One of the world's most daring watchmakers resurrects rare and complicated 19th century mechanism to create a limited edition collection The karussel is a movement rarely discussed and all but forgotten in the annals of watchmaking, until now. Blancpain's spirit of innovation caught the attention of visitors to BaselWorld when it presented a modern day, world first: a movement equipped with a one-minute karussel. Danish watchmaker Bahne Bonniksen presented the first karussel watch in 1892. The movement worked on the same concept as the tourbillon, to reduce the effect of gravity on the rate of a movement in a watch, thereby improving accuracy. The karussel featured a system driving the carriage by a differential effect, which took several minutes to complete one rotation. But the movement never took off, in part because its number of components led to numerous difficulties and it remained ignored by watchmakers for generations. Blancpain's newest, patent-pending invention - the Carrousel Volant Une Minute - sees the karussel evolve into a movement that rotates in 60 seconds. Blancpain's product development manager Alfredo Bellaveglia said the movement was a technical achievement. 'It is important because it has a place in the watchmaking industry. It is very technical and very advanced to make it work properly. The accuracy is very similar to a tourbillon.' The difference between a karussel and a tourbillon is the way in which they function. A tourbillon carriage is connected to a barrel through a single gear train; if the connection is interrupted, the tourbillon stops rotating. A karussel is linked to a barrel by two gear trains; the first gear train provides the energy needed to run the escapement, the second controls the speed at which the carriage rotates. To improve the rate of rotation, Blancpain developed a differential gear control system, allowing the movement to rotate in 60 seconds. Blancpain is well-known in the industry for its daring, and this new movement demonstrates its will to experiment. Almost two decades ago, the watchmaker launched its Ultra-Slim Flying Tourbillon which at the time, in addition to being the thinnest tourbillon, caused some controversy among watchmakers and connoisseurs. Instead of applying the traditional configuration to the tourbillon by placing the balance in the middle of the movement (as faithfully done by watchmakers since Abraham-Louis Breguet invented it), Blancpain redesigned its form, shifting it to the side in order to achieve the slender size of the movement. The arrangement caused many to speculate that the tourbillon was in fact a karussel. Today, however, Blancpain is playing with history and its new invention places the balance at the centre of its carriage. 'This is to show watchmaking behind the scenes, as a piece of art,' Mr Bellaveglia said. The watch is fitted with a mechanical self-winding calibre 225, constructed of 262 parts powering the hour, minute, seconds and date functions in addition to the flying karussel. An under-lug corrector system, developed by Blancpain, enables the wearer to adjust the date by activating a pusher. The watch has a power reserve of 100 hours - a tourbillon averages a power reserve of 192 hours. The dial's design allows owners to appreciate the movement inside. Semi-skeletonised, the toothed wheels, hand-bevelled bridges and plates are visible. Dagger-shaped hour and minute hands are partially hollowed and tipped with superluminova coating. The complexity of the karussel is revealed at the 12o'clock position through a light shaft. Power reserve is indicated at 6o'clock with a hand running over a scale from the plus to minus signs. A double hand indicates the date on two graduated, staggered rows at 9o'clock. The timepiece, which is limited to 288 pieces, comes in a new size for Blancpain, at 43.5mm. The case is made from platinum and the strap black crocodile leather. In other collections, the Fifty Fathoms series presents a new version in black and white, with a sapphire crystal case back to reveal the 222-part movement contained within. The symbol of the new design was inspired by the nautilus family of marine life. The oscillating weight is shaped like the nautilus shell, and revealed through the case back. Water resistant to 300 metres, the watch has a unidirectional rotating bezel to safeguard against accidental adjustments underwater. A matt white dial features luminescent hour markers and hands, and pearl grey luminova markings on the bezel will appear in fluorescent green in the half-light or darkness of the sea. The case and strap appear in black. An all-black version is also available. The dial features cone-shaped hands, hour-markers and numerals finished a luminescent black material. This year, Blancpain will launch a collectors' book to celebrate the Fifty Fathoms collection. The book, Edition Fifty Fathoms, will be released in three series with each dedicated to the underwater world.