I had the amazing opportunity to see the highly anticipated Blancpain Villeret Chinese Calendar in Red Gold. This watch is absolutely incredible. I will be honest, I am normally not the biggest fan in the world of Blancpain watches, but the execution of this Chinese calendar is so well finished from start to finish, that I had to write about it.
This high polished red gold 45 mm case is the perfect size to house this incredibly complicated movement. The gleaming white enamel dial is the most appropriate canvas to display the Chinese and Gregorian Calendar and moon phase complications in contrasting black lacquered writing. The combination of the Chinese and Gregorian Calendars on a wristwatch is a worlds first, technically executed by Blancpain.
For this herculean technical feat, Blancpain devised a mechanism to display the intricate 60 year cycle of zodiac, elements and yin/yang. The Chinese Calendar is “Lunisolar” with corrections in the form of leap months and adjustments to the length of months. This incredibly elaborate self-winding movement system is comprised of 463 parts. Some may think a watch of this magnitude may be just as complex to set as manufacture, but Blancpain made this easier for the wearer by being able to perform and set most of these functions with the crown. The rest of the corrections between the two calendars can be implemented through 5 of Blancpains patented under lug correctors. These correctors are located under all four watch lugs and the fifth is located subtly in the case back in the 9 o’clock position. As a result of Blancpains pioneering technical ingenuity, these correctors may be used at any time of day or night without damaging this complicated calendar system.
With watches of this nature, it’s a normality within the industry to provide the end-user with warning instruction of the times of day when the calendar can or can’t be set. What amazes me most about the Blancpain Villeret Chinese Calendar, is there are no issues of this ever occurring, because when any of the under lug correctors are pushed, first disconnects the portion of the movement which would be engaged to advance the indication automatically with the running of the watch, removing any possibility that the manual change will disturb the automatic advance.
One would think a watch like this is too dressy and to expensive to wear everyday. I beg to differ, because even though the watch is not numbered, the size and exclusive nature of this watch are not for the pedestrian consumer, but for one with sophistication, attention to detail and appreciation for high horology, making it easier to wear everyday than you would imagine.
Should you have interest in purchasing a timepiece as fine as this, please don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com or call me 702.608.0251. I will be happy to be of service
Technical data for the Blancpain Red Gold Villeret Chinese Calendar ref#00888-3631-55B
|Traditional Chinese Calendar|
|18ct red gold|
|Case thickness||15.00 mm|
|Case diameter||45.00 mm|
|Water resistance||3.00 bar|
|Between horns||23.00 mm|
|White grand feu enamel|
|Calibre thickness||8.30 mm|
|Calibre diameter||32.00 mm|
|Power reserve in hours||168|
|Alligator lined with alzavel|