A romantic tradition: the Saint-Valentin timepieces

For now 21 years Blancpain has celebrated each Valentine’s Day with a special thematic timepiece. Let’s take a look at the brand new Blancpain Saint-Valentin and its predecessors since 2001.

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Next to the photos you will find links that provide the press releases for each Saint-Valentin model. All photos are official Blancpain images and credit to the Manufacture. 

A tradition for two decades

The first Blancpain special edition launched alongside Valentine’s Day was the 2001 Leman Flyback Chronograph, a 34-mm watch with a gem set bezel, grey dial and a grey satin strap. 

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This 2001 watch was introduced as part of a series called “Pastel Joaillerie”, a theme that also influenced the Valentine’s Day 2002 timepiece with blue-grey guilloché dial and strap.

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The 2003 watch was the first in the series to show the specific Valentine’s theme. The limited to 99 pieces Saint-Valentin timepiece featured a mother-of-pearl dial, moon phase display and small seconds at 6 o’clock.

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The 2004 Saint-Valentin watch showed a tiny heart pierced by the Cuprid’s arrow as the seconds hand over a MOP dial with diamond hour markers. 
 
 
 
 
Even more subtle and elegant is the 2005 edition based on reference 6102 with a choice of five straps supplied, all red, in rubber, patent calf, lizard, alligator and satin. 
 
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The 2006 Saint-Valentin watch featured a thematic playful white dial  showing a constellation of diamonds and heart-shaped rubies. The 34mm timepiece is powered by caliber 953.
 
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In 2007 the Saint-Valentin edition was based on an at the time new Women collection model, featuring a heart motif at the center of the dial. It was again a limited edition of 99 pieces.

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The 2008 Saint-Valentin was again based on the Women collection, the watch featured a complete calendar with moon phases and a red heart as the continuous seconds hand. It was powered by caliber 6763 with 100 hours’ power reserve, had a 34mm stainless steel case, mother-of-pearl dial and was limited to 99 pieces.

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The 2009 Saint-Valentin stood in the tradition of the previous two years, again built on a model from the Women collection. This time it was a Flyback chronograph with the F185 movement,  limited to 99 pieces.
 

 

A truly exceptional Saint-Valentin watch was introduced in 2010. It was the first Blancpain to be made with a very special non-round case shape. The timepiece was powered by caliber 615, known from the Ladybird as the worldwide smallest automatic movement. This marvel was produced in a limited edition of 14 pieces.

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The 2011 version, again produced in a quantity of 99 pieces , was a complete calendar with moon phases, distinguished subtly by a heart shaped ruby in the bezel and the heart shaped pointer of the date hand.

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The Saint-Valentin 2012 was a Flyback chronograph, with hearts for the subdials, and a Cupid’s arrow for the chronograph seconds hand. The date was located at the unusual 12 o’clock position. Also note the red cabochons in the chronograph pushers and the diamond in the crown. This timepiece was limited to 14 pieces.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The 2013 version featured tinted red mother-of-pearl marquetry hearts, not only on the dial but also on the case flank and the rotor. This model was again produced in a limited edition of 99 pieces.
 
 

 

The Valentine’s Day 2014 edition was limited to 99 pieces. It featured a 33mm case, with a mother-of-pearl dial featuring subtle heart shaped engravings.

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The Saint-Valentine 2015 was a remarkable masterpiece with a MOP dial showing a rose sculpted from pieces of mother of pearl, one for each petal. The petals are tinted pink and then assembled onto the dial individually. This piece of art was made in a limited edition of 14.

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In 2016 the honor of being the Saint-Valentin watch finally went to the famous Ladybird with all its rich heritage. The limited to 99 watch features a partially gem set heart on the MOP dial, you also see the small pendant with heart and arrow crafted with a ruby and a diamond.

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The 2017 Saint-Valentin was a comparatively subtle translation of the theme with a ruby set heart at the 12 o’clock position of the MOP dial and the arrow shaped seconds hand. The watch was limited to 99 pieces and came with two alligator straps in red and white.

6104_4654_95A_PRSt-Val2017-ENG

 

For 2018 the idea of the Cupid’s arrow and pierced heart seconds hand known from the 2004 watch. In addition the timepiece features  star shaped gem settings on the MOP dial with a decentered moon phase indication. Note the big crown with a diamond cabochon. This Saint-Valentin was also limited to 99 pieces.

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The next Saint-Valentin came more subtle in 2019, with a red heart pointer of the date hand and an arrow shaped seconds hand over the MOP dial. This red gold watch in the new Quantieme Phases de Lune configuration with gem settings on the bezel and lugs was limited to 99 pieces.

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Last year another truly remarkable Saint Valentine saw the light of day, inspired by a Blancpain Cocktail watch owned by Marilyn Monroe. The Art deco style case houses the rectangular caliber 510, Blancpain’s first rectangular movement in modern times. This spectacular watch was limited to only 14 pieces.

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The 2021 Saint-Valentin

For this year’s Valentine’s Day Blancpain created a version of the Women Date in a 33.2mm red gold case, again featuring the thematic Cupid’s arrow and pierced heart as the seconds hand. The MOP dial shows diamond hour markers and the oval shaped date window at 3 o’clock.

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The watch is limited to 28 pieces and powered by caliber 1151, decorated with a beautifully engraved rotor following the theme.

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Some thoughts on the Saint-Valentin editions

The evolution within the tradition of romantic Saint Valentine timepieces is interesting to observe. Between the first two watches without the thematic Valentine’s Day characteristics and the impressive artwork that can be found with later editions, the entire series is remarkably diverse.

Many signature configurations of the Manufacture have found their way into the Saint Valentine series: the smallest automatic movement in the Ladybird, the Flyback chronograph, the complete calendar with moon phases. Frequently, the Saint Valentine timepieces were closely connected to current collection models.

But then there are those editions that seem more influenced by the Manufacture’s Metiers d’art Atelier, namely the 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2020 watches. The amount of creativity and artisanal crafts utilized for these timepieces shows how passionately Blancpain curates this series. 

You can find the current Saint Valentine watch here on the Blancpain website. In the blog, here you find more of the Ladybird and also the 2020 Saint Valentine watch and the Marilyn Monroe exhibition in NYC.

I hope you enjoyed this overview.

Cheers

Henrik

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

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