The Manual Wind: Blancpain Villaret Chronographe Pulsometre

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blanpuls2One of the great ironies in the watch world is the chronograph complication.  Although equally classic and useless, it happens to be a staple in every man’s watch collection.  While the function of a chronograph, a stopwatch, is not very useful these days, it is the multiple hands and symmetrical dial layouts that have made this the most popular complication to produce.  Blancpain, producers of some of the most classic Swiss timepieces, has taken the classic chronograph to a new level with the introduction of the Blancpain Villaret Chronographe Pulsometre.  Known for their movements and dials, Blancpain has has brought their strong points to the forefront with this latest release.

BlancNow larger than their previous Blancpain Villaret Chronograph, the enamel and hand painted dial fills out this above average 43.6mm case size.  With help from the classic Villaret design, this larger case set in rose or white gold, is much more dramatic on the wrist with the stark white of the enamel dial taking most of the wrist space.  A slim bezel makes for more dial surface area.  The unique feature of this piece is the Pulsometer painted on the perimeter of the dial.  Chronographs generally cater to plains and automobiles to calculate speed.  This piece is a tribute to the older chronographs designed with doctors in mind.

blanpuls3Under the dial lies the Blancpain in house caliber F385 movement.  Beating at 36,000vph, this column wheel chronograph incorporates a silicon balance spring and also has a flyback function.  Unique to Blancpain, each of their mechanical movements incorporate a 100 hour standard power reserve setting them apart from a lot of comparable movements.  A sapphire crystal case back and textured rotor round out this new flagship chronograph.

Over the years, Blancpain has been able to set themselves apart from the competition all the while maintaining their classical watchmaking DNA.  The Blancpain Villaret Chronographe Pulsometre with its larger diameter and new movement is a testament to that.