Blancpain Villeret Quantième Annuel GMT Hands-On
May 2, 2016
Previously only offered in precious metal, the Blancpain Villeret Quantième Annuel GMT is now available in stainless steel.
The new steel model measures 40 mm x 11.04 mm, which are the same dimensions as before. The case is fully polished, along with the crown, which features the company logo engraved in relief.
Instead of an intricate sunray guilloche pattern, as seen on previous models, the dial has a smooth matte white surface.
The dial layout stayed the same. An annual calendar with individual rectangle apertures, one after the other, displays the day, date, and month – with ease.
Long, skeletonized leaf-shaped hands, crafted from stainless steel, and polished, indicate hours and minutes. The hour indices are marked with hand applied, polished stainless steel Roman numerals. For seconds, there is a centrally mounted baton-shaped hand, in polished steel, with a logo motif counterweight that sweeps the dial once every 60-seconds.
The annual calendar, day, date, and month, functions are controlled by Blancpain’s exclusive patented under-lug correctors. According to the manufacture, “The ingenious idea behind this system was to place the correctors under the lugs so that they can be operated by hand without any need for a correcting stylus, as well as remaining hidden from sight when the watch is worn. The one at 1 o’clock enables simple manual adjustment of the day of the week; while the other at 5 o’clock adjusts the month. Fast GMT and date corrections, along with time-setting, are all handled via the crown.”
At 8 o’clock, is a GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) display that shows second-time zone in the 24-hour format by way of a small baton-shaped hand (typically referred to as “home time”). The “local time” is displayed using the central hours hand, which is also linked to the date display. All of the time functions are controlled by the crown.
The Villeret Quantième Annuel GMT is equipped with the self-winding 6054F caliber. This movement requires only one date adjustment per year, between February and March. For the rest of the year, the watch automatically moves from the 30th or the 31st to the first day of the following month.
The clear caseback offers a view into the automatic movement, including yellow gold winding rotor adorned with a guilloché motif. The movement beats at 4Hz (28,800 vph), has 34 jewels, 367 total components, and a 72-hour power reserve. In addition to the hand engraved rotor, the bridges are adorned with Geneva stripes, and the mainplate is decorated with circular graining.
The new aesthetic is more casual than previous iterations, and being available in steel is something I know I prefer. However, I am glad they kept the gold rotor, as it provides a nice contrast against the finely decorated, rhodium plated, mechanical watch movement. Considering the use of steel for the case, hands, and hour markers, I would have expected more of a price drop, though.
This Villeret Quantième Annuel GMT is complemented by a black alligator leather strap lined with Alzavel calfskin while a triple-blade folding clasp. (Ref. 6670-1127-55B) $27,300