The Swiss watchmaker Blancpain has recently revealed a model that combines an in-house automatic movement and classic shape of the body with decisively high-tech bezel and case-back crafted from ultra-lightweight carbon fiber material. Most often used in aerospace industry, as well as in the world of motor sports and other fields where power to weight ratio is of extreme importance, it has recently attracted attention of major brands specialized in manufacturing of luxury timepieces. Finally, Blancpain joins the revolution. Meet the new Blancpain L-Evolution Chronographe Flyback a Rattrapante Grande Date chronograph wrist watch!
Design-wise, this is still the good old Blancpain L-Evolution chronograph that we have seen a couple of years ago.
Combining a rather archaic (but very comfortable at that) setting crown with sporty push-pieces (one of them, painted bright red, is the chronograph start button and the other is Stop/Reset piece) the watch features the same pair of Arabic numerals at 9 and 12 o’clock and is still equipped with skeletonized hour and minute hands with patches of Superluminova right on their triangular tips.
However, this iteration of the model has a nice twist about it.
The first of all, the watch sports a unique “big date” indicator. Placed at 6 o’clock, the display has the usual font replaced with digital-style typeface making the watch look even sportier.
The element became possible thanks to the use of their in-house Caliber 69F9 self-winding movement.
Also beautifully decorated with some of its parts brushed and blacked and the others gold-plated, the movement comprises 409 parts and runs on 42 jewels (although their press release says about 44 rubies, there is a clearly visible stamp on one of its numerous bridges that says “FORTY-TWO (42) JEWELS”)
The second thing is, of course, the wide use of carbon fiber.
While the Blancpain L-evolution Super Trofeo Flyback Chronograph watch that was introduced around two years ago had the use of the lightweight material limited only to its lugs and the dial while the rest of the body was crafted from polished titanium, the new version follows the same scheme in a reverse order.
While its lugs and caseband are crafted either from white gold (ref. 8886F-1503-52B) or rose gold (ref. 8886F-3603-52B), the bezel, case back and the dial were made using carbon-fiber. The same fiber was used to also decorate the black Alcantara strap.
Priced at $23,000 for a version in steel and more than $55,000 for the variations in rose and white gold, this is a fairly expensive piece of luxury, but, targeting the sort of people who can afford a Lambo or a top of the line Ferrari (or both) standing in their garage, it doesn’t look terribly overpriced.
Also, a truly marvelous timekeeper, this one.
Blancpain L-Evolution Chronographe Flyback a Rattrapante Grande Date automatic watch specification
Price: $23,000 (stainless steel) / $55,700 (rose gold, white gold)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber 69F9, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 42
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Brushed and blacked
Functions: Hours, minutes, flyback chronograph, big date
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case material: Rose gold (8886F-3603-52B) / White gold (8886F-1503-52B) (caseband and lugs)
Bezel material: Carbon-fiber
Crown material: White gold or Rose gold
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 16.04 mm
Lug width: 23.00 mm
Dial: Carbon fiber
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Open-worked, luminous
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black Alcantara strap with carbon fiber inserts with carbon folding clasp
Case back: Sapphire