The modern-day Blancpain carbon watch Replica as we know it really began in the early ’80s after it was sold to Jacques Piguet and Jean-Claude Biver. One of the first watches that Biver developed was the complete calendar watch, which showed the day and month via two apertures at 12 o’clock, the date using a pointer, and a moon phase at 6 o’clock. It’s a classic arrangement and it proved to be very successful as it was reminiscent of vintage watches. Blancpain improved on its complete calendar watches by introducing the complete calendar GMT in 2002. This took the complete calendar watch and added a GMT function, making it more functional especially for the jet setter. Now, there’s a new complete calendar GMT watch and it’s called the Blancpain Villeret Quantième Complet GMT.
The Villeret Quantième Complet GMT is available in two versions. There’s a red gold version that comes with an opaline dial and a stainless steel version that comes with a white dial. The differences between the two are quite subtle. The red gold version has applied red gold Roman hour indices and red gold hour and minute hands, while the stainless steel version has applied white gold Roman hour indices and white gold hour and minute hands. Water resistance is 30m.
At 40mm wide and 11.8mm in height, the Blancpain Villeret Quantième Complet GMT has classic and modest proportions. Owners can choose to pair their Villeret Quantième Complet GMT watches with either hand-stitched alligator straps or metal bracelets. One unique feature of the watch is the absence of any correctors on the case flanks. Usually, complete calendar watches rely on such correctors for adjustments of the calendar complications, but the Villeret Quantième Complet GMT instead has very discreet correctors that are located under the lugs. This enables it to have completely smooth case flanks.
The dial is classy and legible. At the center of the dial are the apertures that display the day and month. A red-tipped hand points to the GMT hours while a second blued serpentine-shaped hand points to the date. At 6 o’clock, you have a moon phase indicator. My single gripe with the watch is the hands. Based on the press images sent to us, the leaf-shaped hands seem to be a bit short.
The movement within is the in-house self-winding Caliber 67A5. It consists of 286 components and is just 6mm thick. It has a 72-hour long power reserve and features a silicon balance spring. It also has a solid gold rotor and is visible through a sapphire display caseback, and as you would expect, it is handsomely decorated with the usual Côtes de Genève, polished screw heads, and beveled bridges.
Though the Villeret Quantième Complet GMT is not quite to my tastes, I can see it being an attractive option for well-heeled watch lovers seeking an elegant watch for travel. Pricing for the Blancpain Villeret Quantième Complet GMT hasn’t been shared just yet, but we’ll be sure to update you once we hear more from the brand. blancpain.com
If the watch has been compromised (as many watches were likely to back then), he needed to rely on alternative means for timekeeping, or abort the dive to avoid decompression illness (or worse). It’s also probably worth pointing out that such a shield is admittedly somewhat silly on an ultra-modern dive watch that’s already water-resistant to a crushing 300 meters (and costs $14k), however the charm of the Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms Mil-Spec isn’t its utility, but its commendable devotion to the source material.Speaking of source material, although the case size to the Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms Mil-Spec has been improved from 37mm to 40mm, it’s still a merciful reduction from the previous time we saw a Tribute to Fifty Fathoms, that was able to actually wear bigger than its sacrilegious 45mm case thickness. This 40mm instance is really the sweet spot for Blancpain sailors such as the Mil-Spec, which eventually strikes that fine balance between carrying the highly polished visual weight of being a modern “luxury diver” while still remaining true for Fiechter’s unique vision. If this is a harbinger of what is to come for another generation of Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms collection, consider us fans.