The Villeret Grande Date Jour Rétrograde by Blancpain was presented at Baselworld in 2018. It presents an interesting combination of features. In addition to the usual time indications, the watch has a retrograde day display, a big date, and both are adjusted by the brand’s patented under-lug correctors. This allows the case to be kept clean and simple, without the usual recessed correctors, and no special tool is needed for correction.
Case and dial
Both the day and date indications change instantaneously at midnight. Retrograde seconds is more theatrical but Blancpain already have that in their Villeret collection. The case of the new Villeret Grande Date Jour Rétrograde is 40 mm in diameter and 11.1 mm thick, with the standard water resistance of 3 bar, 30 metres, resistant to rain and occasional splashes only. The dial has a lovely classical minimalist layout, with the pivot of the retrograde day placed exactly in the place of the 8 o’clock hour marker, and an asymmetrically-positioned big date in two windows. The design of the applied hour markers is immediately recognisable as part of the Blancpain Villeret family.
The Blancpain Villeret Grande Date Jour Rétrograde Is powered by the new calibre 6950GJ, which is self-winding and provides 72 hours power reserve. You get an idea of the complication of the piece from the fact that the movement comprises 344 components and 40 bearing rubies. The movement can be viewed through the display caseback, with a gold rotor with honeycomb guilloché engraving. The image below is the caseback of the Villeret Grande Date presented in 2015.
Price and availability
The Blancpain Villeret Grande Date Jour Rétrograde is made in two versions. Reference 6668-3642-55B is in red gold, and it costs £17,880. Reference 6668-1127-55B is in steel and costs £10,070. More information from the Blancpain website.