Although being in the catalogue for seven years now, the Blancpain Villeret Mouvement Inversé has not been discussed very often and I must admit I did not have it on my radar until recently. That omission needs immediate correction, so let’s take a closer look at reference 6616-1527-55B.
Apparently this timepiece is almost all about the movement, going by the name calibre 152B, which is a derivative of the well known Blancpain pocket watch calibre 15. Usually we see calibre 15 in modern day Blancpain pocket watches, like the one entered as a piece unique to the 2007 Only Watch auction (more on that one here) or the Boutique exclusive Grand Decoration models.
As the name suggests the Villeret Mouvement Inversé displays what is usually visible on the backside of a watch as its dial. This twist creates a spectacular look, especially with the bridges featuring ceramic inlays and a wonderful rounded chamfering.
The contrasting rubies and the mirror polished screws are edged with circular white gold plates to pick up the visuals of the chamfered bridges. In addition the largest bridge carries polished white gold numerals in typical Villeret style.
The beautifully curved middle bridge carries a plain silver Blancpain signature recessed within the ceramic and it holds the black skeletonized leaf hands. This shape of this bridge leaves a good view on the nicely finished cogs and it compliments the large screw balance at the 11 o‘clock position. Below the balance wheel you see a very nice perlage, another indication for the attention Blancpain has put to the decoration of this movement.
Each detail warrants and rewards the attention of the person taking a closer look this very special timepiece. Watching the ruby pallets interacting with the escape wheel, recognizing the harmony between the white ceramic, the red rubies and the silver accents, appreciating the traditional bridge layout… the Villeret Mouvement Inversé not only tells time but a lot about Blancpain‘s approach to fine watchmaking.
The 18kt white gold case measures 43mm in diameter at a height of only 9,5mm. The typical double ring bezel is framing the movement/dial beautifully, as do the perfectly rounded shapes of the Villeret case. The watch has a solid case back with its center offering a brushed finish.
The Villeret Mouvement Inversé comes in three versions: the white ceramic one featured in this blog post, a version with black ceramic (reference 6616-1530-55B) and a timepiece with 409 snow-set diamonds (reference 6616-9400-55B). For more details please visit the Blancpain Website here.
I still cannot believe that I did not actively try to encounter the Villeret Mouvement Inversé for so many years despite knowing of it’s existence since 2012. It is a truly remarkable timepiece, it is different and it offers a wonderful fusion between a traditional pocket watch movement, modern materials like ceramic and the designated design language of the Villeret series.
I hope you enjoyed the report. All photos are taken with an iPhone 8+, all close ups with a Loupe System 6x lens attached.
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