Blancpain Air Command completes its avant-garde but military-chic look with a blue calfskin leather-based strap with white distinction stitching. The worth is $18,500.