THE LOVELY BLANCPAIN 1106


GETS A NEW BACK


BY WALT ODETS
















For a company making a mere 4,000 or so watches a year, Blancpain and partner, Piguet, are producing a remarkable range of watches. With the notoriety of the chronographs, and particularly the successful Flyback, some of the more interesting watches can be easily lost on the casual public. One such watch is the lovely Ref. 1106. A hand-wound watch with power reserve display and date, the 1106 also offers 100 hours of power reserve. It is an original watch and houses an original movement, the Piguet caliber 1106.














































THE MOVEMENT

The caliber 1106 is an unusual movement that, in many ways, perfectly typifies the elegance and craft of the workshops of F. Piguet. Based on the automatic caliber 1151, the 1106 shares the barrel bridge, part of the wheel train bridge and the balance and escapement. Where the automatic winding mechanism is placed in the 1151, the 1106, instead provides the power reserve train and differential. The caliber 1106 runs in 24 jewels (instead of the 1151′s 29), and is 2.8 mm thick (versus 3.25). Both are 21,600 bph, and 12 lignes (26.8 millimeter).

As illustrated left, we see (1) the barrel bridge; (2) the pivots of the twin barrels; (3) the wheel train bridge; and (4) the power reserve mechanism. As with all Piguet movements, the integration of various components is intelligent, elegant, and
craftsman like.



































SOME OTHER DETAILS

Blancpain’s 2000 and 2100 series cases represent very substantial improvements over the “classic” series cases. The 2000 case of the Ref. 1106 is a snap back (for thinness), but is remarkably stiff and well-constructed. Note right the use of (four) gold lugs integral with the case band (rather than a separate, base metal, ring) to support the movement.

The rest of the case, the dial, and the buckle offer
first-class production.

As with most Piguet movements, the caliber 1106 delights in its wonderful and finely-executed details. At right, the elaborated margin between barrel and wheel train bridges.

The intersection of three different surface finishes.

The perfectly finished twin mainspring barrels, running in series.

The elegant attachment of two bridges and the balance cock.
















































































OH, AND THE BACK

The originality and beauty of the caliber 1106 left me reluctant to leave it with the original solid case back.

For details on production of a display back for the 1106, please continue to Part 2 of the article.







CONTINUE TO PART 2 OF THE ARTICLE


 
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