As usual, Blancpain has presented a limited-edition timepiece for those celebrating Valentine’s Day. Although looking somewhat oversized on these promotional photos (possibly, thanks to a highly organized dial that comes with lots of elements that are visually separated from each other), the limited edition is very compact being only 34 millimeters wide. Meet the new Saint-Valentin 2011 Complete Calendar Ladies (Ref. 3663-4654-55B).
Judging by the looks of it, the new model is based on the Complete Calendar Ref. 3363-4544-55B model that was created for the same occasion three years ago.
At least, it comes in the same stainless steel case 34 mm in diameter and 11.05 mm in height, and is powered by the same “Manufacture”-made BP Calibre 6763 automatic movement.
Produced by Blancpain‘s subsidiary Frederic Piguet, the movement is composed of 261 parts and, being only 4.90 mm thick, can be characterized as a surprisingly slim engine.
Of course, the BP 6763 is not as complicated as “perpetual calendar” movements and requires manual correction five times a year to compensate for months that are shorter than 31 days.
The moon-phase complication, which is displayed at 6 o’clock and shares its space with a subsidiary seconds hand, will also require manual correction every 32 months.
Well, giving the BP 6763 its due, it is a wonderfully executed movement with an enormous (for such a slim mechanism) power reserve of 100 hours. It is also beautifully decorated featuring stylized hearts engraved on its winding rotor.
Some would expect the oscillating weight to feature only one or, maybe, two hearts, but no such luck, there is a third heart there, too. Just like in real life.
The movement is perfectly seen via a display case back covered with a sapphire crystal. I must admit that this new piece is a real pleasure to look at.
Its white mother of pearl is decorated with nine diamonds and three applied Roman numerals. There are also 49 nine crystal clear diamonds on the timekeeper’s bezel accompanied with a heart-shaped ruby, which is visually supported by a heart-tipped date hand.
The arrow-shaped hour and minute hands feature generous amounts of luminescent substance and, probably, must ahem arouse some associations with the arrows of cupid.
Only a small lot of 99 pieces will be made and sold internationally at a street price of $17,800. The price is impressive alright, however, considering the quality of mechanism used to power this piece, as well as the sheer amount of diamonds and (last but not least) skilled labor to manufacture this gorgeous watch, I would say the price is not that high after all. The fact that most of us can’t afford it is another story.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Blancpain Saint-Valentin 2011 Complete Calendar Ladies (Ref. 3663-4654-55B) specification
Price: $17,800 (MSRP)
Movement: BP Calibre 6763, automatic, manufactured by Frederic Piguet (base caliber FP 1150,) 30 jewels, 27.00 mm in diameter, 4.90 mm in height, 261 parts, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock, moon phase, date, day of week
Power reserve: 100 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Bezel: Stainless steel and diamonds
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 34.00 mm
Lug width: 18.00 mm
Case height: 11.05 mm
Dial: White mother of pearl
Numerals: Roman, applied
Hands: Steel, open-worked, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: White alligator strap with deployant clasp / Stainless steel bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective