Blancpain, the world's oldest watch brand, added another model to its re-issue collection. The Air Command, which was introduced the first time in the 50s, has a long history and its own fan base such as Fifty Fathoms, another legendary model of the brand. The 2019 model Air Command blends all the technical improvements with the classic spirit of Blancpain.
The origins of the Blancpain Air Command Chronograph date back to the 1950s. The Swiss manufacturer, after the introduction of their great dive watch, Fifty Fathoms, started to work for a chronograph model to be used in the blue skies. The target client was the United States Navy. Somehow, the army was not convinced to take the watch, and after some slight changes, the Air Command was put away for good. Result; just a handful of chronographs produced by one of the world's most prestigious watch brands. In short, Blancpain Air Command stands for the lexical meaning of rare.
In 2019, Blancpain made a great attempt to re-create this extraordinary model. A limited edition of 500 watches is a reproduction of the original model with a variety of updates. The model’s stainless steel case, measuring 42.5mm x 13.77mm (42mm for the original version), is equipped with scratch resistant sapphire crystals on both sides. The ceramic bezel that surrounds the case can rotate in both directions. Since the Air Command is not designed as a dive watch, it is water resistant to 30 meters only. The tachymetric scale around the dial with a bi-compax chronograph layout is also one of the nostalgic and unique details of the model.
Blancpain Air Command is powered by the automatic Caliber F388B, which is also used in the brand’s other chronographs. 50 jewels movement measures 31,8mm x 6,65mm, operates at 36000vph and offers a 50-hour power reserve when fully wound. The chronograph is equipped with the Flyback feature and the small second indicator, which was at 6 o'clock position in the original model’s dial, is deleted in this model to have the bi-compax chronograph layout.
The list price of the model, which will be presented with an aged-look brown leather strap and stainless steel buckle, is announced as CHF 18,500. Considering the importance of the model and the limited edition number, it would be good to hurry up for those who intend to have it.