Another favourite that displays Blancpain’s treasured moonphase indication is the Villeret Quantième Complet 8 Jours, a calendar timepiece with day, date, month and lunar cycle indications.
Unlike the annual or 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.
In a complete calendar, the moon phase indicator is powered by a wheel with 59 cogs that turns over two complete lunar cycles of 29.5 days. These are the numbers that you’ll see over the window in both the Villeret Carrousel Phases de Lune and the Villeret Quantième Complet 8 Jours. The mechanism moves forward one tooth a day by a gear similar to that of the date indication.
For the man who cares more about clutter than the need to correct a watch (let me raise my hand here), the complete calendar is a more attractive purchase thanks to the cleaner dial layout.
In Blancpain timepieces, the now-iconic display always sees a moon with a face ‒ one that bears an enigmatic smile similar to the Mona Lisa. Perhaps it is meant to reflect the omnipresent entity that circles the earth, that has inspired Paul Verlaine’s poem and the third movement of Claude Debussy’s Bergamasque, and that celebrates the time-honoured tie between watchmaking and astronomy.
The moonphase complication is certainly an emotional one. In an age where everyone is comparing functions on their smartwatches, it takes a degree of confidence to say, “My watch can tell you what part of the lunar cycle we’re at. Do I need it? No, but I’d be damned if it’s not the most beautiful thing about the dial.” Now, more than ever, we need that.
No complication embodies this passion more than the moonphase indication