With its Villeret Quantième Perpétuel Correcteurs sous Cornes (perpetual calendar featuring correctors located under the lugs), Blancpain innovated by thinking “out of the box”.
Every mechanical calendar movement requires correctors. They are the means by which the calendar can be initially set when the watch is delivered and can be reset if the watch is ever allowed to run down. Two hundred years of watchmaking practice have placed the correctors on the side of the case. When pushed with a tool – usually a push pin is supplied with the watch – the corrector itself pushes upon a lever which is part of the calendar plate of the movement, changing an indication – date, day, month or moon phase – to the next day or month. Albeit convenient, correctors detract from the clean, smooth lines of the side of the watch, appearing as small dimples.
|Villeret Quantième Perpétuel Correcteurs sous Cornes (Ref. 6057-3642-53B)|
One of Blancpain’s watchmakers, thinking out of the box, gazed upon one of its perpetual calendars and had an inspiration. “What if the correctors could be moved elsewhere, to a place where they would not be visible when the watch is worn?” In the more than two centuries that perpetual calendar wristwatches have been produced, no watchmaker has had this clarity of vision.
Of course the solution could not be to simply remove the correctors. The need to set directly the perpetual calendar remained. The quest became to find a location for the correctors that would be both hidden and compatible with the layout of the complex perpetual calendar mechanism.
The inspiration was to place the correctors under the lugs. In this location, the correctors are at once easily accessible for advancing the calendar indications, perfectly placed for the movement, yet entirely hidden from view when the watch is worn. Blancpain brought an added bonus with this industry first solution.
The correctors were designed so that they can be actuated with a fingernail. Although a tool is supplied, unlike case-side dimple correctors, its use is not essential. Watch collectors have waited two hundred years for clean lines on the side of the case and complete freedom from tools. A patent has naturally been filed for this innovation.