As time goes on, luxury watchmakers have been constantly trying to include more complications and additional bling and features into their timepieces, including their watches for women.
That’s fine, especially if they’re adding complications to women’s watches, as that has traditionally been reserved only for men’s watches.
The problem with adding complications is that they almost always add additional size.
Men may enjoy getting into the “size wars” over gigantic oversized cases, but most women I know prefer that their watches not become the size of sundials just so they can accommodate additional features.
That’s where the new Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase, introduced at Baselworld reently, really shines. The watch, designed for women and using a dedicated movement, includes a clever date display as well as a rather cheeky moonphase complication.
The case, measuring 29.2 mm, is available in either gold ($19,000) or stainless steel ($16,000.) The case is adorned with 48 diamonds around the face, and an additional 8 diamonds on the face itself, at 1, 2, 4,5,7,8, 10, and 11 o’clock.
The date isn’t displayed in a window, but is instead shown around the perimeter of the case, with a dedicated red pointer to point to the date.
The moon phase complication is shown in a window at 6 o’clock and the full moon display shows a moon that appears to have eyelashes, lipstick and even a beauty mark.
On the back of the case, you’ll find sapphire crystal that reveals a red gold rotor. The automatic movement has a 40 hour power reserve.
The nice thing about this watch is the movement, which was built in-house and is known as the Caliber 913QL. Measuring 21mm, the movement is quite size-efficient, especially given that it has a moon phase, which ordinarily takes up quite a bit of space.
Ladies’ watches have often been an afterthought in the watch industry, as the industry and associated innovation seem to be driven by men’s models. That’s not surprising, given that most watch designers and watch company CEOs are men, but men’s models usually get the features, the complications and the cutting-edge innovation.
Ladies’ models, on the other hand, are usually kept fairly simple, with the manufacturers just throwing some gold and some diamonds at a movement with so-so features, assuming that women don’t really care about features or complications.
It’s nice to see that Blancpain does care enough to introduce some dedicated movements as well as some complications that appear to have been designed with the intended customer base in mind.
While a moon phase is hardly an essential feature in any watch, let alone one for women, it’s nice to see that this one has been designed with a bit of whimsy. It fits in well with this model, and while it hardly makes the watch a “must buy,” it does add a certain je ne sais quois to it.
The end result is a watch that is expensive, to be sure, but is also drop-dead gorgeous. This one is a watch that just about anyone would be happy to own.
The end result is a watch that is truly a thing of beauty.