Annual calendars were a hot category at both of this year’s Swiss watch fairs, and one of the most noteworthy of these, unveiled at Baselworld, was this offering from Blancpain’s elegant Villeret collection. The latest version of the Blancpain Villeret Quantième Annuel GMT, which combines the annual calendar function with a dual-time display, is the first of this model with a stainless steel case.
The steel case of the Villeret Quantième Annuel GMT Steel (Ref. 6670-1127-55B) is 40 mm in diameter and a modest 11 mm thick.The clean white dial features hands and applied Roman-numeral hour markers also made of steel; the Blancpain “JB” logo appears as the counterweight on the central seconds hand. The dial layout is different from those of many other annual calendar watches, with the day, date, and month displays grouped together for an intuitive, sequential reading. The GMT (second time zone) indication is on a minimalist 24-hour subdial at 8 o’clock.
The movement, visible through a sapphire caseback (below) is Blancpain’s manufacture Caliber 6054F, with automatic winding, 34 jewels, and a 72-hour power reserve. Like all annual calendar movements, it requires only one adjustment per year by the wearer, between February and March, to compensate for the 28-day or 29-day length of February; in every other month, the date moves automatically from the 30th or 31st to the first day of the following month. The solid gold winding rotor is enhanced with a guilloché pattern.
Also noteworthy, and adding to the watch’s streamlined look, are the under-lug corrector buttons, which have been patented by Blancpain. Hidden from view under the case’s lugs while the watch is worn, they allow the wearer to operate the calendar functions without using a stylus. The corrector at 1 o’clock adjusts the day of the week while the one at 5 o’clock adjusts the month. The second time zone and date, along with the hour and minute, can all be set via the crown.
The Blancpain Villeret Quantieme Annuel GMT Steel comes on an alligator leather strap lined with Alzavel calfskin, which fastens with a triple-blade folding clasp. The price is $27,300.