For 2014, Blancpain introduced a brand new perpetual calendar watch with the Blancpain Villeret Quantieme Perpetual 8 Jours timepiece, and if you’ll pardon my language, it is pretty “baller.” How is a classy, high-end luxury watch with an elegant face something I would refer to as being a glitzy status watch, you ask? Well, assuming the wearer was known for their taste, I can’t think of anything else that communicates bold presence and prestige in a more timeless package. This is a baller watch for a guy who’d buy a new Cadillac if it was 1970, or for someone hanging out with Sinatra’s Rat Pack – especially on the solid gold bracelet.
At 42mm wide, in either 18k red gold or platinum, the Blancpain Villeret Quantieme Perpetuel 8 Jours is perhaps subtle, but not humble. And that is what I am talking about in regard to the personality of this object. With its modern size and dedication to useful features, this is the type of timepiece I’d feel comfortable about investing in when wanting to spend mid-level Mercedes-Benz car money on a timepiece.
Let’s go through a little laundry list of features a sales person might rattle off when explaining the virtues of this objet horloger as he “white gloves” it to you and clasps it on your wrist. First of all, Blancpain is one of the Swatch Group’s prestige brands, up there with the likes of Breguet. That means a long history, a brand that isn’t going anywhere, and a name people know. I also happen to like that Jean-Claude Biver made the brand what it is today, before selling it to the Swatch Group – but that is a different story.
The watch itself comes in a finely made precious metal case, with a Grand Feu enamel dial. Rather than hard-to-push inset case adjusters, the Blancpain Villeret Quantieme Perpetuel 8 Jours makes use of Blancpain’s very handy “under lug corrector” to adjust the calendar data. This makes the case cleaner looking, and the movement better to operate. The movement, made in-house at Blancpain’s Villeret facility, is an automatic and has a full eight days of power reserve. It also happens to include a complicated perpetual calendar.
I don’t know about you, but for me, that makes for a nice list in a watch not only worth taking a strong look at, but also for something you’ll be wearing on a regular basis. Let’s face it, when it comes to convenience you want a perpetual calendar with automatic winding and a long power reserve. If the watch accidentally winds down, resetting everything is a pain. That is when you need to open up one of those moon phase websites and start counting and seeing if the moon phase indicator window matches the graphic on your screen.
The Blancpain caliber 5939A automatic movement is new, and is visible through the sapphire crystal caseback window. It is nicely decorated with an engraved automatic rotor. It has a modern look to it and feels like Blancpain dressed up a workhorse rather than make a “showpiece” movement that has limited functionality. I happen to like it, and the 379 part movement’s 192 hours of power reserve and clean dial layout are the most important elements for me.