The Blancpain Quantième Perpétuel 8 Jours, a perpetual calendar watch that keeps track of everything from seconds through to leap years, was presented in 2014, and it is now available in Blancpain boutiques. It has the exceptional power reserve of 192 hours, the eight days of its name, and it has another user-friendly characteristic: the movement is fully protected, so you can adjust the settings for date, moon phase etc. whenever you like. This is a great difference with respect to the vast majority of watches in which the instruction book explains that under no circumstances must you change the date between (for example) 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, which is annoying because you think, if I forget, and the thing jams, I’ll have to take it back to be serviced and then go and pick it up again…
The user-friendliness of this piece is further increased by the pushers for making these adjustments, which are neither unattractive buttons on the caseband, nor the tiny recessed pushers that you have to press with a stylus: they are in fact under-lug pushers, out of sight and easy to operate without the use of a special tool. This is a Blancpain patent.
Case and dial
The platinum case is 42 mm in diameter, 13.5 mm thick, with a water resistance of 30 metres. The white dial is classic Blancpain, in grand feu enamel that ensures a long-lasting pure white backgroud for the various indications. There is one curious features: the leap year cycle, shown on the top subdial, has two cycles. So the tiny gold hand takes eight years to make a round trip.
The watch is powered by the Blancpain in-house calibre 5939A movement, with 192 hours power reserve, 42 rubies and 379 components. It keeps track of the different month lengths, and the four-year periodicity of the leap year. In theory it will only need adjusting in 2100, when the calendar adjustment that takes place once a century will be made. In practice, it’s important that a watch like this can be easily adjusted because there will be occasions on which the owner puts it in the safe and forgets to put it on the winder, and so after eight days it will stop. The movement is fully secured and protected so that day, date, month and moon phase indications can be adjusted at any time, using the four under-lug correctors.
The movement can be seen through the sapphire caseback, and in particular the oscillating weight with honey-comb motif.
Presentation box that becomes a humidor
The solid wooden box has been carefuly designed, and it includes a winder so that the watch continues running even when it is not being worn. If you remove the winder, the box can be used as a cigar humidor. The same sort of feature has also been offered by Bell & Ross in their WW1 Edición Limitada.
Reference and price
The Blancpain Quantième Perpétuel 8 Jours, in platinum, a limited edition of 275 pieces, reference 6659-3631-55B, is now available from boutiques, price £55,800. It is also available in red gold.