WHEN THE MOON TURNS MISCHIEVOUS
Nearly forty years ago, Blancpain reintroduced the moonphase into its watch collections, a complication that had been set aside for some time, even though it embodies the strong and historic links between watchmaking and astronomy. This year, two women’s watches from the classic Villeret range have proudly adopted this oh so poetic mechanism.
Blancpain’s moon is something mischievous and terribly feminine. Isn’t it said that the silver sphere has feminine qualities, while the sun is more masculine? On both versions of the Villeret Date Moonphase model, there is no doubt about it: the queen of the night has a perfectly feminine face, with closed eyes lined with a fringe of thick eyelashes and delicately outlined lips. A beauty mark – what the French call a mouche, a small spot cut out of taffeta or black velvet or drawn with a pencil, and worn by all the beauties of the 18th century – is shown above the upper lip, highlighting the moon’s mischievous spirit.
The moonphase indication is in an open fan-shaped counter at 6 o’clock and displayed through a mechanism incorporating a wheel with 59 teeth. A complete lunar cycle includes 29.5 days, so the mechanism can display two lunar months, with two moons depicted on the sapphire disc and surrounded by stars.
The moonphase complication, as well as the date shown by hands, and the “traditional” time functions (hours, minutes and seconds), are driven by the calibre 913 QL, made by Blancpain. This automatic movement has a power reserve of 40 hours and its gold rotor is visible through the sapphire case back.
The case is 29.2mm wide and 10.36mm thick, and comes in a steel or rose gold version crowned by a bezel set with 48 diamonds. This glittering ring surrounds an ivory-tinged dial. The smooth, enamel-like disc is decorated with an hour rim made up of four Roman numerals with silver or golden indices and eight small diamonds. In the centre, two leaf-shaped hands display the hours and minutes, together with a second hand and a fourth hand tipped with a red crescent marking the date.
Price: 15 500 CHF (steel version sold in a gift box containing five interchangeable straps) – 17 800 CHF (rose gold version) blancpain.com
By Sharmila Bertin