In 2012, Blancpain made history by introducing the Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar wristwatch, a pioneering timepiece seamlessly integrating a sophisticated Chinese calendar with a Gregorian date and moonphase. In 2024, the Swiss Manufacture revealed the Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar Ref. 0888-3632C-55B, a fresh limited edition of this remarkable complication. This edition boasts a red gold case paired with a distinctive green dial with meticulous engravings of the themed year of the dragon.The round 45.2 mm case is made of 18k red gold with an overall polished finish and a height of 15.1 mm. This is a very sleek and elegantly crafted design with 23 mm lug width.On the flipside is a sapphire exhibition caseback that allows a view into the inner workings of the mechanical movement. The watch's winding rotor, crafted from red gold, showcases the dragon, representing this year's animal. Positioned against a textured background, the dragon is accompanied by a red ruby and an engraving of the Chinese characters for "dragon" and "wood," symbolizing the element of the year 2024.It comes equipped with a knurled setting crown. Facilitating convenient calendar adjustments, the case incorporates Blancpain's patented under lug correctors. These not only contribute to a sleek appearance on the sides but also enable easy fingertip changes. Water-resistance can reach up to 30 meters (98 feet).Time is exhibited on a green Grand Feu enamel dial with applied gold Roman numerals, while circling around the flange are the 31 Gregorian calendar days painted in white enamel.Three sub-dials adorned with white enamel Chinese hieroglyphs cater specifically to Mandarin speakers. Positioned at 3 o'clock, the sub-dial features the five elements (wood, earth, fire, water, and metal), along with the ten celestial branches and the yin and yang symbol at the center. At 9 o'clock, months and lunar days are indicated, accompanied by a small aperture that turns red during years with a 13th intercalary month. Lastly, at 12 o'clock, a small sub-dial displays double hours using numbers and symbols over a 24-hour cycle.A small opening at the 12 o’clock spot displays the image of a dragon, although a different animal from the Chinese zodiac can be selected via the crown. Meanwhile on the lower-half of the dial we find a moonphase decorated with gold toned stars and moon, over a dark sky.
Blancpain Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar “Year of the Dragon”
The Blancpain Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar “Year of the Dragon” (Ref#: 00888-3632C-55B) is powered by the in-house self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 3638 with 39 jewels, 464 components, and 28,800 vph. It comes equipped with a silicon balance spring. Power reserve can last up to 168 hours (7 days), when fully wound.Mounted on the watch is a brown alligator scaled strap with tone-on-tone stitchings, secured to the wrist by a red gold folding clasp. This is a limited edition of only 50 numbered pieces. For more up to date information visit the official Blancpain website here.