Style / November 2017

Blancpain's Theory of L-evolution

Blancpain may be more well known for its classic Villeret or Fifty Fathoms lines, but since it entered the world of motorsport in 2009, the Swiss brand has become one of the more innovative watchmakers around.

The Blancpain L-evolution Tourbillon Carrousel.

Despite being the world’s oldest watchmaker, Blancpain is a decidedly modern brand. It is well known for its classic Villeret line of dress watches, and the brand also offers a bespoke service, harking back to an era when wealthy clients would commission unique pieces, prior to mass production. But Blancpain is noted for its innovation too, and in 1953 invented the very first dive watch – the Fifty Fathoms – which went on to achieve legendary status. What it is less famous for, though, is its motorsport connection, and indeed, a line of watches that complements the brand’s involvement in one of the most competitive racing events on the planet.

Blancpain began its venture into the automotive world in 2009, when it became title sponsor of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo racing series alongside laughing its motorsport-themed L-evolution collection. A year later it became official timekeeper of the FIA GT1 Series and following that in 2011 it then launched the Blancpain Endurance Series, which continues to run to this day. Impressively, CEO Marc A. Hayek has raced in some of these events, showcasing both his multiple talents and the brand’s continued passion for speed. Now in its seventh year, the 2017 Blancpain Endurance Series culminated with a dramatic seasonal finale in Barcelona earlier this October, with Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart and Andrea Caldarelli from the Grasser Racing Team crowned champions in their Lamborghini Huracan GT3 car. As well as a big trophy and ultimate bragging rights for the year ahead, the winners were presented with a specially engraved L-evolution Flyback Chronograph watch, a highlight piece from the Swiss brand’s highly technical family of watches, which are a favourite amongst those who value the unique heritage of Blancpain, yet are yearning for something altogether more contemporary.

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Charlie Thomas

Charlie Thomas is a former staffer at The Rake.