Back in 2018 we saw Blancpain finally reissue the “Blancpain Air Command Flyback Chronograph”, which was one of its most coveted vintage collectible watches specifically built for the US Air Force in the late 1950’s. But, this limited edition quickly sold-out to the dismay of many collectors. Now it returns in two regular-production options.The 42.5mm case is now available in Grade 23 titanium or 18k red gold with contrasting satin-brushed and polished surfaces. While both have a screw-down sapphire crystal exhibition case back, which allows to view the inner workings of the mechanical movement. So in this aspect it deviates from the original “Air Command” (just like the initial 2018 reissue) that was slightly smaller at 42mm and had a solid screw-down case back that also housed a different non in-house caliber movement.But, Blancpain has excluded the propeller-shaped rotor seen on the 2018 limited edition version, which marks a clear distinction from these new regular-production releases.Mounted to the case is a countdown-type rotating bezel with a blue ceramic insert and luminous hour markers, unlike the “count up” bezel used on the “Fifty Fathoms” model. It differs from traditional chronographs that require to be pressed three times (stop / reset / restart), by only needing a single press to start a new timing sequence. So this countdown bezel can be used to indicate the remaining time until reaching its intended destination, instead of the numerals running counter-clockwise like a diver’s watch.The lugs on these regular-production editions are also thicker than the drilled lugs found on the vintage model. All topped by a boxed sapphire crystal, instead of acrylic as the vintage edition. Water-resistance on these watches can reach up to 30 meters (96 feet).Time is exhibited on a blue sunburst finish dial with Arabic numerals, followed by a white printed 60-minute scale; while a 1000 tachymeter scale is circling on its other side nearing the periphery of the dial. There are two snailed sub-dials: a 30-minute counter at the 3 o’clock position and 12-hour counter at the 9 o’clock position. The central steel pilot-style hands and Arabic numerals have all been fitted with a luminescent coating, for an enhanced legibility. Although this dial is very close to being exactly as the original 1950’s edition there are several differences: the sub-seconds has been replaced with a 12-hour counter, there is a thinner font on the rotating countdown bezel and Blancpain has used a different font for the “Flyback” wording above the 6:00 position.
Blancpain Air Command Flyback Chronograph iN Titanium
This “Blancpain Air Command Flyback Chronograph iN Titanium ” (References below) is powered by the self-winding mechanical movement, caliber F388B with 35 jewels, 297 components and 36,000 vph. While the original 1950’s model was powered by Valjoux 222 caliber. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 50 hours, when fully wound.Mounted to the watches is a blue calf leather strap, secured to the wrist by a folding clasp. For more up to date information visit the official Blancpain website here.
(Ref#: AC02 12B40 63B) * Titanium