With a history that dates back to 1735, Blancpain proudly holds the title of the world’s oldest watch brand. That illustrious heritage has paved the way for some fantastic timepieces including the revolutionary Fifty Fathoms dive watches, classic Villeret timepieces, and highly decorative Métiers d’Art pieces. However, where Blancpain shines the brightest is with its grand complications. One such example is the incredible Blancpain Léman Chronographe Flyback Quantième Perpétuel, which pairs a chronograph with a perpetual calendar. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at a pre-owned Blancpain Leman Perpetual Calendar Flyback Chronograph in rose gold.
Brief History of the Blancpain Léman Collection
In 1994, Blancpain unveiled the newly developed “2100” series with watches equipped with automatic movements that supplied 100 hours of power reserve. The watches, characterized by double bezels, skeletonized sword-shaped hands, and domed crystals, were later renamed “Léman” after the start of the new millennium. While not all Léman watches maintained the 100-hour power reserve, they did retain the signature design traits and the collection grew to become one of Blancpain’s most popular throughout the 1990s and 2000s.
The Blancpain Léman collection was an expansive one, housing several types of watches from chronographs and GMTs to a multitude of calendar creations.
The original Blancpain Leman Perpetual Calendar Flyback Chronograph in the 1990s came in the form of the reference 2585F with 38mm cases. The following decade, Blancpain revamped the range with the larger Blancpain Leman Perpetual Calendar Flyback Chronograph Ref. 2685F.
Blancpain Leman Perpetual Calendar Flyback Chronograph Ref. 2685F
Making its debut in 2005, the Blancpain Léman Perpetual Calendar Flyback Chronograph ref. 2685F-3630-53B is an ultra-luxurious iteration, sporting a 40mm 18k rose gold case. Like all Léman watches, the case is topped with a double-ring bezel and embellished with a “BLANCPAIN” engraving on the left-hand side. As a chronograph model, the watch also includes a pair of chronograph pushers framing the winding crown on the right-hand side of the case. The pushers and crown can all be securely screwed into the case when not in use, contributing to the watch’s 80-meter water-resistance rating.
Rather than a standard chronograph, the watch features a flyback chronograph function, which means the central chronograph hand can be reset to the zero position without having to stop first. Aside from the already complicated flyback chronograph, the Léman ref. 2685F boasts a perpetual calendar, which correctly indicates the day, date, month, leap year, and moon phase without the need for adjustment until the year 2100.
Despite the plethora of indications, the dial is beautifully balanced, spreading out the chronograph and calendar displays across three subsidiary dials, in addition to the moon phase at 6 o’clock. At the center are the skeletonized rose gold hands that sweep around the black dial to point to rose gold faceted hour markers.
The hands and hour markers also benefit from luminous accents for legibility in low light. To match the rich black dial, the Blancpain Léman Perpetual Calendar Flyback Chronograph ref. 2685F-3630-53B is fitted with an elegant black alligator strap. The strap fits securely around the wrist via an 18k rose gold deployant clasp.
Blancpain Leman Perpetual Calendar Flyback Chronograph Caliber F585
The back of the Léman Perpetual Calendar Flyback Chronograph ref. 2685F-3630-53B is furnished with a sapphire caseback to allow a view of the beautiful Caliber F585 powering the watch. Based on the renowned Caliber 1185 (which was the world’s thinnest automatic chronograph when it was introduced in 1988,) the automatic Caliber F585 supplies the watch with 40-hour of power reserve. Thanks to the vertical clutch, the chronograph hand can run continuously (to act as the running seconds hand) without causing any long-term damage to the movement.
In true high horology form, the movement is intricately finished with traditional Swiss watchmaking decorations such as “Côtes de Genève” stripes on the winding rotor and circular graining on the plates and bridges.
The Blancpain Léman Legacy
While the Léman is no longer a part of the current Blancpain’s catalog, it continues to be one of the brand’s most iconic collections, sought after by watch enthusiasts who appreciate the convergence of sporty-elegant designs and excellent mechanical movements.
The Léman Perpetual Calendar Flyback Chronograph in rose gold is an exquisite example of Blancpain’s ability to craft a high complication timepiece into a handsome and wearable luxury watch.