Named after the village in the Joux Valley where Jehan-Jacques Blancpain set up his workshop on the top floor of his house in 1735, the Villeret family of watches is Blancpain’s ambassador of timeless elegance. With a pronounced focus on understated aesthetics, the classic looks of the Villeret are personified by the ultra-thin, time-and-date dress models. For 2020, Blancpain reworks its Villeret Ultraplate family with the incorporation of four new 38mm models, two in steel and two in red gold, with subtle design modifications on the dial. Fitted with Blancpain’s ultra-slim automatic calibre 1150, the watch offers a robust power reserve of 100 hours.
Classic Villeret profile
The Villeret collection was conceived as Blancpain’s “most classic collection“, watches designed to incarnate hallmark features and the spirit of traditional watchmaking. Details like stepped bezels, Roman numerals, refined hands and simple cases are common denominators across the collection. The new time-and-date models share a 38mm diameter and have a case thickness of just 8.35mm, the perfect dimensions for a daily-wear dress watch.
Spot the difference
The subtle facelift of the Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate – compared to the previous ref. 6223 here – can be appreciated on the dial. Presented with a white dial in the steel models and with a warmer opaline dial in the 18k red gold models, the first impression is that of an even cleaner, more immaculate dial. By eliminating the word ‘automatic’ of the former models, removing the ring under the base of the numerals and elongating and reducing the font size of the brand’s logo, the dial emanates serenity and elegance.
A surprising detail that might not be obvious at first glance is how the classic Villeret Roman numerals V, VI, VII and VIII are now placed in an upright position. Patiently positioned and applied to the dial by hand, the Roman numerals are crafted in gold. Another difference is the way the sage leaf-shaped hands are hollowed making them even finer and more ethereal. If you look closely, you’ll also see how the counterweight on the central seconds hand now features the initials of Blancpain’s founder JB. Although purists might not appreciate the presence of a date window on a dress watch, the bevelled aperture is discreet and does not invade the Roman numeral at 3 o’clock.
Ultra-slim Blancpain Calibre 1150
The simplicity of the dial is countered with the more ornate finishes on the automatic movement. The view from the reverse side reveals the large gold rotor decorated with a honeycomb pattern along with Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges. The 38mm Villeret Ultraplate models are powered by Blancpain’s prestigious automatic calibre 1150.
An industry benchmark as an ultra-slim movement with a generous power reserve of 100 hours, this movement is used widely throughout Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms family and is also supplied to other high-end watch brands. Measuring 26.20mm in diameter, the movement has an ultra-slim height of just 3.25mm. The robust 4-day power reserve relies on two series-coupled barrels and high-performance springs and delivers a steady stream of constant energy. The incorporation of a silicon balance spring counteracts the magnetism and improves chronometry.
The stainless steel model is available with a classic black alligator strap or an integrated mille mailles steel bracelet. There are also two steel versions with diamonds set in the bezel and eight diamond hour markers on the dial with the same strap/bracelet configuration. The 18k red gold models follow suit and can be ordered with a brown alligator strap or a luxurious integrated mille mailles red gold bracelet, with or without diamonds on the bezel and dial.
Price for the steel/black alligator strap model (Ref. 6224-1127-55B) will be EUR 8,810 and the 18k red gold/brown leather strap model (Ref. 6224-3642-55B) will be EUR 16,130.
For more information, please visit blancpain.com.
Technical specifications – Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate 6224
38mm diameter x 8.35mm height – stainless steel or 18k red gold, polished – available with plain stepped bezel or diamond-set bezel – sapphire crystals front and caseback – 30m water-resistant
white for steel models – opaline for gold models – applied gold Roman numerals – date window at 3 o’clock – openworked sage leaf hands – JB counterweight on central seconds hand
Blancpain calibre 1150 – ultra-thin automatic – 28 jewels – 210 components – 26.20mm x 3.25mm – 100h or 4-day power reserve – 21,600 vibrations/hours – silicon hairspring – hours, minutes, seconds and date
Ref. 6224-1127-55B steel/black leather strap
Ref. 6224-1127-MMB steel/steel bracelet
Ref. 6224-4628-55B steel, diamonds/black leather strap
Ref. 6224-4628-MMB steel. diamonds/steel bracelet
Ref. 6224-3642-55B red gold/brown leather strap
Ref. 6224-3642-MMB red gold/red gold bracelet
Ref. 6224-2987-55B red gold, diamonds/brown leather strap
Ref. 6224-2987-MMB red gold, diamonds/ red gold bracelet
EUR 8,810 in steel/alligator
EUR 16,130 in gold/alligator