The Blancpain Villeret line offers a plentiful of aesthetically refined timepieces, these two however stand out since they add a layer of beauty and class not often encountered: a pocket watch style Hunter case back. Let’s meet the Villeret Quantieme Complet Demi-Savonnette ref 6664-3642-55B and the Villeret Demi-Fuseau Horaire Demi-Savonette ref 6665-3642-55B.
A tradition within the Blancpain collection
In the late 1990s Blancpain offered some remarkable timepieces with a Hunter case back, starting with the Renaissance ref 3553 and then followed by the three limited Leman Half Hunter timepieces 3100, 3185 and 3563.
With the end of the Leman series the pocket watch style case back went into the Villeret collection, no longer called Half Hunter but Demi-Savonnette, which is in line with the now consistent French naming of all Blancpain timepieces.
The two 40mm Villeret watches featured in this report are only available in red gold, both with an opaline Flinque dial. The Hunter caseback is mirror polished on the outside, it offers a traditional perlage decoration on the inside and it blends perfectly with the smooth rounded lines of the Villeret case.
The Quantieme Complet Demi-Savonnette
The complete calendar with moon phases is a classic Blancpain configuration, known since the 1980s and featured in many different timepieces from all model families. In this version the watch has a diameter of 40mm at a height of 11.7mm.
The perfectly balanced dial is a perfect fit to all other aesthetic elements. The Flinque finish adds to the classic appearance, as do the skeleton leaf hands.
And there’s another aspect to be highlighted: the patented under-lug correctors for the adjustment of the calendar functions won’t work with the Hunter case back. So Blancpain found a different solution and the correctors are set on the outer rim next to the sapphire case back and so invisible under the Hunter cover.
The watch features the well known caliber 6654 with 72 hours power reserve, and of course you find the Villeret typical honeycomb decoration on the rotor.
The Demi-Fuseau Horaire Demi-Savonnette
Travel watches also have a long history in the Blancpain catalogue, from GMT functions (Trilogy series) through Double Time Zone models (Leman, Villeret, Women) to this very sophisticated Villeret Demi-Fuseau Horaire, which captures also those time zones that differ by 30 minutes instead of full hours, hence capturing the full functionality for countries like India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and parts of Australia and Canada.
All functions are operated through the crown, which features an integrated pusher to decide between date or time zone setting. The operation mode is indicated on the dial, with a special section within the date changing section indicating the window between 22.00 and 2.00, when the date changing is not possible (you cannot damage the mechanism, it would just not do the desired operation during this time window).
Through the sapphire on the back caliber 5235DF with 72 hours power reserve is visible, also with the beautiful honeycomb design of the 18ct gold winding mass. Since this timepiece does not require separate adjusters, the outer rim around the sapphire case back shows a pure perlage decoration.
Both timepieces are in fact a most beautiful invitation to explore the rich details of truly fine watchmaking. They are made to be appreciated from all angles, ideally with a loupe, and doing just that is very rewarding.
Whether you opt for the classic configuration of the complete calendar or the purposeful travel watch, the two Demi-Savonnette versions provide an additional layer of beauty and therefore even more emotional gratification. Both are real Connoisseur watches, and one can be sure that they will be just as attractive in decades to come as they are today.
Since I mentioned the Leman Half Hunter watches: you can find those here in part three of my Leman anthology and a detailed report on the 2100 Quantieme Complet Half Hunter here in the blog. The Villeret Demi-Fuseau Horiare in the 42mm enamel dial version is covered here in the blog.
I hope you enjoyed the blog post and the photos!