Baselworld 2010 preview: a new Blancpain watch Featured

Superb complication inside, superb simplicity outside
by 03 February 2010

Baselworld 2010 marks Blancpain's 275th Anniversary, and this event will be marked by the launch of a new Villeret Collection. The first timepiece from this new series to be unveiled is a new complete calendar moon-phase model featuring a fully secure calendar mechanism, and under-lug correctors, fitted into a half-hunter red gold case.
The new Blancpain Villeret Collection presents the combination of sophisticated visual appearance and the grand complication mechanisms that have hallmarked the brand's work since the early 1980s. The understatement and elegance that have always been a distinctive feature of Blancpain’s Villeret models have been reinterpreted in an innovative way, utilising the technical advances attained by means of sustained investment in movement development over recent years.

The complete calendar moon-phase has always been the signature complication for the Villeret Collection. This Blancpain exclusive in-house automatic calibre is fitted with a variable-inertia titanium balance wheel, gold regulation screws and three main spring barrels. Almost as complex as a full perpetual calendar, this Villeret model features a revolutionary method for adjusting the indications without fear damaging the movement, whatever the time of day. To facilitate setting the indications, Blancpain has equipped the new Villeret timepiece with its patented under-lug correctors. These are accessed by means of a hinged backplate, which also reveals the superb finish of the mechanism. The system not only leaves the sides of the watches with a remarkably clean finish, unmarred by the presence of adjusters, but also means that changes can be accomplished with one’s finger tips instead of requiring a dedicated tool.

Considering the amount of information presented, the dial is a masterpiece of balance, clarity and simplicity. Day and month are positioned symmetrically above the brand name, while the window for the phases of the moon is central and below the hands pivot. The date is ingeniously shown by means of a circle of numbers just within the gold hour indices, with a curving hand. The result is truly exceptional, but possibly this is to be expected from a marque that has declared that it will never build a quartz watch. The trend towards visual simplicity is another part of the House's approach to watch-building: the complexity is within, behind the dial.
For the first model of the new Villeret Collection, Blancpain has opted for a 40 mm red gold half-hunter case and a decorated opaline dial.

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