I remember vividly my excitement when I saw the first ever 40mm Blancpain Leman watch introduced in a catalogue 2004, the Flyback Split Second Ref 2086. The watch immediately resonated with me, and for a few years to come I was not even aware of this one:
Before getting closer on this one, let’s spend a moment on general aspects of the Flyback Split Second. Based on the iconic FP1185 reference 2086 is powered by calibre F186 with automatic winding, offering the rare combination of a Flyback and Rattrapante function… you might say it’s the ultimate chronograph.
Blancpain couldn’t have picked a better model for launching the new 40mm Leman at the time, it still offered the legendary looks of the 38mm Flyback but also a new combination that can be considered highly collectible.
Reference 2086 saw no other materials than stainless steel, and the only variation to the standard model was one of the finest and rarest Blancpain Leman watches ever, the limited to 12 pieces Flyback Split Second A’Toute Vitesse.
There have been three A‘Toute Vitesse models created for the US dealer Swiss Fine Timing: a limited to 20 Flyback in 38mm, a limited to 12 Leman GMT Reveil and the above mentioned ref 2086. The distinguishing elements for the A‘Toute Vitesse watches are the dial and hands color code and special engravings on the case back.
Long before „fauxina“ became a term to describe Luminova coloring to mimic tritium patina, the color code of the ATV watches brought a warmth on the dial that was previously unseen with mostly green or white colored luminous material. It was not meant to mimic aged tritium, it simply followed a great idea of those who designed it. You may say they have been quite ahead of developments to come.
I tried to contact Swiss Fine Timing to find out about their thoughts behind the color code and also the name A‘Toute Vitesse. Unfortunately I have not received an answer so far, but once I find out this article will be updated immediately.
The Leman Flyback Split Second A’Toute Vitesse works fine on different straps, it’s a versatile and subtle beauty that brings utmost pleasure every time you look at it.
Here are some wrist shots to give you an idea:
A fellow forum member once called this watch the pinnacle of the Leman series. I like to think that it is hard to argue with that statement.
Hope you enjoyed this flashback report. Here’s a last shot for today, showing the lume is not bad either. The photo is taken with the help of a 6x Loupe System lens on my iPhone 7+.