The Good Life

Blancpain Le Brassus

| From Michael Jordan, July/August 2005

For some men, a watch is meant for keeping time, and if that basic purpose is fulfilled, little else is needed. Others want more than just the hours and minutes, and seek tradition and style in a wristwatch, not to mention precision technology and intricate mechanisms. The Le Brassus collection from Blancpain delivers on all these fronts and even throws in a working humidor for good measure.

Named after the farming town in the Jura region of Switzerland, which Blancpain has called home since its revival in 1983, the Le Brassus collection combines time-honored craft with modern ingenuity and technology. Like the artisans who relocated to the region from Geneva in the eighteenth century, Blancpain specializes in complication watches, and it's these elaborate mechanisms that make a Le Brassus watch so alluring.

So which complication is right for you? That may be difficult to decide. The self-winding, split-seconds flyback chronograph watch (pictured here in platinum, $46,900) records split times with an extra split-seconds hand and lets you, with a push of a button, return the chrono hand to zero, where it restarts upon release. The watch also has a perpetual calendar that keeps the day, month and year, plus the phases of the moon, even during a leap year. Other complications in the Le Brassus series include GMT, which keeps two time zones; Tourbillion, which compensates performance variations that arise from the earth's gravitational pull; and Equation Marchante, which keeps both mean and real solar time. All of the watches in the Le Brassus collection, which range from $24,600 to $785,000, are available in platinum or red gold, and there's one with a diamond face.

As for the humidors, each Le Brassus watch comes packaged in an ebony burl box suitable for storing cigars. And if you buy through Blancpain, the company will give you a humidifier and hygrometer for free, allowing you to convert your watch box into a fully functional cigar saver. Now what could be better if you're a gentleman cigar lover in the market for a high-end complication watch?

Visit www.blancpain.com.

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