30 (timeless) minutes on the wrist
The BLANCPAIN Villeret Demi-Fuseau Horaire
As I already wrote in a recent article on the Fifty Fathoms (here), BLANCPAIN is a apart from the rest when it comes to high-end watch making, for its creations boast unique features, as unique as is its communication strategy, addressed to an inner circle of watch connoisseurs and based on a perception that is both sober and elegant. If the Fifty Fathoms is a sporty timepiece, widely known to the general public, as high end professional divers’ watches usually are, less is known, in our opinion, of the maison’s Villeret collection. A collection that is probably the most representative of BLANCPAIN since it is also the most traditional and embodies the origins of the maison in its very name.
Without diving into the technical features of the BLANCPAIN Villeret Demi-Fuseau Horaire, there are two features of the Villeret collection that draw your attention straight off. The first is the round, 40mm wide case, which fits a woman’s wrist as well, and is easily recognizable with its double stepped bezel.
The second is the crown: whatever the technical complication on the inside of a Villeret case, you will never find additional protruding pushers or crowns. All the functions are activated via the single crown placed at 3 o’clock, with the addition of almost invisible tiny correctors placed on the case. With the BLANCPAIN Villeret Demi-Fuseau Horaire for example, a small pusher has been added on top of the crown.
By pushing it once a small hand placed at 4 o’clock is activated. When it marks T, you are adjusting the hour, while D indicates the date adjustment. The GMT function is not the time zone visualization you’re used to, as it is not provided by an additional central hand, but rather via a central local hour with the home time placed in a small counter at 12, and day-night visualization at 9. Moreover, caliber 5254DF, fully made in-house, is designed to display the “half time” time zones, that is the time in those countries, such as Venezuela, that have a time gap of 5 ½ hours versus Italy.
Last not least, this caliber has a massive 72 hour power reserve, which is quite extensive for such a complicated timepiece. Especially as it is enclosed, as is the custom with BLANCPAIN, in an extra small movement, visible through the transparent case back. A movement that is 100% hand assembled and that fully justifies the exclusivity and the price tag of a BLANCPAIN timepiece.
(Press credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo shooting)
Gaetano C. | Raffaella R. @Horbiter - Watches & Luxury