If your heart has a desire for a watch that combines a very fine and new in-house Blancpain chronograph movement with their Villeret-style case, then this new Blancpain Villeret Pulosmeter Flyback Chronograph timepiece might be for you. Among Blancpain’s many watches, the company states that the Villeret is its most classic collection. According to them, double-stepped cases, Roman numerals and an understated aesthetic are hallmarks of its Villeret watches. Indeed, if one was to browse the collection here, it would be very hard to disagree. One of my personal favorites is the Calendrier Chinois Traditionnel, which has a perpetual calendar function that follows the Chinese calendar.
New for 2014 is the Blancpain Villeret Chronographe Pulsomètre (Blancpain Villeret Pulosmeter Flyback Chronograph), which combines a flyback chronograph with a graduated pulsometer scale. The pulsometer lets the wearer quickly determine the pulse of someone else. As a result, such watches are also sometimes known as doctors’ chronographs.
In keeping with tradition, the Blancpain Villeret Pulsometer Flyback Chronograph features a cambered white Grand Feu enamel dial. The Roman numerals are enamel-painted as well and are surrounded by the graduated pulsometer scale. The Chronographe Pulsomètre is also a time-only watch as its two registers indicate elapsed hours and minutes and there is no register for running seconds. The hands are all made out of gold and there is a date window at 6 o’clock. It comes in a 43.6mm red gold case and a sapphire exhibition case back that shows off a brand-new in-house movement.
The movement, called the calibre F385, is made up of 322 parts and has a silicon balance spring, which helps it beat at a fast 36,000 bph. And as you would expect of a high-end chronograph movement, it also features a column wheel and a vertical clutch. Blancpain also mentions that it measures 13-lignes wide. The power reserve is rated at 50 hours and the movement also features a flyback function, which means activating the pusher at 4 o’clock will cause the chronograph seconds hand to reset and immediately start timing a new event.
Where else have we seen the new F385 movement? In the also new for 2014 Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph watch that was one of our top 10 favorites from Baselworld 2014. Those looking for the excellent new movement in a dressier watch didn’t need to wait long for a viable option.
All in all, the new Blancpain Villeret Pulsometer Flyback Chronograph is unmistakably a member of Blancpain’s Villeret family. The double-stepped case, large roman numerals, and enamel dial makes for a very classic looking watch. And despite the pulsometer scale, the dial remains relatively clean and uncluttered. However, the skeletonized hour and minute hands look a little out of place and I’m pretty sure some would be unhappy at the “VI” being cut off by the date window.
The Blancpain Villeret Pulsometer Flyback Chronograph comes in a red gold case and a matching brown alligator strap and is also water resistant to 30 meters. It will retail for 29,500CHF or $31,600 USD. blancpain.com
Technical Specifications from Blancpain