Blancpain is said to be one of the oldest watch companies in the world. Originally it was founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, as you can see it in its dial. Unlike its honorary record, Blancpain is not an eye-catching brand very much such as Omega, IWC and Rolex. Rather than that, Blancpain is well known as luxury watch brand by limited die-hard fans. That also should be expected, Blancpain is a member of Swatch Group and it is positioned as highest range in Swatch Group lineup. Additionally, you might have also known that Vladimir Putin is a big fan of Blancpain.
What is the best collection in Blancpain? You may answer “That has to be Fifty Fathoms.” Yes, Fifty Fathoms is famous and polpular as the first dive watch (second one is well-known dive watch Submariner by Rolex), and even great with no doubt. However I have been wondering that Blancpain, its qualification actually can be seen in classic collection. That is the reason why I believe New Classic Ultra Slim should be the first review on this website.
Overview – Blancpain New Classic Ultra Slim
New Classic is one of the most terrific collection by Blancpain. It seemed to be produced around 1990s-2000s and nowadays it is already discontinued unfortunately. New Classic had many variations in different case material, dial design and function. This Ref. 2021-3630-55 has black dial and red gold case and it only exists 300 pieces all over the world as limited collection in 1999.
Having just two hands (hour/minute) with crocodile leather strap, 2021-3630-55 looks quite classic. Rose gold double stepped (double pomme) bezel and thin case even highlight it. More than anything, Breguet arabic numerals make it extremely elegant and even little bit coquettish.
The whole case is made of rose gold, again. Like you may have known, the name of gold case is categorized by the composition.
Nowadays many brands are more likely to use pink gold or yellow gold than red gold, Blancpain is the one who tends to use red gold. In my opinion, red gold case goes pretty well with black dial so it is literally fantastic point of this limited watch.
Case diameter is approximately 36mm. With thinking that this is a thin classic watch which has just two hands, I must say that 36mm is the absolutely best size. Nowadays we have a lot of classic design watches which are around 40mm case diameter but most of them have a lack of proportion, if I’m forced to say. In other words, the appropriate case diameter should be decided by whole components balance on the dial, not by the latest craze.
Lug-to-Lug Height is approximately 40mm. The lug length is not long very much even in comparison with this moderate case diameter. You are not going to see that this lugs stick out from your wrist unless you have really thin one.
Needless to say, it is really important to consider case thickness for classic watches. Especially dress watches have to go with your cuffs, shirt and suit. Too thick watch may make you look dull. With this watch, the case thickness is only 6.2mm. As Blancpain is well known as a marvelous watch maker especially in thin watches, this New Classic Ultra Slim is still competitive against modern thin watches.
When it comes to consider Blancpain’s dial, I guess Opaline dial is the most famous. Additionally, Blancpain has also been using “Grand Feu” enamel recently. On the other hand, matte finished black dial has been used for this watch, which is created in the late 1990s.
Applied indices can be seen beautifully on that black dial. 3, 6, 9, 12 are highlighted by Arabic numerals, others are showed by dagger indices. As you can see, Arabic numerals are not just normal, but so-called Breguet numerals. Those coquettish style of applied indices are definitely the excellent part of this watch, like I will mention in “Focused” review later.
New Classic Ultra Slim has a transparent case back as some of other Blancpain’s watch does. Well-finished Blancpain Caliber 21 movement based on Frederic Piguet 21 which is quite famous caliber as long-life, thin movement.
Because of manual winding watch, you need to wind this watch every single day. This crown, which can be moved literally smooth may make you feel better. Such kind of comfortable feeling should be needed especially for luxury watch, I am pretty sure.
Buckle is also made of red gold as same as its case along with brand name engraving. Quite personally, Blancpain’s deployant buckle is not my favorite very much so it was really good for me that Blancpain implemented a normal buckle for this watch. Buckle width is 16mm and lug width is 19mm with normal spring bar system so you can change it as you like. In this picture, I have already changed brown crocodile belt from original black crocodile.
- Brand: Blancpain
- Model: New Classic Ultraslim Limited Edition
- Reference: 2021-3630-55
- Movement: Blancpain Cal.21 (Based on Frederic Piguet Cal.21)
- Remarks: Limited 300 pieces, Discontinued
- Expected List Price: ¥1,210,000
- Weight: 48g
Interested in next “focused” article? Try checking this!