The Villeret Demi-Fuseau Horaire is publicized as Blancpain’s first watch with multiple time zones. This feature is widely popular and GMT watches are pretty much standard timepieces for traveling professionals.
Delivery for the watch was delayed because Blauncpain tries to employ the in-house movement solution to create a high-complication (haute horlogerie) watch. Since its revival in 1980, the company has focused itself on complication products. They had developed the 1735 watch, which is still considered among the most complicated timepieces in the market. Many collectors still fondly recall Blauncpain’s previous ultra-thin models, which include features such as perpetual calendars, chronographs, tourbillions and minute repeaters. Previously, Blancpain developed an old watch that has dual-time capability.
Blancpain purchased the Frederic Piguet, a famous movement maker, in 2010, which helps to expand its in-house capability and legitimacy. In the same year, Blancpain also decided to put more focus on the popular Villeret collection, which is named after a town in Switzerland..
What are GMT watches?
The prevalence of global transportation with airliners gave rise to the development of early GMT watches, which appeals to pilots and traveling professionals. A typical GMT timepiece is characterized by legible and very clean design. Things have changed significantly since the 1950’s, but many things remain true. Clean aesthetics employed by these watches are often associated with classical chic, while their technical ruggedness and Spartan precision maintain the sense of classical spirit.
A typical GMT watch indicates the local time with the central hour and minute. On the other hand, GMT or home time is shown by a second hour hand. BlancPain tries to walk through a less-traveled path with the Villeret Demi-Fuseau Horaire.
The face of Villeret Demi-Fuseau Horaire looks like any dual-time or GMT watch. The subdial is positioned at 12 o’clock to indicate home time and central hands show the local time including seconds. Some of use may consider that these hands make everything look crowded, especially when we consider the use of central seconds hand.
Aesthetic considerations aside, the Villeret Demi-Fuseau Horaire really needs the two-hand to display the local time and allow users to track different time zones accurately. Unlike many GMT watches, Villeret Demi-Fuseau Horaire doesn’t settle on showing only to the nearest hour; users can track the current time down to the 30-minute mark.
While Villeret Demi-Fuseau Horaire isn’t the first timepiece to offer improved flexibility among GMT watches, it’s the first to be designed for ease of use. The 40mm watch has a well proportioned dial and all indicators seem to fit in their allocated spaces. After a few days of usage, the Villeret Demi-Fuseau Horaire should make a perfect sense with its well-arranged indicators and elements.
So, why other brands don’t release half-hour complication watches? Likely, because many countries use the standard 1-hour increments. However, travelers to Venezuela for example, would find the half-hour capability a boom. The in-house movement is made possible by an automatic and the caliber 5254DF. This allows users to adjust the watch completely with the crown. The pusher located on the crown allows people to adjust the time and date easily.