Flashback: the 2185F titanium

Today we will take a closer look at one of Blancpain‘s signature timepieces, the 38mm Flyback Chronograph 2185F from the 1990s. Actually, we will explore it in it‘s rare titanium version 2185F-1230A-55B.

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Introduced in 1996 the 2185F Flyback Chronograph instantly became one of the iconic watches of the era. Today we refer to it as a watch belonging to the Leman series, but that name did not yet exist at the time.

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The characteristic 38mm case with the well known double ring bezel measures only 11mm in height. Further typical elements are the Blancpain signature on the case band and the solid case back with the engraved individual number of the watch.

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The satin brushed grade 5 titanium case offers a different experience than the usual high polished stainless steel version. Reference 2185F has always been a compelling blend between a dress and a sports watch, with a bias on the latter in the titanium version.

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This bias is even more pronounced by the exceptional dial: the titanium 2185F for the first time featured a black two tone dial, a design that later also appeared in the rare A‘Toute Vitesse timepieces.

The large hour numerals have a blueish green SuperLuminiva color and the 5 minute interval indications are executed in red (a slightly darker tone than with the ATV timepieces).

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The dial with its glossy and matte segments is a visual delight and it either hides or pronounces the two tone execution under varying light conditions.

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The watch usually came on a rubberized leather strap which was attached closely to the case and fitted with friction pins. This specimen however is worn on a normal black alligator strap, with the titanium folding clasp being the same, though.

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The 2185F is of course powered by caliber F185 with column wheel and vertical clutch. The movement is not visible due to the solid case back. A sapphire case back was only available with the (numerous) limited editions of the 2185F in stainless steel or gold.

The characteristic dark glow of grade 5 titanium is without no doubt a highlight of this watch. It is a totally different look than the stainless steel 2185F, and the case color is also easily distinguishable from today’s titanium Fifty Fathoms 5015, which is crafted from the lighter grade 2 titanium.

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It is no surprise that with 38mm in diameter and only 11mm in height the 2185F is a pure pleasure to wear. The version in titanium offers the additional benefit of very low weight and its anti-allergic properties. Still, the watch has a remarkable presence on the wrist.

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What strikes me most about the 2185F is how up to date it appears although it was introduced a quarter century ago. I can easily imagine this very timepiece being launched today and it‘s timeless design would work just as well as in 1996. There’s no doubt that the 2185F is just another perfect example for the outstanding and timeless design Blancpain is known for.

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If you want to explore other versions of the 2185F you are kindly invited to read my Leman overview part 1 here and part 3 here in the blog. A wonderful example of the referenced A’Toute Vitesse is shown here in the blog. You find detailed information on caliber F185 here on the Blancpain website.

I hope you enjoyed this flashback report and the photos.

Cheers

Henrik

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