A staple of Blancpain line-up since the brand was reestablished in the early 1980s, the extra-slim Villeret wristwatch is stripped to the bare essentials but classically-styled, and it’s now available in stainless steel, and also red gold.
Understated and thin, the Villeret Ultraplate 6224 is an automatic three-hander with a date display, and just over 8 mm thick, hence the name – ultra plate translates as “ultra flat”.
Reminiscent of classic dress watches like the Patek Philippe Calatrava and the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin, the Villeret Ultraplate is a simple design that’s easy to replicate, which is why similar styles can be found in cheap as well as expensive watches. What differentiates such watches is the quality of execution, particularly in the details.
The dial of the Villeret Ultraplate is unadorned, and almost plain, but the Roman numerals are solid gold appliqués affixed to the dial by hand, adding much-needed height and texture to an otherwise flat dial. The slender, open-worked leaf hands also complement the simplicity of the design. Such hands are not overly common, making them appealing.
And then there’s the date. While it adds extra utility that is appreciated by some, I am not a fan. The date hampers the purity and symmetry of the dial.
With a retail price of a bit over US$8,000 in steel, the Villeret Ultraplate is competitively priced for a dress watch powered by a high-end, automatic movement.
The case is fully-polished, with a double-stepped bezel that is typical for the Villeret, with the bezel giving the watch more visual definition.
It is slender as expected, at only 8.35 mm in height. The thinness, coupled with the short lugs and the 38 mm diameter, makes it a watch that will easily accommodate a range of wrists.
100-hour power reserve
Powered by the cal. 1150, the Villeret Ultraplate boasts an impressive 100-hour power reserve thanks to two serially-coupled barrels. The movement also has a silicon balance spring that improves timekeeping stability, because silicon is resistant to magnetism and thermal fluctuations.
And, while the face of the watch is simple, the back shows off a more complex view with the attractively-finished movement that’s also been dressed up with solid-gold rotor decorated with a honeycomb motif.
Key facts and price
Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate
Ref. 6224-1127-55B (steel)
Ref. 6224-3642-55B (red gold)
Ref. 6224-2987-55B (red gold with diamond-set bezel)
Diameter: 38 mm
Height: 8.35 mm
Material: Steel, or red gold
Water resistance: 30 m
Movement: Cal. 1150
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and date
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 100 hours
Strap: Alligator leather
Availability: Now at authorised retailers
Price: 8,260 Swiss francs; or 13,100 Singapore dollars (steel)
19,310 Swiss francs; or 30,700 Singapore dollars (red gold with diamonds)
For more information, visit Blancpain.com.
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