The new Blancpain Chronographe Flyback Saint-Valentin 2012 (Ref. 3685F-9454-55B) ladies watch brings you the usual mix of white gold, mother-of-pearl and diamonds, as well as a sophisticated, high-quality automatic chronograph movement: a thing we rarely see in watches designed for women.
The new limited edition timekeeper is presented in a rather large (at least, for a ladies watch,) but still slender round body. Crafted from 18-carat white gold, it has its bezel, setting crown and lugs adorned with dozens of diamonds totaling almost 3 carats.
Even the discrete push-pieces designed to operate the flyback chronograph functions (the one at 2 o’clock starts and stops the chrono and the other, at 4 o’clock, resets its readings back to zero) are set with ruby cabochons.
The rubies echo the small red heart that serves as a counterweight for the chronograph central seconds hand. Although I am not really sure about the push-pieces’ heads long-time durability, I must admit that the whole setup is quite lovely and is very good at accenting the timekeeper’s overall extremely cold (it’s February after all, it must be cold!) color scheme.
Of course, it is not the only heart that decorates the watch. The 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters at 3 and 9 o’clock respectively, as well as the small seconds sub-dial at 6 hours are, too, shaped as three hearts.
By the way, the beautiful guilloche-like motive on the dial is in fact crafted from small pieces of mother-of-pearl using the technique of marquetry, which is usually applied to cigar boxes, tables, cabinets and this sort of “full scale” objects.
The watch is powered by their Caliber F185 automatic chronograph movement, which is usually referred to as an “in-house,” but is in fact based on the well-known Piguet 1185 base caliber.
Built on 37 jewels and comprising more than 300 components, this chronograph movement with an integrated vertical clutch is known for its reliability and accuracy, although its reputation was somewhat stained by the Omega 3313 movement that had its share of reliability problems due to its modified co-axial escapement module.
We have already seen this movement in a number of other watches from Blancpain, those including the L-evolution Super, as well as the sporty Speed Command model.
According to the Swiss watchmaking brand, only 14 pieces of Blancpain Chronographe Flyback Saint-Valentin 2012 (Ref. 3685F-9454-55B) were built. The limited edition watches are going to be sold exclusively through Blancpain boutiques.
Blancpain Chronographe Flyback Saint-Valentin 2012 (Ref. 3685F-9454-55B) automatic ladies watch specification
Movement: Caliber F185, automatic, in-house (based on caliber Frederic Piguet 1185 manufactured by sister brand,) Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 37
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Oscillating weight decorated with pink mother-of-pearl
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, flyback chronograph, date
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case material: White gold, 18-carat
Bezel material: Matches case, set with diamonds
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 36.00 mm
Case height: 11.38 mm
Lug width: 19.00 mm
Dial: Marquetry-worked white mother-of-pearl
Hour markers: 8 diamonds
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: White alligator leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire