This practical complication indicates the date,
day of the weeks and the month. The changing
face of the moon reproduced on the dial adds
a poetic note.
Blancpain’s complete calendar watches use a disk system to display the day of the week and the month through two apertures. The date is indicated by a central hand. In the Villeret collection, this is a serpentine hand in blued steel harking back to the watchmaking tradition of the 19th century which used this characteristic shape to indicate the secondary information given by the watch.
Unlike the annual calendar or the perpetual calendar, the complete calendar does not take into account the variable lengths of the months and needs to be corrected five times a year, at the end of months shorter than 31 days.
The reproduction of the lunar cycles on the dials of Blancpain complete calendar watches evokes the time-honoured ties between watchmaking and astronomy. Moon phase timepieces indicate whether the moon is new, waxing, full or waning.
The face of the moon corresponding to the moon phase is visible through an opening in the dial. The moon phase indicator is made up of a wheel with 59 cogs, turning over two complete lunar cycles of 29.5 days. For this reason the moon is painted twice on the disk driven by this wheel. The moon phase mechanism is moved forward once a day around 6pm by a gear similar to that of the date indication.
In 1983, Blancpain brought out a world first with the smallest self-winding movement to indicate moon phase, day, month and date, thereby bringing back a complication which had all but disappeared at the time. Since then, the firm has continued to perfect this mechanism to the point where combining a calendar with moon phase has become an emblematic feature of the brand, which in 2009 brought out a revolutionary movement with the Calibre 66R9. This made it possible for the first time to operate the correctors of the calendar and moon phase indications at any time of day with no risk to the mechanism.