It is still almost five weeks till the next St. Valentine’s Day, yet the Swiss-based luxury watchmaker has already prepared a new, limited edition Blancpain Saint-Valentin 2013 (ref. 3400-4554-58b St Valentin). Executed in a relatively inexpensive stainless steel body, it features a nicely crafted dial, a number of beautifully executed ceramic elements, as well as an ultra-thin automatic movement.
The mechanism is in fact a refinished version of the great Frederic Piguet 1150 self-winding caliber that the Manufacture sells not only to independent watchmakers (Delaneau, for example, uses the caliber as a base for its gorgeous Amazone Blueberries 1608 model with ‘jumping hours and minutes’ complication), but to other members of the Swatch group including, for example, such monsters as Breguet (used, among others, as Calibers 510DR and then 511DR with the “beat rate” of its balance wheel lowered from original 28,800 vph to 21,600 vph, the mechanism animated the gorgeous Breguet Ref. 5907 timepiece.)
Besides being relatively compact for a fairly old engine, the movement features a double-barrel design that ensures more than 100 hours of power reserve and has the oscillating weight redecorated with stylized hearts. Although the obviousness of the choice of the motif makes me kind of grind my teeth at this point, I must admit that the use of hearts just about everywhere on an artifact related to St. Valentine’s Day is sort of inevitable. *sigh* and also *yawn*
The same hearts are repeated on the white mother-of-pearl dial, which is adorned with eleven diamonds that also serve as hour markers, as well as on the left side of the slim 34 mm body. According to Blancpain, the five hearts on the body are not simply painted or applied but are in fact crafted from liquid ceramic, which is then solidified in an oven at extremely high temperatures.
The case is crafted from steel and doesn’t look as spectacular as cases in white gold, yet there is a good chance that being made from more durable metal, the Blancpain Saint-Valentin 2013 will still look flawless at the time when a model in gold will be in need of polishing.
Also, thanks to the two rows of full-cut diamonds on its slightly thick bezel, the watch looks as gorgeous as much more expensive timekeepers from other major brands.
As the company says in its press release, the watch will be produced only as a limited edition model with a total number of devices restricted to just 99 individually numbered pieces.
See also: Hublot Big Bang 38 mm
Blancpain Saint-Valentin 2013 Limited Edition (ref. 3400-4554-58b St Valentin) specification
Price: $21,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic (self-winding,) caliber Blancpain Calibre 1150 (base FP1150), ultra-thin, Swiss Made
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 110 hours
Movement decoration: Oscillating weight is decorated with stylized hearts
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case: Stainless steel
Bezel: Decorated with two rows of full-cut diamonds
Size: 34.00 mm
Case height: 9.50 mm
Dial: White mother-of-pearl
Hour markers: Diamonds
Hands: Luminous, partly open-worked
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Hand-made white ostrich leather strap with alzavel lining on steel deployment clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective