Every year Blancpain (as well as its sister company Breguet) debuts a limited edition for Valentine’s Day. The concept is a bit kitschy – the watch is usually decked out in diamonds and hearts – but this year’s edition is a notably interesting watch.
The Saint-Valentin 2020 is powered by a newly-developed form movement, the cal. 510, that is both rectangular and skeletonised. While traditionally Jaeger-LeCoultre has been the leader in form movements for ladies’ watches, most notably with the tiny cal. 101 and with other movements found in the Reverso as well as various Cartier Tanks, Blancpain has notched up a win in the segment with the cal. 510.
The cal. 510 is relatively large for what is supposed to be a small movement for a ladies’ watch, measuring 12 mm wide and 25.2 mm long. But it is impressively constructed.
It’s fitted with a good-sized barrel that gives it a 50-hour power reserve, which is lengthy for such a tiny movement. That is especially so considering the relatively large balance wheel that is free-sprung and equipped with hour regulating weights on its recessed rim.
Additionally, the bridges are all open-worked, revealing the going train and barrel ratchet wheel. The result is also an obvious two-tone look, with the gilded wheels contrasted against the rhodium-plated bridges. And the components are finished carefully and completely, although it appears some of it is done by machine.
The rest of the watch is arguably less interesting than the movement. The case is white gold and set with 1.477 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds as well as two marquise-cut stones on each lug. And the dial is mother-of-pearl marquetry depicting a heart motif, further accented by heart-shaped diamonds and rubies.
The Saint-Valentin 2020 is a small edition of just 14 watches, though it is likely that the cal. 510 will make its way into future products.
Key facts and price
Blancpain Saint-Valentin 2020
Case diameter: 16 mm
Case height: 35 mm
Material: 18k white gold, set with 1.477 carats of diamonds
Water resistance: 30 m
Movement: Cal. 510
Functions: Hours and minutes
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 52 hours
Strap: White calfskin
Limited edition: 14 pieces
Availability: At boutiques worldwide
Price: 51,800 Singapore dollars (equivalent to US$38,300)
For more, visit Blancpain.com.
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