For all their variety, watches are categorized on the basis of one simple question: Is the timepiece dressy or sporty?
The latter have dominated the market over the past decade, but a simple, elegant, time-only dress watch—like the new Villeret Ultraplate from Blancpain—is an essential component of any watch lover’s collection.
Since its debut in the 1980s, the Villeret line, named for a village in the Jura mountains of Switzerland where Jehan-Jacques Blancpain founded the brand in 1735, has housed the firm’s most classic offerings, including complicated pieces and dress styles decorated with esoteric artisanal techniques. In 2018, for example, the brand released the Quantième Complet GMT, an affordable alternative to the perpetual calendar. And in 2017, the collection welcomed the Villeret Shakudō, whose textured and engraved gold-and-copper dial featured a Ganesha motif rendered through an elaborate Japanese metalworking process known as shakudō.
“The new Villeret Ultraplate is the latest expression of the aesthetic codes distinguishing Blancpain’s most classic timepieces,” says Marc A. Hayek, president and CEO of Blancpain. “The applied gold Roman numerals and the cut-out sage leaf-shaped hands have been subtly reinterpreted to embody the contemporary face of the Villeret collection. The midnight blue dial framed by a platinum case is a special feature reserved for boutique exclusive watches.”
With its deep blue dial; 40 mm platinum case; round, double-stepped bezel; and blue alligator strap, the model exudes a restrained elegance. Its hand-wound 11A4B manufacture movement boasts a superior, precision-guaranteed construction featuring two series-coupled barrels and high-performance hairsprings. It also comes with a four-day power reserve, displayed on the back of the watch. For aficionados of fine finishing, the fully redesigned bridges are adorned with the traditional côtes de Genève motif, as well as beveled edges.
The model, which is available in a limited edition of 88 pieces at Blancpain boutiques worldwide, retails for $28,900.