Blancpain was the first watch brand to support the Monaco Association against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (AMM), this support dates back to 2001. Since 2005 the bi-annual Only Watch charity auctions have become a remarkable horological event, and this year, the Manufacture is again presenting a one-of-a-kind model for the 8th Only Watch charity auction to be held in Geneva at 2.30 pm on November 9, 2019. Let’s take a look at this year’s unique piece and all it’s predecessors.
With the new millennium Blancpain decided to give their sporty yet elegant timepieces a new name: from now on they were called Leman series. And this change came along with a remarkable makeover of the collection, offering a broad variety of 40mm timepieces.
Today I have the pleasure to bring you closer to the Blancpain Villeret Grande Date Semainier 8 Jours, ref 6637-3631-55 with calibre 3738G2 and some additional gentleman gear…
This year I had the pleasure of more encounters with new Blancpain timepieces than ever before. Obviously Baselworld was the main event for the Blancpain novelties, but in 2018 we have got some new and exciting watches throughout the year, with the latest one being introduced just prior to Christmas.
Since it’s release in 2007 the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique has seen quite a number of variations, we have seen two limited versions with historic roots (Tribute to Fifty Fathoms and Tribute to Aqua Lung), a few white FF (one plain, others with MOP dials), the DLC coated Dark Knight, some in precious metals (polished and brushed rose gold and white gold with blue dial), a brushed steel FF with a blue Flinqué dial and last year’s titanium FF with blue dial.
The one version I personally expected (and hoped for) a lot earlier than 2018 is the new Fifty Fathoms Grande Date in brushed titanium. The Grande Date, changing instantly at midnight within a blink of an eye, has debuted 2005 in the Leman Aqua Lung Grande Date and it found it’s way into various timepieces (Leman, Villeret, L’Evolution) since then, but so far never into the Fifty Fathoms collection.
Alongside the 24h of Spa Franchorchamps Blancpain not only had the Basel novelties on display, but also numerous timepieces that carry a motorsport inspired design, predominantly in the L’Evolution series. Two of those I had the pleasure to take photos of, thanks to the Blancpain Boutique in Munich.
This is the fourth part of my hands-on report from Basel, showing the new Blancpain Villeret timepieces.
There have been three new Villeret watches this year, all in a 40mm case, all available in either stainless steel or rose gold, all of them on either strap or a perfectly crafted Milanaise bracelet, which is entirely manufactured inhouse and assembled by hand requiring a lot of precision in order to support the slight tapering of the bracelet. And obviously all three models feature the patented under-lug correctors.
Let us start with what some of you have instantly called a winner, the new Villeret Quantieme Perpetuel in stainless steel.
Blancpain introduced three new regular models in the Fifty Fathoms line, the Fifty Fathoms Grande Date, the Bathyscaphe Quantieme Annuel and the Bathyscaphe Quantieme Complet.
Let’s take a look at the Fifty Fathoms Grande Date first. Executed in brushed titanium, it is the first watch in the FF line to feature the instant changing big date we know since 2005 when it was first introduced in the Leman Aqua Lung Grande Date.
The Fifty Fathoms Grande Date has a very distinct look to it, which is also emphasized by the numerals 3 and 9 being left out from the dial. It comes on either a sailcloth strap or a Nato strap, which would be my personal choice. A titanium bracelet is not planned as of yet. The watch is a real beauty, not easy to capture in photos, though.
Here are some impressions: