Presenting the new Blancpain Villeret Quantième Complet and Villeret Ultraplate: mechanically complex, mesmerisingly simple
2020 has gotten off to a striking start for Blancpain. They recently released not one but two red gold timepieces from their Villeret line. The new Blancpain Villeret Quantième Complet and Villeret Ultraplate are rooted in the brand’s design philosophies yet present a very distinctive and charming timeless appeal.
Elegance has a new address.
Blancpain is the oldest current watchmaker in the world, founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain — the namesake of this collection — in Villeret, Switzerland.
It comes as no surprise then that their emblematic collection features two new blue-dial versions that simply speak volumes of their tradition of fine watchmaking while yet being presented in a contemporary avatar. There is always something so intrinsically simple yet mesmerising about Blancpain’s watches.
Take for instance the new Villeret Ultraplate: it’s essentially a traditional dress watch with traditional central hour, minute and seconds hands, and a date window. Nothing out of the blue — except the blue dial — but even then you can’t take your eyes off it. The watch through the purity of its lines is simply a masterclass in elegant watchmaking.
It’s for the person who has everything but doesn’t wish to scream from the rooftops about it; it’s for someone who is comfortable in his own shoes.
Villeret Quantième Complet
This is the more fun, complex version of the two releases. It features a complete calendar, moon phases and date complications. Whether be it Blancpain’s signature whimsical moonphase face or the curved serpentine date hand, the new Villeret Quantième Complet is sheer magic on the wrist with its relatively slim profile and rounded case design.
A stepped bezel, overall polished look and the slim fluted edge crown only add to its charm. But these are pretty much standard of this range and what we have come to expect from the Maison. What’s really striking here is the colour blue of the dial.
But it’s not just a pretty face; the engine underneath packs a wallop too.
The movement is equipped with a safety system protecting it against any improper use of the functions which enables the watch wearer to set the complete calendar at any time without any risk to the movement. Additionally, the watch is also equipped with patented under-lug correctors, enabling all the information to be adjusted at the press of a finger and thereby eliminating the need for a pusher tool.
The dial is a bit information heavy — though not as much as the GMT version from 2018 — but Blancpain has done an exceptional job of not making a mess out of it; rather the dial is fairly well balanced.
I understand that the italicised roman numerals could be a deal-breaker for some when it comes to Blancpain’s Villeret collection and while each to his own, I personally think these numerals add to the charm of at-least this specific version by bringing in a certain amount of texture and depth to the dial.
Features of the Reference 6654-3640-55 / 6654-3640-MMB
The difference in the references are based on the bracelet options: rice bead gold bracelet or leather strap. We prefer the latter.
The watch face shows the traditional functions of central hours, minutes and seconds and is covered by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. In addition, the dial features the day of the week and month aperture at 12’o clock, a peripheral calendar with a serpentine hand and a moon-phase display at 6’o clock.
The heart used — calibre 6654 — is a self-winding mechanical movement beating at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h).
The movement is encased inside a 40mm diameter and 10.94mm thick polished 18ct red gold case. It comprises of 28 rubies, 321 components, and boasts of a very good 72-hours power reserve.
The 32mm x 5.5mm movement can be admired through the sapphire crystal display case-back.
Additionally, the watch case features a 22mm lug interhorn spacing and is water-resistant to 30m (3 ATM).
Villeret Quantième Complet
This is the more subdued, business watch version of the two releases. It features refined and contemporary expressions of the collection’s aesthetic codes.
Legibility is king with this one, with the brand offering a very subtle yet elegant dress watch. This is also the first time that this Villeret collection features a midnight-blue dial with a 40 mm red gold case.
The display case-back is another aspect worth mentioning: the calibre 1151 can be witnessed in all its glory replete with Côtes de Genève motif adorning the bridges and the honeycomb pattern that can be admired on the red gold oscillating weights.
Features of the Reference 6651-3640-55 / 6651-3640-MMB
Again like the Villeret Quantième Complet, the difference in the references are based on the bracelet options: rice bead gold bracelet or leather strap. But this time we prefer the former; the plain dial really compliments the busy rice-bead bracelet here.
The watch face shows the traditional functions of central hours, minutes and seconds, and a date aperture at 3’o clock.
The heart used — calibre 1151 — is a self-winding mechanical movement beating at the — lower compared to the above version — frequency of 3Hz (21’600 A/h).
The movement is encased inside a 40mm diameter and 8.70mm thick polished 18ct red gold case. It comprises of 28 rubies, 210 components, and boasts of an impressive 100-hours power reserve that comes about courtesy the use of two series-coupled barrels and high-performance springs.
The 27.4mm x 3.37mm movement can be admired through the sapphire crystal display case-back.
Additionally, the ultra-slim watch case features a 20mm lug interhorn spacing and is water-resistant to 30m (3 ATM).
Watch Ya Gonna Do About It
The new 2020 watch releases Blancpain Villeret Quantième Complet and Villeret Ultraplate are a stunning duo of dress watches.
Given that the watches are not limited edition, they are something that Blancpain fans, or even people who love timeless dress watches, can check out at their own pace and see if they are the right option for them.
The combination of blue and gold is not only classic but elegant to the max. It is further enhanced by red gold details on the dial such as the hands and indexes. Overall for these two versions, the legibility of the dials is noteworthy.
The dial is where most of the magic occurs.
This blue-coloured dial features sun-ray finishes that come to life with the red gold case. In the Villeret Quantième Complet, the mischievous moonphase face lends a welcome fun side to an otherwise serious dress watch.
Complementing these finishes are the applied hour-markers with Roman numerals crafted in red gold and slender matching hands. The hour and minute hands are shaped like cut-out sage leaves, while the seconds hands bear the initials of the House’s founder, Jehan-Jacques Blancpain.
Both the watches are daily wearable options coming in at 40mm. Sleek and elegant, they will fit comfortably under the cuff, and given their high-end look, they will even transcend from the boardroom to the ballroom with ease.
For more information on these watches and other Blancpain watches, head to their website here.