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By Chris | February 4 2014
The Villeret collection, named after the birthplace of the Manufacture, captures Blancpain’s underlying principle of giving absolute priority to authenticity and respect for tradition. It now welcomes a new self-winding three-hand watch with date display, featuring a remarkably understated Grand Feu enamel dial.
The use of Grand Feu enamel reaffirms Blancpain’s deep-felt attachment to historical watchmaking skills. This magnificently stable material that maintains its radiance indefinitely is particularly suited to adorning a watch with such a classic aesthetic. Crafting it involves applying several successive layers of enamel that are fired at temperatures of over 1000°C.
The enamel-painted numerals also undergo the stern trial of the furnace. After each operation, the dial is carefully examined and manually touched up, since the procedure is rendered even more complex in this instance by the cambered shape of the dial. Its finishing calls for distinctive expertise that Blancpain is now able to offer.
According to how the light plays across it, the Grand Feu enamel dial gives a subtle nod to tradition by revealing the tone-on-tone “JB” logo engraved between the numerals IV and V, VII and VIII. This is the secret signature with which enamellists historically initialled their works.
Radiating an unmistakable aura of inbred elegance, this new model is immersed in the aesthetic environment of the Villeret collection with its red gold round double-stepped case and slightly hollowed sage leaf-shaped hands. The dial is soberly enlivened by a date display at 3 o’clock, as well as a central seconds hand. The sapphire crystal case-back provides an opportunity to admire the delicate interplay of the decorative effects, featuring Côtes de Genève on the movement bridges and a honeycomb pattern on the oscillating weight.
This mechanical self-winding model is driven by in-house Calibre 1335, of which the beauty is matched by a remarkable 8-day power reserve demonstrating the expertise of the Manufacture and which will doubtless be appreciated by passionate connoisseurs.
Fitted with a chocolate-toned alligator leather strap, this new 42mm-diameter watch is a powerful new addition to the iconic Villeret collection.