Blancpain expands its classically styled, historically inspired Villeret collection, named after the Swiss village where the manufacture was founded way back in 1735, with two new rose-gold models with mesmerizing midnight blue dials. Here is what you need to know about the latest iterations of the Villeret Ultraplate and Villeret Quantième Complet.
The “simpler” of the two models, the three-hand-date Villeret Utraplate, follows up the platinum-cased, boutique exclusive limited edition that debuted last year. It features all the aesthetic elements of the Villeret series, established by Blancpain in the 1980s. Among them are the thin, softly rounded, double-stepped bezel of the 40-mm diameter, 18K rose gold case; the applied Roman numerals at each hour marker on the sunray blue dial, here in the same rose gold as the case; the hollowed out sage-leaf-shaped hour and minute hands; a seconds hand with a “JB” counterweight, evoking the initials of founder Jean-Jacques Blancpain; and the overall thinness of the case profile, at just 8.7 mm.
A clear sapphire window in the back of the 30-meter water-resistant case affords a view of the in-house movement, Blancpain’s self-winding Caliber 1151, whose notable features include two series-coupled barrels, which store an impressive 100-hour power reserve while guaranteeing a constant flow of energy; an engraved gold rotor with a honeycomb motif, along with côtes de Genève decoration on the plates and bridges; and a balance spring made of low-density, shock-resistant, magnetism-impervious silicon, all factors that increase its chronometric performance. The Ultraplate (basically “ultra-thin” in French) is offered on both a blue alligator leather strap (priced at $19,400) or a Milanese-style gold bracelet ($38,900).
On the more complicated end of the spectrum is the Quantième Complet (“complete calendar” en francais), which is defined as a watch that displays the day, date, month in addition to the time, with a moon-phase display as an optional addition. Blancpain’s distinctive take on this style of timepiece has become a cornerstone of the Villeret collection: its day of the week and month are in adjacent windows below 12 o’clock, its date indication comes by way of a gold serpentine hand on a numbered scale on the dial’s rim, and Blancpain’s hallmark “mischievous” moon-phase display at 6 o’clock. Unlike an annual calendar or perpetual calendar, the simpler “complete” calendar requires more frequent attention to keep it accurate: the wearer must still manually advance the date in months of less than 31 days.
Operating the “complete calendar” mechanism is still very user-friendly, however, as it is protected against inadvertent, potentially harmful adjustments during its midnight date change by a special safety feature. It also includes Blancpain’s patented, under-lug correctors, enabling the wearer to quickly and easily adjust the displays with the press of a finger rather than with outside tools like a pusher. Driving this functionality is Blancpain’s self-winding Caliber 6654.P, composed of 321 total components, including 28 jewels and a decorative solid gold rotor, and storing a 72-hour power reserve. Like the Ultraplate, the Quantieme Complet shows off this manufacture movement behind a sapphire exhibition caseback and is available on both blue alligator ($25,700) or rose-gold Milanese bracelet ($45,000).