Blancpain has unveiled a new limited edition of its world-exclusive wristwatch equipped with a traditional Chinese calendar to celebrate the lunar New Year of Rooster. The Blancpain Traditional Chinese Calendar is a new limited edition timepiece.
The dial’s hours, minutes and the Gregorian calendar are presented along with the main indications of the Chinese calendar including a traditional double-hour indication, day, month with indication of leap months, signs of the zodiac, as well as the five elements and the 10 celestial stems. The combination of the latter with the 12 animals of the zodiac that represent the terrestrial branches follows the sixty-year cycle that is central to Chinese culture. The moon phase, a key element in Blancpain complete calendars, are also presented and play a particularly important role in this model, given the link between the lunar cycle and traditional Chinese months.
Contrary to the Gregorian solar calendar which uses the solar day as the base unit, the traditional Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, meaning a solar calendar with the lunar cycle (29.53059 days) as its base unit. By contrast, in the Chinese calendar a leap month must be added. This means that the year is either shorter or (periodically) longer than the solar year, and accounts for the changing date of Chinese new year.
“The combination of the latter with the 12 animals of the zodiac that represent the terrestrial branches follows the 60-year cycle that is central to Chinese culture,” explains the brand. And given that the moonphase is a signature complication of Blancpain, as a maison it is suited to the lunisolar basis of the Chinese calendar.