Created in 1924, the 24 Hours SPA has played a huge role the history of car racing. Even though the "24 Heures du Mans" precedes it by one year and is slightly more famous across the globe, the event hosted in Belgium is slowly making its way across the international scene. So much so that Blancpain, (an active member of car racing for less than 10 years) is helping with it’s image. What's more, Blancpain shows the powerful aesthetics of the L-evolution Tourbillon Carrousel from the design and production to even the Cyrillic lettering of the indexes. This piece which was first introduced in 2015 exudes the masculine side of this endurance race.
Perfect motorization and "open hoods"
Like the majority of engines in our everyday lives, car engines are just switched on and off, be it for short trips or for a road trip, or even for a long endurance race. Yet, the engines of mechanical watches are unlike those in racing cars as they are designed to never stop and the 2322V2 caliber housed in Blancpain's L-evolution Tourbillon Carrousel proves it.
Housing a carrousel and a tourbillon in the same mechanical caliber is like creating a unique complication that combines two particular regulators with the aim of attaining a higher precision. This off-kilter approach makes perfect sense within the car racing theme of the L-evolution collection. The watch features several discreet elements which remind us of the engines and chassis of racing cars, especially their frosted finish and their brand-new NAC coating. In addition, these elements have been entirely modified to perform better. The same approach has been used for the movement – whose interlacing gear trains can be admired as would the engine of a racing car with an open hood. As for the assembly of the case, the detached lugs give way to more internal angles, whose small size and perfect cuttings give the case eye-catching complexity.
Watchonista’s photo shoot and hands-on review
We found further evidence of the brand’s link with car racing during the photo shoot we organized with the L-evolution, designed to win, and the Lamborghini Huracán, an Italian supercar that succeeded the famous Gallardo in 2014. The unique setting resulted in memorable photos as it offered a very rare encounter which is certainly a first for these two monsters.
The other unusual thing was that Blancpain invited our special envoy, Marco Gabella, co-founder of the online magazine watchonista.com to test the L-evolution at the 2015 edition of the 24 Hours SPA. Here is an excerpt of our expert’s enthusiastic observation after an adrenaline-filled night spent in the “boxes" surrounded by the smell of grinding tires and the hubbub of excited fans: "The piece exudes a salient ambivalence between haute horlogerie and motor sports. While my first thought was about the car race and the efficiency it radiates, the eye is immediately drawn to the animations of the tourbillon and the carrousel before focusing on a universe of exceptional watchmaking".
Natural car-watch filiation
Blancpain made its debut in car racing in 2009. From 2011 to date, the brand has been the official timekeeper of the 24 Hours SPA and in doing so it has created for itself a sense of endurance that comes in the form of its Blancpain Endurance Series, a program that complements its commitment to pure speed with its GT Series. Marco Gabella who was at the event also confirmed this in his unusual report into watchmaking by putting it into context: "The L-evolution Tourbillon Carrousel is quite expressive. Through completely natural filiation, it adapts efficiency and performance to watchmaking mechanics.”