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Seventy Years of Diving Legend: Blancpain's Fifty Fathoms Keeps Getting Cooler

March 05, 2024 5 min read 2 Comments

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

You might ask, why is the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms so expensive? Who wears these Fifty Fathoms wristwatches? Are they actually fifty in number? Is Blancpain any good? These questions and more might be running through your mind about this wristwatch. The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms are legendary dive watches with a diving scale. It is not just the oldest registered watch brand in the world but also home to the oldest dive watch in continuous production, culminating in a 71-year legacy since its introduction in 1953. Since its existence, divers could now venture into the deep with an accurate and reliable built watch. Its complex design and arrangement make it stand out. In 2023, Blancpain celebrated this rich history with a special edition release, further cementing its collectible status. Before investing in a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms wristwatch, you might want to look into your purse very well. It is fully arranged and assembled by a watchmaker in the grand complication workshop of the Le Brassus manufacture. Production runs are much lower because each set of them is painstakingly and meticulously assembled, and as each new set comes into the limelight, there are people eagerly waiting to have them immediately.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 - 5901 5630 NANA

The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 - 5901 5630 NANA commemorates the company's 70 years of diving watch expertise with a vintage-inspired 9K bronze gold case and black dial bearing luminous hands and markers.

Introduced in 1953, Fifty Fathoms meaning a diver could safely dive into the sea about 91m deep and also a line from Ariel’s song in Shakespeare’s from the tempest. Three inquisitive minds; Jean Jaques Fiechter: CEO of Blancpain, who was almost a victim of death through drowning at one of his diving sessions and naval officers Bob Maloubier and Claude Riffaud wanting the best kind of watch as passionate divers, for their military diving missions for time keeping during their diving lieu. These men crossed path at some point and then got on a quest of accessing the wristwatches in the market, testing their durability, they needed something that was resistant to water. So day by day and moments by moment these men came up with resistant mechanism for it. For twenty decades and counting, every Blancpain edition had one unique thing that stood out for your taste. It had specific peculiarities that made it stand out; the double sealed crown designed into the watch that helps it maintain the water resistance even if the crown is pulled out during a dive, a rotatable bezel for timing the dive which the wearer pushes down with three fingers, the sealed the case back to avoid any risk of misalignment.

Enseigne de Vaisseau Claude Riffaud and Captain Robert 'Bob' Maloubier

From left: Enseigne de Vaisseau Claude Riffaud and Captain Robert 'Bob' Maloubier, pioneers of underwater exploration and instrumental figures in the development of the iconic Fifty Fathoms timepiece.

Although they have been a lot of dispute over the said wristwatch, it still doesn’t dispute the fact that Blancpain Fifty Fathom is the best diving mechanism in a long while now. The artistic designs, durability, colour and designs gives it a unique touch and feel to the wrist. I mean, you'd buy something with your money and whenever you look to check your time, you'd always be happy. There’s also provision for civilians like us, not all Blancpain Fifty Fathoms are for divers. Here are some awesome models of the Fifty Fathoms.

Through the past years Blancpain had come up interesting and amazing dive watches like the followings.

 

Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet Phases De Lune

An Unidirectional satin-brushed titanium bezel with ceramic insert and Liquid metal hour-markers with a 72 hours power reserve, water resistance of 30 bar, titanium case material with a titanium strap modelling the version that was first released in 1956. Its appearance in 2013 has brought forth more of its types of different materials, sizes and complications. Case diameter of 43mm and thickness of 13.3mm. It has silky form appearance since it has a titanium strap. Light on the wrist, as date, days of the weeks and month are displayed on it. The changing face of the moon as the name implies, and the lunar cycles on the dial makes it feel very unique.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet Phases De Lune

The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet Phases De Lune seamlessly traces the lunar ballet, pairing cosmic allure with a streamlined 43mm titanium profile for the modern adventurer.


Fifty-Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback

Unidirectional satin-brushed black ceramic bezel, ceramic insert and Liquidmetal hour-markers with high water resistance coupled with high frequency case size of 43mm and thickness of 15.2mm measures a succession of elapse time, and eliminates repetitive operations with a One-piece Nylon strap and a fabric strap material of thickness 6.65 mm and power reserve of 50 hours. With water resistance that meets the stringent requirements of a professional dive watch, the Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback remains faithful to its lineage while offering a sophisticated tool for precise timekeeping.

Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback

The Fifty-Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback commands precision with its 43mm case and flyback function, wrapped in a unidirectional ceramic bezel, ready for the deepest dives with a 50-hour reserve.


Fifty-Fathoms Grande Date

This is mainly worn by men with specifications of automatic winding, Large Date, Unidirectional bezel. Made with a titanium case material with diameter 45mm. As it has a large date on its display, it feels elegant, bold and practical to the wrist. Water resistance: 30 bar and power reserve: 120 hours

Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms Grande Date Titanium

The Fifty-Fathoms Grande Date exudes masculinity with its automatic movement, prominent date display, and robust 45mm titanium case, offering elegance and functionality, complete with a 120-hour power reserve.


Fifty Fathoms Automatique

Its simplicity coming with specifications of an antimagnetic cage, unidirectional bezel with a dial colour of black, suits a perfect taste. An housing of steel and a case diameter of 45mm, gives a light silk feeling water resistance of 30 bar.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique

The Fifty Fathoms Automatique captures a sense of refined durability, encased in a 45mm steel silhouette with a water resistance that speaks to the adventurer's soul.


Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe

These came in smaller sizes with a case diameter of 38mm and thickness of 10.8mm It is a Satin-brushed steel bezel with ceramic insert and Liquidmetal hour-markers mainly used by men, with a steel case material, and a water resistance of 30 bar and Power Reserve of 120 hours. A serial production in 2007 built out its collection of different colour, shapes and sizes.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe

Streamlined elegance meets oceanic endurance with the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe, its 38mm steel case and ceramic bezel poised to explore the deep.

The fifty fathom collection of wristwatches build straps suitable for the underwater environment fastened unto the wrist of the user and giving a satisfactory sense of safety. Sail-canvas strap models, metal models and also One-piece Nylon style models to ensure comfortability. The fifty fathom case is not only a cover to this beauty but also an art. Each design engraved into the wristwatch are perfectly polished and immaculate. Before, Hexagon spring bar screw (need handle with great care or will damage easily) now new version changed into a more user friendly spring bar type.

Fifty Fathoms had evolved and still been evolving with time. Although still the original design, it has now evolved with a touch of modern technicality. They do not use the local spring bars, instead it uses the bar that screws into the hex head receptor inside the lug bar, and for some models, the strap or bracelet is held unto the case by a screw system instead of spring bars.

 

Written by Victor, images by others as noted

 

External References

2 Responses

Strapcode
Strapcode

March 21, 2024

The Grande Date Titanium has been updated. Thanks, Bdiamond, for the reminder.

Strapcode Team

Bdiamond
Bdiamond

March 21, 2024

The Grande Date has the date window at six and is full titanium. What you have shown in picture is the steel case with regular date

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