Blancpain Blancpain: the return of yellow gold?
Special “boutique” editions can be a perfect opportunity to try out new ideas. This year, Blancpain is presenting a rather unusual series that could signal the comeback of yellow gold.
With no set release date, no limitations on numbers, and no rigid design brief, Boutique Editions are a fertile playground for creative exploration. Working with a limited number of models and no real constraints, watchmakers can test new technical and aesthetic variations without committing themselves over the long term, and see how the market reacts.
It’s an exercise Blancpain likes to indulge in at the end of each year. In 2019, the Villeret collection welcomed an unapologetically elitist but very well received model combining a platinum case with a blue dial. This highly “horological” hand-wound watch, without date, was targeted at discerning collectors.
One watch, two exclusive features
This year, Blancpain is taking a different approach, with a far more audacious design: a Villeret Extraplate with green dial and yellow gold case. There are two things to note here. First, there are no green dials in the Villeret collection – that’s pure invention. There are some in the Fifty Fathoms collection (the Mokarran edition), but the green is a completely different shade. The dark olive green dial of the new Villeret Extraplate Boutique Edition fades as the light hits the sunburst finish radiating from its centre.
Villeret Extraplate Edition Boutique © Blancpain
Second, it marks a return to yellow gold, a variant no longer represented in the Villeret collection. As well as the 40 mm case, the hour markers and three hands are all crafted from yellow gold. The metal is bright, vibrant and polished to a high gloss, offering a sharp contrast with the darker satin-finished dial.
Inside the case, Blancpain has made another departure from the previous Boutique Edition, by installing an automatic movement with date. The 1151 calibre, beating at a frequency of 3 Hz and comprising 210 components, is extremely slim, measuring just 3.25 mm high. Once cased up, the watch is just 8.7 mm deep. High performance is guaranteed: this new Villeret has a four-day power reserve (100 hours) and a silicon balance spring, like almost all of Blancpain’s creations from the past several years. On the back of the watch, Geneva striping is visible on the bridges, and the oscillating weight, also in yellow gold, features a honeycomb motif.
Although the edition is not limited, each watch is individually numbered. How many will there be? On that score, Blancpain will respond to demand – one of the big unknowns for the watch market in 2021.
Blancpain is the archetypal Manufacture: with a watchmaking heritage dating back several centuries, it has successfully preserved its watchmaking tradition, whilst welcoming a spirit of innovation.Find out more >
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