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Introducing The Blancpain Villeret Grand Date, A Favorite Upgrades To Two Windows

If one thing is certain about SIHH, it's that it foreshadows Basel. And storming out of the gate for Pre-Basel 2015 is Blancpain's new Villeret Grand Date. This fake watch is notable for a few reasons. There is a clever simplicity in applying the Aqualung's (spotted here on Vladimir Putin's wrist) signature date window to the Villeret. But, regardless of how clever and simple it may seem, applying such a window has the potential to go horribly wrong. Thankfully, Blancpain seems to have gotten it right.

Earlier in the year, we celebrated Blancpain's New NYC Boutique. In said article you'll find a wristshot of the current Villeret with the date at 3 o'clock. While that design works, the Grand Date at 6 o'clock takes the design in a different direction. Notice that the opaline/crème-like shaded dial spans the date window as well. The printing of the date is bold, curvaceous, accentuated and now symmetrical to the Blancpain logo up top. Notice that the windows are included within the center dial. The little things count.

The embossed center of the dial cuts around the large date windows, and it adds the impression of framed molding or matting. The date doesn't look like an overthought, but rather as if it was carefully chiseled away. The rest of the fake watch is pure Villeret in a 40mm polished red-gold case. The double pomme look circumscribes the dial and adds to the sculptured look, and the applied gold numerals and skeletonized feuilles hands only add to that sentiment.

Around the back, we find the caliber 6650, an in-house (although longtime partner of the Piguet 1150) automatic caliber with approximately 72 hours of power reserve. Notable aspects of this movement include a free sprung balance with a sicilium spiral and two mainspring barrels. Finishing of Geneva stripes and beveled edges is visible beneath the red-gold honeycomb rotor.

Blancpains new Grand Date Villeret is a solid reimagining of this model, and it paves the path to Basel 2015 with excitement.

For more information, visit Blancpain online.

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