This year Blancpain has significantly expanded its Collection Villeret line. The 2011 Villeret Chronographe Monopoussoir Quantieme Complet Collection (refs. 6685-3642-55B in rose gold and 6685-1127-55B in stainless steel) is one of the most beautiful among them featuring a nice take on a centuries-old design of their beautifully finished dials.
To be frank, I always feel some uneasiness when it comes to buying a “complication” mechanical watch. There are just too many things that can get broken if you drop the trinket or operate it clumsily or in a hurry or at an inappropriate time.
How many full calendars were broken just because their owners tried to change the current date closer to midnight? Only servicemen can tell, I suppose.
With its new self-winding Villeret Chronographe Monopoussoir Quantieme Complet model Blancpain tried to partly address the problem of usability.
The delicate gears are now protected and the movement is now operated via a set of under-lug correctors so that you will have to get your watch off the wrist before playing with the set-up. And there is a good chance that, while getting the watch off your wrist, you will get into a correct mood and will be especially careful while tinkering with it.
Although the “66CM8” code is used to identify “psychiatric nurse practitioners,” the newly developed Caliber 66CM8 looks like a completely sane mechanism.
Capable of displaying time, date, day of the week, and month, as well as working as a chronograph, the movement comprises 450 parts and stores enough power to work for 40 hours of full immobility (of course, after being fully wound.)
The watch will go on sale in two versions: sober stainless steel with a matte white dial and a rose gold model, which is equipped with a more vintage-style stamped Opaline face that (at least, on the official photos) looks like a real hand engine-turning.
Like a real dress watch, the Blancpain Villeret Chronographe Monopoussoir Quantieme Complet comes packed in a mid-sized case 40 millimeters in diameter and 12.98 millimeters thick. The choice of size not only makes the gadget more discreet but also makes it more comfortable to wear with a long-sleeve shirt.
As usual, an impressive timepiece from a respected watchmaking house.
Blancpain Villeret Chronographe Monopoussoir Quantieme Complet specification
Price: $20,300 (Stainless steel) / $31,500 (Rose gold)
Movement: Automatic, Calibre 66CM8, 35 jewels, diameter 32.00 mm, height 7.50 mm, 450 parts, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Rose gold winding rotor, bridges with a circular-graining finish, and Geneva stripes
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, date, day of the week, month, moon phase
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: Rose gold (Ref. 6685-3642-55B) or Stainless steel (Ref. 6685-1127-55B)
Case size: 40.00 mm
Lug width: 22.00 mm
Case height: 12.98 mm
Dial: Stamped opaline (Rose gold version) or White (Stainless steel version)
Numerals: Roman, applied
Hands: Material matches case
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black or brown leather
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective