The Blancpain L-evolution Super Trofeo Flyback Chronograph (ref. 8885F-1203-52B) was introduced in September 2009. The idea was to commemorate Blancpain’s President and CEO Marc A. Hayek’s exploits as a member of the Blancpain Reiter Engineering team during the 2010 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo season. You see, besides making great timepieces, the watchmaking brand also sponsors a fairly new mono-brand racing series that (for a small entry fee of $200,000) allows you to drive one of thirty ultra-lightweight versions of the gorgeous Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 supercar.
This year Blancpain has introduced several models that made some fans of the brand lose a great deal of precious bodily fluids during the latest Baselworld 2010 industry event.
Among them are the gorgeous Carrousel Repetition Minute-Le Brassus, new members of the Villeret Moon Phase collection (we will talk about them later) and a whole series of the fresh and updated L-Evolution collection. The most interesting in the latter is the refreshed L-evolution Super Trofeo Flyback Chronograph, which is limited to 600 pieces.
Like the 2008 model year Speed Command Chronograph, the new Super Trofeo is powered by the Caliber F185 automatic chronograph movement with flyback function and 40-hour power reserve.
Made of 308 hand-finished components and running on 37 jewels, the ultra-thin movement is only 5.5 mm in height and measures 26.2 mm in diameter.
While the last year’s version was delivered in a scratch-resistant, but rather heavy DLC-coated stainless steel body, the 2010-year model is presented in a feather-light, but prone to scratches, polished titanium case.
To further decrease the “curb” weight, Blancpain used a carbon-fiber dial and lugs. Since there is no feasible way to weld carbon fiber fabric to metal, Blancpain decided to design the lugs as separate components of the case. To further reiterate its link to the world of automotive sport, the chronograph will be shipped on a strap made of black Alcantara material.
Although flashy, the material for the strap doesn’t seem to be well chosen, since I have a strong suspicion that Alcantara will wear out a lot faster than the good old leather. Frankly, I would much prefer the Blancpain L-evolution Super Trofeo Flyback Chronograph presented on a bracelet made of forged carbon fiber, but something tells me that such a timepiece would cost like a new VW Golf*.
* UPDATE ON PRICE: It’s been confirmed that the ref. 8885F-1203-52B will indeed be offered at a fairly impressive price of USD 22,000 (or €18,500 in our part of the world) and this somehow makes it difficult to assess its “value for money” rating for this brief review. On one hand, the caliber that powers it makes a very strong impression, if not for its technical complexity, then with the signature meticulousness it is assembled and finished; same goes with the finish of its three-dimensional dial that, too, seems to be designed and realized by a person who’s highly skilled in his or her trade. On the other, I don’t see where such an intimidating price tag comes from. Perhaps, you should wait for a little till the new model will be available with more or less adequate discounts before actually pulling the trigger on this (as beautiful as it is) little thing.
Blancpain L-evolution Super Trofeo Flyback Chronograph (ref. 8885F-1203-52B) specification
Price range: $22,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber F185, automatic, 37 jewels, 26.20 mm in diameter, 5.50 mm in height, 308 components, Swiss Made
Functions: Flyback chronograph, date
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: Polished titanium
Size: 43.50 mm
Case height: 12.60 mm
Dial: Black carbon fiber
Hands: Steel, luminous, open-worked
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black Alcantara
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective