The dial of the Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate is the first model from the brand featuring a flinqué lacquered dial. The vivid blue hue is the product of several layers of translucent blue laquer. The result is a rich, luxurious aesthetic affording a profound depth akin to fathomless oceans.
“In the blue, painted blue” are the famous lyrics of the song, “Volare”. The words could equally apply to the latest horological creation by Blancpain.
The dial is the first Blancpain model featuring a flinqué lacquered dial, launched earlier this year at Baselworld. The vivid blue hue is the product of several layers of translucent blue laquer. The result is a rich, luxurious aesthetic affording a profound depth akin to fathomless oceans.
The regal blue tincture harnesses a “flinque” pattern. The guilloché decoration incorporates scalloped shaped waves which flirt with light. The numerous layers of laquer in conjunction with the decoration afford a wonderful three dimensional quality.
Silver coloured applied Roman numerals and elegant hour and minute hands further reinforce the sumptuous character of this timepiece.
A serpentine shaped hand circumnavigates the dial, pointing to the appropriate date. This provides a graceful alternative to the usual function depicted in an aperture at 3 o’clock.
A 30-second retrograde second hand is located at 6 o’clock and eloquently conveys the passage of seconds.
A stepped case toys with depth of field and repeats the storyline of the dial. The highly polished surface communicates with the sun’s rays. The interplay of light and shade is captivating and congruent with the luscious persona of the watch.
The case diameter of 40 mm is tastefully restrained and the white gold further reinforces the subtlety of this timepiece. In a marketplace where the outré is designed to engage with those who seek to conspicuously consume, Blancpain have created an understated gem of fine breeding.
The reverse of the case features a sapphire crystal caseback affording a view of the beautiful movement which beats within.
A self-winding movement offers convenience to the wearer. The rotor is beautifully engraved, the product of the guillocher’s artistic craft.
The svelte movement has a mere height of 4.57 mm yet harnesses 244 components.
The true beauty of the movement is the fantastic finishing. Côtes de Genève motif is perfectly presented on the bridges. Sunray brushing appears on wheels. Nothing is the product of expedience but the outcome of time-served patience.
The date can be quickly adjusted courtesy of an under-lug corrector located at 5 o’clock.
Blancpain have conceived a paragon of refinement. This timepiece has a dignified splendour which does not engender gluttony like some crass, garish offerings. It is clarified and distilled, free of impurity.
During the song Volare, the singer describes a feeling of flying when spending time with his lover. I don’t know whether I am compelled to soar above the clouds on seeing the Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate but my affection for this timepiece is palpable.
This is a fine tableau of an artisan’s craft from a snow clad village in the Vallée de Joux.
Model: Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate
Reference: Ref. 6653Q-1529-55B
Case: White gold; diameter 40.00 mm; height 10.83 mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.