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The Way Of Shakudõ

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Blancpain brings the Japanese art form of shakudõ forward with a series of unique pieces.

Renowned for its engraving and enamel painting workshops as well as its damascene timepieces, Blancpain recently presented the Shakudõ technique. Japanese in origin, Shakudõ is an alloy principally composed of copper and gold, which acquires a dark patina between blue and black, according to variations in its composition and texture.

The black patina is obtained following a process called passivation, which calls for the application of a solution. This solution, which is composed of copper acetate (green gray), has been traditionally fabricated in japan where it is known as Rokushõ. According to the number of applications of the Rokushõ solution, the black becomes successively deeper and more intense.

The shakudõ was used historically among other things to create swords, decorative objects and jewelry. The artisans who practiced shakudõ often added engravings and ornaments.

Rarely seen in the world of watchmaking, blancpain has brought this art form forward to today with a series of unique pieces, which reflect the expertise of the manufacture in the practices of métiers d’art.

Four different models have been presented, combining shakudõ, engraving and damascening. Each timepiece will be exclusive, as it will reflect the individual handcrafts of the artisan and his or her style of engraving, rokushõ patina. The different resulting nuances in depth render each work truly unique.

Recognisable from his elephant’s head, the image of Ganesh is portrayed on the dial. For hindus, Ganesh is the god who conquers obstacles. He is also the god of wisdom, intelligence, prudence and the leader of the schools and academics. This is illustrated with a hand-engraved gold throne placed in the centre of the hindu motifs. Finely detailed, the ornaments rep- resented on this piece have been crafted in damascene. This technique consists of fashioning troughs upon the dial surface into which fine threads of soft metal, in this case gold, are painstakingly hammered in place, thereupon to be hand engraved.

Fully respecting the aesthetics of the Villeret collection, these models are housed in a red gold stepped bezel case of 45 mm, the diameter of which gives free reign to the creativity of Blancpain’s craftsmen.

Through the sapphire case back, one can gaze upon the hand-wound caliber 15B decorated with hand applied Côtes de Genève (Geneva stripes).

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