Blancpain have a new addition to their Villeret collection, meritorious not only for its exquisite dial arrangement but for its sophisticated micro-mechanics – but then, the challenge of creating complex timepieces has been part of Blancpain’s heritage since 1735 when Jehan-Jacques Blancpain began to produce pocketwatches for well-heeled clients from his own house in Villeret.
Blancpain Villeret Collection 8 Day Perpetual Calendar – An Authentic Legacy
From the beginning M. Blancpain had set out to continually improve and refine the complication movement. As each successive generation of the Blancpain family took ownership of the company each brought their own vision for the business, while remaining respectful to his ethos. Blancpain is no longer in the control of its founding family, but those who have followed have continued to authenticate its legacy – most notably, Betty Fiechter and André Léal under whose direction it became known as “Rayville Ltd. Successors to Blancpain” and Jean-Claude Biver and Jacques Piguet, who acquired the business from the Omega watch company, and who re-established Blancpain as a creator of complex mechanical movements with “The Six Masterpieces”, an elaborate series reflecting each of the highest levels required of the Master Watchmaker. Now safely in the hands of the Swatch Group, Blancpain are still known, and loved for their technical excellence.
Blancpain Villeret Collection 8 Day Perpetual Calendar – A Wealth of Indications
On a dial created from Grand Feu enamel, this new Villeret model displays its wealth of indications with elegance. At 12 o’clock the combined month and leap year indication is slightly recessed, with the date and day of week displays taking the 3 and 9 o’clock locations respectively. At 6 o’clock a large aperture offers Blancpain’s serene little “moon man” a generous proportion of the dial providing an exquisite spectacle, while at the same time adding balance to the arrangement. But while the aesthetics of this piece are more than admirable, it is to the mechanics which we must give our attention in order to fully appreciate this model.
Blancpain Villeret Collection 8 Day Perpetual Calendar – Watchmaking Mastery
A watch with a perpetual calendar complication is one which takes into account the variation of days in each month as well as leap years. This is achieved through a mechanical memory which, comprising several hundred parts forms a differential gear mechanism from the hour hand and quite literally counts 1,461 days or four years. A Perpetual Calendar watch will however need adjusted on March 1st 2100 as this is a secular year and will not, as ruled by the Gregorian calendar be a leap year. To reduce such a mechanism into the confines of a watchcase always provides me with a sense of wonder, but to equip a piece such as this with a power reserve of 8 days, achievable through an automatic winding system is watchmaking mastery. An 8 day reserve of power should be enough to keep this superb piece ticking, but should the need for adjustment arise, this model features Blancpain’s patented under-lug correctors, which serve to adjust the date and moon-phase indications without the need for special tools – and as a further measure, it comes presented in a box equipped with a winder to keep the watch on time when not in use.
The Blancpain Villeret Collection 8 Day Perpetual Calendar is available in two options, 18k red gold case or with a limited edition platinum case, sized at 42mm.