Blancpain appeals to many, especially to mainland watch buyers who are among its biggest clients. Nevertheless, the brand is not resting on its laurels and is broadening its appeal across the border with one of its main highlights unveiled at this year's BaselWorld. The company used the fair to present its Villeret Calendrier Chinois Traditionnel, or Traditional Chinese Calendar, a perpetual calendar watch that displays the fundamental principles of Chinese tradition alongside the Gregorian almanac. The Gregorian calendar is displayed around the outer dial with minute and hour hands clocking Western time from the centre of the watch face, but the Chinese readings are given prominence. The watch displays the main indications of the Chinese calendar, including traditional double-hour indications; day and month indications with warnings of leap months; signs of the zodiac, the five elements and 10 celestial stems. And, given the link between the lunar cycle and Chinese passages of time, a moon phase is also represented. Although the Chinese year has 12 months, they are shorter than Gregorian months, producing shorter years that are accommodated with a leap month every few years. The month, date and leap-month indicators of the Chinese calendar appear at 9 o'clock, while the year's zodiac sign appears in an aperture at 12 o'clock. Double-hour numerals also appear here, while the elements and celestial stems are shown at 3 o'clock. Moon phases are displayed at 6 o'clock. The watch is powered by a new self-winding 3638 calibre consisting of 434 parts and a seven-day power reserve. It represents a mechanical feat in overcoming the challenges of accommodating irregular lunar cycles and the number of indications required to stay true to the Chinese calendar. The watch comes in a 45mm red gold case and there is a 20-piece limited edition in white gold featuring a dragon motif engraving on the automatic rotor. Blancpain extends the Villeret collection with other models, too. The Villeret 8-Day Squelette pays homage to haute horlogerie and the recent trend for displaying the inner workings of timepieces. Fitted with a Blancpain-made, open-worked 1333SQ calibre, the movement is equipped with a titanium balance, a Breguet balance-spring and three barrels providing an eight-day power reserve. Another new Villeret model is the Ultra-Slim Retrograde. The watch becomes the first in the series to have a flinque-lacquered dial, a technically difficult process achieved by applying layer upon layer of translucent blue lacquer to the dial to create depth. The watch comes with a white gold case and new thin 7663Q calibre, which powers the hour and minute hands and central date pointer, and the retrograde seconds, which appear at 6 o'clock. The date can be adjusted using Blancpain's patented under-lug corrector at 5 o'clock, which allows the user to make adjustments using the fingertips instead of a special tool. Other Blancpain novelties include the L-evolution Split-Seconds Flyback Chronograph Large Date. Inspired by cars and the company's long-running commitment to GT racing, the watch combines cutting-edge technology with masculinity. Fitted with the 69F9 calibre that has a power reserve of 40 hours, the split-second chronograph allows for readings of split, or intermediate, times with a split-second hand superimposed on the chronograph sweep seconds hand. The split-second function is activated by a pusher at 8 o'clock without affecting the sweep seconds hand, and reactivated by pressing the pusher a second time. The flyback allows the chronograph function to be reset and restarted by pressing a pusher at 4 o'clock.