The Blancpain Tradition Continues - The 2006 Valentines Watch
by WatchNetwork News, December 15, 2005
|At Blancpain Valentines Day has become a tradition. Every year, the arrival February witnesses the introduction of a very special limited edition woman's timepiece. By offering a choice of Valentines Day gift which is everlasting and certain to be treasured by the adored woman who receives it, Blancpain has elevated this yearly February celebration well above its roots.
Although the roots of Blancpain's Valentines watch tradition are clear, the roots of the Valentines Day tradition itself are less so. Indeed no less than three separate stories vie for primacy as the explanation for the holiday. According to one myth Valentine was a priest who defied Roman Emperor Claudius' third century decree that soldiers would be forbidden to marry. Claudius' belief was that single men made better warriors than those who were married. For evading the decree and performing marriage ceremonies, Valentine was put to death. A second legend holds that Valentine was jailed for aiding Christians. While confined he sent the first 'Valentine's card' to his lover signing it 'Your Valentine'. Finally, yet another legend contends that Valentine was put to death for aiding Christians in their escape from Roman prisons.
However murky the origins of Valentines day may be, the celebration of a holiday for lovers may date as far back as 270 AD. Celebrating a rite of spring, young men drew the names of young women from an urn, sought them out with strips of still bloody goat hide, and began a yearly ritual of dating, that in fortunate cases ended in marriage.
More long lasting Valentine's gifts than goat hide emerged much later with the sending of letters, the oldest still in existence dating from the 1400's sent by the Duke of Orleans to his wife. Only a few years less old, is the Valentine's letter sent by English King Henry the V to his wife. Although only rarely does permanence come to a Valentine's card or letter - those of Dukes and Kings being notable cases - the Blancpain Valentine's watch is conceived to be a gift of lasting lustre.
This year Blancpain has created a limited edition series of 99 steel watches adorned by 44 precision cut and set diamonds on the bezel. The white dial is decorated in the classic Valentines heart motif with five of which four heart shaped rubies and nine diamonds. As befits a gift of everlasting love, each of the precious stones is of the highest quality, with VVS graded diamonds Even if it is the exterior decoration that wins her heart, the decoration and finishing of the interior has received no less attention. The calibre 953 automatic movement, like all Blancpain movements, has its 175 components painstakingly hand finished and decorated following Vallee de Joux tradition. The final finishing touch is a white crocodile bracelet.
Each of Blancpain's special Valentine's watches has been much sought after once appearing on the market. The 2006 Edition promises the same.