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.
It is really a pleasure to look at the details on a dial such as this. That grinning moon face and nicely blued subsidiary dial hands are the types of details you expect at this level. Again, all of this looks best in my opinion on the red gold model, but I am sure no one would complain about having the Blancpain Villeret Quantieme Perpetuel 8 Jours watch in platinum either.
Of course the big question for me, is “strap or bracelet?” Blancpain was good enough to offer a solid 18k red gold bracelet option that adds a hefty $20,000 or so to the price. All that gold feels so nice on the wrist, with the bracelet design that is a bit retro, but cool, with its large, metal mesh style. It is wonderfully polished and comfortable. It also has a very clean, butterfly style deployant that doesn’t add any under-wrist bulk.
The alligator strap is nothing to scoff at, and it does maintain a much more conservative profile for the watch. You really have to ask yourself how much of your money you want to show off in your watch. Overall I think the Blancpain Villeret Quantieme Perpetuel 8 Jours is a great new addition to the Blancpain Villeret family, if you find that the design matches your tastes. Price for the ref. 6659-3631-55B on the strap in gold is $58,900, and for the 6659-3631-MMB on the bracelet that goes up to $78,200. It is actually a bit more for the platinum version on the strap which tops out the Blancpain Villeret Quantieme Perpetuel 8 Jours at $80,300. blancpain.com