Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Blancpain pays tribute to the iconic Ladybird timepiece by renaming its feminine watch collection Ladybird and unveils the Ladybird Colors high jewelry timepiece that features handcrafted high-end gem setting of 59 diamonds (totaling over 2 carats) on mother of pearl dial, bezel, lugs and crown.
Blancpain made a mark in women’s history when Betty Fiechter was appointed as the first female CEO of a leading watch company in 1932. Her leadership paved the way for Blancpain to embrace the feminine presence of the watch industry with the creation of the first automatic wristwatch for women, The Rolls, and the original Ladybird model in 1956. Made by Betty Fiechter and Jean-Jacques Fiechter, the original Ladybird was recognized as the world’s smallest round movement at the time. It became key for Blancpain to develop timepieces dedicated to women with innovative complications previously reserved for men.
The new Ladybird Colors resembles Betty Fiechter in the pursuit of an ideal balance between boldness and refinement. The white mother-of-pearl dial is garnished with slightly rounded applied gold Arabic numerals, sized to form an asymmetrical hour circle crowned by the number 12. A band of diamonds highlights the hour-markers while embracing the hands, those displaying the hours and minutes are shaped like hollowed-out sage leaves.
Measuring 34.9 mm in diameter, the red or white gold case is distinguished by a bezel, lugs and crown that are set with 59 diamonds totaling over 2 carats. Before placing the gems in the holes created for this purpose, the gemsetters hollow out the material using scorpers to create a thin clean-cut band of precious metal (fillet) on either side of the diamonds. Known as “recutting”, this step helps to produce a mirror effect. The diamonds are aligned one by one so that their facets reflect the light in unison. The artisans then push back the beads formed from the precious metal over the gems to hold them in place. They then manually work the separation between the beads.
The Ladybird Colors is fitted with in-house Calibre 1153 with four-day power reserve and silicon balance spring. It combines a circular-grained mainplate with chamfered, satin-brushed bridges decorated with a Côtes de Genève motif. An openworked gold oscillating weight ensures the clearest possible view of these aesthetic details.
The red gold model is available with a choice of peacock green, midnight blue, or satin-white alligator leather strap, while the white gold version comes on a lemon yellow, tangerine orange, lilac, or satin-white alligator leather strap. Each wristband is fitted with a gold pin buckle or folding clasp set with nine diamonds. Blancpain’s Ladybird Colors retails for $28,900.