Pure class: the Villeret Chronographe Monopoussoir

A little more than 15 years ago Blancpain introduced an utterly beautiful timepiece in the Villeret line: the Villeret Chronographe Monopoussoir reference 6185-1546-55 with its beautiful Havana dial. Now that we get closer with it, you will see the many shades of this dial, depending strongly on the light conditions (direct/indirect daylight, direct sun /shade, artificial LED light) to provide the best possible idea of this timepiece.

Villeret Chronographe Monopoussoir 6185

The purity of a moderate size and timeless aesthetics

There are various reasons for calling this timepiece „pure class“, one of them being the size of 38mm. The Villeret Chronographe Monopoussoir was launched prior to the overwhelming trend of ever larger watches. Today, with the reasonable size of 38-42mm coming back into the focus of many customers, this timepiece would qualify as a novelty which is spot on and it has lost none of its appeal in the last 1 1/2 decades.

Here are some close ups under natural indirect light:

The watch originally comes on a dark brown Alligator strap with white gold deployant clasp and you will see that original strap at the end of this report. For the majority of photos I have put the watch on a custom light tan Nubuck strap, since I consider that combination a better fit for the lively Havana dial. Starting off a large number of wrist shots, here are taken in some bright daylight:

Actually, it is not so easy to find a strap color that works with the dial under all light conditions. As previously mentioned you will notice the significant differences in dial appearance between direct sunlight, subdued natural light and cold LED artificial light. Here you see some close ups taken with the LED light ring of the Loupe System lens on my iPhone:

You have noticed a blue/purple hue on some photos, which is caused by the antireflective coating on the outer side of the crystal. This coating offers a splendid view on the dial, almost totally free of reflections. Under artificial LED light the dial has a dark tobacco color, you can also notice the two different dial finishes very clearly. Compare the color to the close ups shown at the top of the report, which were taken under indirect sunlight.

Back to some wrist shots. These are taken in the rather subdued early morning light:

Refined in all aspects

The watch is powered by calibre M185, based on the well known cal 1185 with 40h power reserve. The 3Hz automatic winding column wheel chronograph movement is decorated by hand, offering a beautiful polished screws, column wheel and chamfered edges in addition to the traditional Perlage and Geneva stripes.

The monopusher configuration works very well with the classy Villeret line, the positioning of the subdials creates a perfect harmony on the dial, leaving the outer segment to the applied white gold roman numerals and concentrating the subdials in the sunburst finish center section. The date window is nicely integrated into the running seconds subdial, the date disc is colored perfectly in line with the dial.

The size of 38mm in diameter (43mm lug to lug) at a height of 11mm is simply the optimum for this timepiece. The watch wears exactly its size due to the perfect balance between bezel and dial as well as the curved shape of the 18ct white gold case. The crown with its integrated chronograph pusher is a true highlight of this timepiece, too.

Let’s again take a look at a number of wrist shots. These are d taken under direct early evening sunlight:

As shown before, the watch offers the joy of an ever changing character due to the light conditions and viewing angle. Here is a short video to (hopefully) prove that point.

A signature timepiece

Finally, there’s something more to this watch for the real Blancpain enthusiast: the Villeret Chronographe Monopoussoir has the honor of being the very watch featured on the front and backpage of the first Lettres Du Brassus magazine which was published in spring 2006.

You don’t find the Villeret Chronographe Monopoussoir on the Blancpain website since it was discontinued quite a while ago. Reference 6185 was also available in red gold with the same Havana dial, in red gold with opaline dial and in stainless steel with a matte white dial without roman numerals.

I firmly believe that a size of 38mm does not only belong to the past but also the future. This watch is exemplary for all the virtues Blancpain offers in the Villeret line: timeless aesthetics, refined execution and that special extra touch, like the Havana dial of reference 6185. So let’s hope that we see more pieces of this kind in moderate size going forward.

I hope you enjoyed the report and the photos. I must admit it was really hard to let this watch go back, I think I have fallen in love with it a bit.

Cheers

Henrik

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