Last week, Blancpain’s U.S. Brand Manager, David Gely, brought one of the brand’s master engravers to its New York City flagship boutique at 645 5th Avenue to host an intimate evening cocktail party and to show off the skills of one of the manufacture’s in-house artisans. Visiting from Switzerland, engraver Christophe Bernardot demonstrated for guests the art of hand engraving on a watch dial, highlighting the incredible level of manual dexterity required to execute these miniaturized masterpieces. His work was also shown, through a magnified microscope, on a larger screen to give viewers a close-up look at how masters like Bernardot ply their craft.
The event was a showcase for Blancpain’s Métiers d’Art collection, which the brand approaches as a combination of miniaturized art and mechanical watchmaking at the highest level. Each of the Blancpain timepieces on display in showcases at the event is one of a kind, featuring a unique decoration that an individual client has requested. For example, the customer could ask for a specific landscape to be represented on the dial, and Blancpain will then propose a design for it. The artistic techniques on display included engraving, damasquinage and the ancient Japanese art of shakudō. Scroll down to see photos taken at the event.