Mother’s Day, May 8, is just a few days away, and many watch aficionados are still looking for the right timepiece gift with which to express their appreciation to moms, wives, sisters, and other important ladies in their life. As we at WatchTime.com continue to showcase notable ladies’ watches we discovered at this year’s watch fairs, we call your attention today to the latest version of the Blancpain Ladybird, a limited edition that commemorates the watch’s 60th anniversary.
When the first Blancpain Ladybird debuted, way back in 1956, it set a world record at the time as the world’s smallest round watch, with a movement, Caliber R550, that measured just 11.85 mm in diameter yet boasted a lengthy (for the era) 40-hour power reserve. To maintain the watch’s historic dimensions and distinctive aesthetics, this movement’s winding crown was moved to the back of the watch, while the pivot above its escape wheel was just 0.07 mm thick — slightly thinner than an average strand of hair. Through the years and decades since, the Ladybird has been a mainstay of Blancpain’s ladies’ watch collections, evolving with changing tastes and styles to adopt numerous variations, from entirely gem-set models to modernist versions with interchangeable straps.
This special 60th-anniversary version of the Blancpain Ladybird, unveiled at Baselworld 2016, is outfitted with a modern, self-winding movement, Caliber 6150, which remains one of the world’s smallest at 15.7 mm in diameter and 3.9 mm thick. The white-gold case, which measures a dainty 21.5 mm in diameter and 8.23 mm thick, has a bezel set with 32 diamonds. Eight additional diamonds serve as hour markers on the shimmering mother-of-pearl dial, which is adorned with an undulating “foliage” motif and openworked, droplet-shaped hands for hours and minutes.
Eight additional diamonds serve as hour markers on the shimmering dial, which is adorned with an undulating “foliage” motif and openworked, droplet-shaped hands for hours and minutes. Yet another precious stone is found on the movement’s winding rotor, which is visible, along with the rest of caliber 6150, through a clear sapphire caeback window. The new Blancpain Ladybird (Ref. 0063E-1954-55A) is limited to 60 engraved-numbered pieces and is priced at $19,300.
Blancpain is also offering two non-limited models of the Ladybird, both pictured below, which also made their debut at Baselworld 2016. One is a white-gold watch with a mother-of-pearl dial highlighted with four heart-shaped ruby hour markers and a removable charm in the shape of a reversed heart. This model (Ref. 0063-1997-58A) has a diamond-set bezel and is priced at $22,500. The other (Ref. 0063-2987-63A), in an 18k rose-gold case with a diamond-set bezel and a sunburst opaline dial, retails for $19,800. Like the limited-edition 60th anniversary model, both of these new Ladybird watches also contain the automatic Caliber 6150.