The spirit of the Villeret collection is all about classicism, timeless elegance, technical sophistication and tradition. As one of the oldest watch manufactures in the Vallée de Joux, the past plays a weighty role in the aesthetics of the Villeret collection. Named after the Swiss village where Blancpain was founded in 1735, this is the collection you turn to if you are looking for a classic dress watch or even a Grande Complication. The operative words of discretion and understatement can be applied to most of the simpler time-only and time-and-date models, ideal dress watch candidates thanks to their sober dials and ultra-thin profiles. For 2020, the Villeret Ultraplate dons a new combination of case material and dial colour transforming a classic into a slightly more contemporary classic.
Last week we covered the Villeret Quantième Complet 6654, a perennial favourite of this collection housed in a red gold case with a handsome blue dial for 2020. The same combination has been applied to this Villeret Ultraplate time-and-date model, another classic in this line-up. It’s not the first time the Villeret Ultraplate or the Villeret QP don a blue dial, we saw two boutique exclusive models last year with blue dials and platinum cases, but it is the first time these models feature a red gold case and a blue dial. And not as limited editions.
New case/colour combination for 2020
The 18k red gold case, with its rich red lustre, measures 40mm and has a lean profile of just 8.70mm. Compared to the time-only Extra-Plate 6605, with its 7.39mm thickness, the incorporation of a rotor, a central seconds hand and date function has only translated into an increment of 1.31mm – which remains very reasonable. All the surfaces of the red gold, including the double-stepped bezel, are polished and gleam in the light.
Blancpain’s dedicated Villeret font is used for the Roman numerals, which are applied in matching red gold to the dial and indicated by the skeletonised leaf-shaped hour and minute hands. According to the brand, the hands are inspired by the profile of sage leaves. The elongated central seconds hand bears the initials JB on the counterweight, a tribute to Blancpain’s founder, Jehan-Jacques Blancpain.
The midnight-blue dial, a colour that is very much in vogue, features a sunburst finish and in certain light shimmers almost like satin. Combined with the red gold hour markers and hands, the blue dial catches your attention more than a silvery opaline dial would. Although many purists shun the presence of a date window, the Villeret Ultraplate does a very nice job with its date aperture, which manages to be discreet and legible at the same time. Without shortening or invading the space set occupied by the 3 o’clock hour marker, the bevelled date window fits perfectly into the scenery with its matching blue background.
The Villeret Ultraplate 6651 is equipped with Blancpain’s in-house calibre 1151, an extra-slim automatic movement (3.37mm height) with a silicon balance spring, a frequency of 3Hz and a power reserve of 100 hours. This robust power reserve, which is equivalent to four days, is achieved with the use of two series-coupled barrels and high-performance springs. The sapphire caseback reveals the solid red gold rotor with its elegant honeycomb guilloché pattern and the bridges with Geneva stripes and bevelled angles.
The Villeret Ultraplate is teamed with a matching blue midnight-blue alligator strap and will retail for CHF 18,200 (incl. taxes). The watch can also be ordered with a supple red gold mille mailles mesh bracelet with a retail price of CHF 36,300 (incl. taxes). More details at blancpain.com.