On the one hand, we have Blancpain creator of the extraordinary and oversized X Fathoms watch, which we reviewed last week. On the other hand, we have Blancpain who has released possibly the sexiest, classic styled watch that is going to come out for 2014 period. I don’t want to jump the gun but it is clear that if this watch is to be upstaged by another three-handed beauty; that watch will have to be on the better side of exceptional.
The Villeret collection gets its name from the town in Switzerland where Blancpain was founded. Watches from the Villeret collection have always leaned towards a dressier, black tie aesthetic. The one thing which distinguishes this collection from so many others in the world of watchmaking is the dial, which is made from enamel. Rarely, does one hear of enamel dials nowadays, and if you do happen to come across one, rest assured that the time and effort that Blancpain’s artisans apply to these dials are unequalled.
In the early days of Swiss watchmaking, many of the dials were made from enamel in a style known as Grand Feu. Blancpain once again pays homage to this mostly forgotten art form by presenting the 2014 Villeret watch with a Grand Feu enamel dial. It is important to note that each and every enamel dial is handcrafted, and therefore unique. Each layer of enamel undergoes a firing process of 1000 degrees Celsius. The layers are built up and manually touched up to clear away any imperfections. The dial gets even more complex as it is cambered. The dial features delicate Roman numeral hour markers and a well-positioned date display window at the 3 position. Protecting the dial is a scratch resistant sapphire crystal.
The case construction also plays its part in underscoring the aesthetic elegance of this timepiece with its double tiered bezel and polished red gold case. The case is made in a perfectly proportioned 42mm case diameter, not inclusive of the ridged main crown. The 2014 Villeret watch is outfitted with a dark brown alligator leather strap, which only impresses the sheer class of this timepiece.
Powering this watch is an in house self-winding movement caliber 1335, which can be seen through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. The movement is decorated with Cotes de Genève on the bridges and a honeycomb motif on the oscillating rotor. As if all of this wasn’t enough, Blancpain equips the 2014 Villeret watch with an incredible 8 days of power reserve.