FRESH FACES: Bianchet brings sports luxury tourbillons to the sub-£30,000 market

If you attended the last edition of Baselworld in 2019, you might have stumbled upon a brand new Swiss watchmaker, Bianchet, which debuted at the show with its G5000 Active Tourbillon, a barrel (tonneau) shaped watch with a passing resemblance to a Richard Mille but a far more more digestible price tag of under CHF 30,000.

The watchmaker followed up with a version in a titanium case, the Tourbillon B 1.618 Openwork (price CHF 30,700), and most recently the same piece in carbon fiber.

Bianchet hails from the watchmaking village of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, but the brand is shot through with Italian and French style from its co-founders Rodolfo and Emmanuelle Bianchet.

Co-founders Rodolfo and Emmanuelle Bianchet (credit Fred Merz).

Bianchet says it took three years to develop its first watch, but within a year it was competing at the GPHG Awards.

The architecture of Bianchet’s first in-house skeleton tourbillon caliber B 1.618 is inspired by the work of Italian mathematician Fibonacci on the golden ratio 1.618 and seen in its three-dimensional design of interlacing arches and circles that should, according to Fibonacci, evoke a deep sense of harmony.

The trick Bianchet has pulled off is to bring sophisticated milling processes and hand finishing to a watch that is sporty and luxurious enough to be worn on the wrist of a top professional in golf, tennis or polo.

Each watch is entirely made and hand-finished in Switzerland.

Whether in titanium or carbon fiber, the watch is light and strong, capable of resisting shocks of up to 6000G, according to the company, and has an incredible power reserve of 110 hours.

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