Owned by the Swatch Group — which also houses renowned brands such as Omega, Breguet and Longines — Blancpain is one of the world’s oldest surviving watch brands. Part of the upper echelon of Swiss luxury watchmakers and best known for its dive watches, Blancpain’s rich heritage and history can be traced to having invented the world’s first modern dive watch: the Fifty Fathoms.
And now, Blancpain has launched the latest addition to its legendary Air Command collection, The Air Command Flyback Chronograph, a faithful tribute to those desirable 1950s models, but with a few crucial twists. The modern iteration features a 42.5mm satin-brushed 23-grade titanium or 18-karat red gold case, a high-end variety rarely used in the world of watchmaking. A dual-register blue sunburst dial with a printed tachymeter scale and a titanium bi-directional countdown bezel with a blue ceramic insert provide an attractive allure.
Housed in the 42.5mm case beats the robust F388B automatic movement, which boasts a vertical column-wheel clutch configuration, with a 5hz frequency and rotor that color coordinates with the new titanium case for an additional monochromatic touch.
Born in the mid-1950s, the Air Command chronograph is probably the rarest Blancpain watch of its era. The only traces of its past come from snippets sporadically gathered at auctions where Air Command pieces have fetched stratospheric prices, as well as scattered memories from the descendants of the Blancpain family, which includes the U.S. Air Force commissioning a small number of the now-rare timepiece to American military pilots through the distributor Allen V. Tornek.
Paired with a blue calfskin leather strap with white contrast stitching, The Air Command Flyback Chronograph is out in titanium and red gold now via Blancpain’s New York City boutique and online retailers and are priced at $18,500 and $29,100, respectively.