Presented for Baselworld is a new model from Blancpain for the the Villeret Collection which unites two of the brands most renowned horological complications: the Moon Phase and the carrousel. So for the first time the new Blancpain movement 225L combines a moon phase, a carrousel and a date function. The carrousel had been relegated to obscurity for over a century until Blancpain resurrected it in 2008 when they introduced the world’s first flying carrousel to perform a one-minute rotation.
The carrousel like the tourbillon is used to try and counteract the effects of gravity on the rate of the movement and thereby improve accuracy. The main difference between the two is found in the way they are constructed. The carrousel is linked to the barrel by two gear trains as opposed to just one used in the tourbillon. One provides the power needed to drive the escapement while the other regulates the speed the carriage rotates.
An aperture located at the 12 o’clock position in the white dial reveals the its complex mechanism of carrousel carriage. Another complication to be neglected until it was reintroduced by Blancpain in the 1980’s was the moonphase, this is situated opposite at the 6 o’clock position.
Fitted with silicon balance-spring technology and armed with a five-day power reserve this new fully secured movement, comprises of 281 parts including 61 for the carrousel carriage alone. This new model possesses all the characteristic codes of the Villeret collection: a cambered grand feu enamel dial is framed by the double-stepped case while a blued steel serpentine hand indicates the date. Indicating the hour and minute are sage leaf-type hands that have been finely hollowed and combined with painted enamel Roman numerals.
Two under-lug correctors on the rear of the 42 mm-diameter case are designed to adjust the date and moon phase. An invention patented by Blancpain permitting tool free handling as well as maintaining the pure contours of the case shape. Detailed attention has been paid to the finishing of the movement which has been decorated with Côtes de Genève and is observable through the sapphire crystal case-back.
The Blancpain Villeret Carrousel Moon Phase model comes in two versions, 18-carat red gold with a chocolate brown strap and platinum limited edition with a black strap.