The evolution of a dive watch

With the launch of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe in 2013 alongside the 60th anniversary of the legendary dive watch, Blancpain‘s main purpose may have been to offer a more tool watch like alternative to the in all aspects luxurious reference 5015. The recent evolution of the Bathyscaphe series however has outgrown it’s dive watch history and made it almost a successor to the discontinued Leman series – let me explain why.

Bathyscaphe Quantieme Complet

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Flashback: the 2003 Fifty Fathoms 50th Anniversary

In 2003 Blancpain celebrated the 50th anniversary of an horological icon, the Fifty Fathoms and therefore the first professional diving watch introduced 1953.

To commemorate this significant milestone Blancpain released the Fifty Fathoms 50th Anniversary reference 2200A-1130-71 in a limited run of 150 pieces, split into three series with 50 watches each for Asia, Europe and North America.

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Flashback: The Trilogy series

Launched in 1996 and discontinued in 2003, the Blancpain Trilogy series was the first attempt by the Manufacture since it’s resurrection to revitalize the strong heritage from the 1950s that was initiated by the first professional diving watch Fifty Fathoms and the very rare chronograph Air Command.

 

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A fireworks of culinary and horological highlights

Last weekend I had the pleasure to spend a few days with Blancpain and the brand ambassador Chef Holger Bodendorf for the 20th Sylt Gourmet Festival.

Landhaus Stricker

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My top 3 watches of 2018

This year I had the pleasure of more encounters with new Blancpain timepieces than ever before. Obviously Baselworld was the main event for the Blancpain novelties, but in 2018 we have got some new and exciting watches throughout the year, with the latest one being introduced just prior to Christmas.

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Hands on with the Fifty Fathoms Grande Date

Since it’s release in 2007 the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique has seen quite a number of variations, we have seen two limited versions with historic roots (Tribute to Fifty Fathoms and Tribute to Aqua Lung), a few white FF (one plain, others with MOP dials), the DLC coated Dark Knight, some in precious metals (polished and brushed rose gold and white gold with blue dial), a brushed steel FF with a blue Flinqué dial and last year’s titanium FF with blue dial. 

The one version I personally expected (and hoped for) a lot earlier than 2018 is the new Fifty Fathoms Grande Date in brushed titanium. The Grande Date, changing instantly at midnight within a blink of an eye, has debuted 2005 in the Leman Aqua Lung Grande Date and it found it’s way into various timepieces (Leman, Villeret, L’Evolution) since then, but so far never into the Fifty Fathoms collection. 

 
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The new Blancpain Bathyscaphe Bucherer Blue Edition

Yesterday the well known retailer Bucherer released a new timepiece belonging to their Blue Editions collection, which already features watches by Vacheron Constantin, IWC, Piaget, Audemars Piguet, Tudor and others. This time it is a collaboration between Bucherer and Blancpain: the Blancpain Bathyscaphe Bucherer Blue Edition.

Thanks to Bucherer Hamburg and Blancpain Germany I had the opportunity to view the watch just hours after official release and of course take a lot of photos to share with you.

Blancpain Bathyscaphe Bucherer Blue Edition

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Deconstruction Blancpain Fifty Fathoms by The Naked Watchmaker

The Fifty Fathoms divers watch was originally designed in 1953. A deconstruction of the original model can be viewed by clicking here.  The modern version has evolved from the original design, to what is today a technically superior version from the movement through to the execution of the case. This version was launched in 2007.

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Deconstruction Vintage Blancpain Fifty Fathoms by The Naked Watchmaker

An example of the original Fifty Fathoms divers watch manufactured in the early 1950’s.


(This watch was restored & photographed at Blancpain in their restoration workshop.)

 

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A pictorial comparison of two Fifty Fathoms on bracelet

I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at two references within the same model range, the standard Fifty Fathoms ref 5015-1130-71 and the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe ref 5000-1110-70, both on bracelet.

Fifty Fathoms ref 5015-1130-71 and Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe ref 5000-1110-70

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A world premiere on World Oceans Day: the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment III

Yesterday I had the exceptional honor to welcome the brand new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment III for a photo session.

The watch is officially launched today, and there could be no better timing to celebrate Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment activities with the third edition of the commemorative timepiece on World Ocean Day.

In absence of an ocean nearby to be used as a background, I focused on getting some absolutely untreated hands-on photos to you. Some Blancpain books came very handy as a fitting background as well.

Now, when I unpacked the OC III I did not know what to expect, a third Bathyscaphe Chronographe would have been logical, but somehow I thought it might be different this time… and right I was! Here it is:

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment III

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Hands-on with the Blancpain novelties (3): the sports watches

Blancpain introduced three new regular models in the Fifty Fathoms line, the Fifty Fathoms Grande Date, the Bathyscaphe Quantieme Annuel and the Bathyscaphe Quantieme Complet.

Let’s take a look at the Fifty Fathoms Grande Date first. Executed in brushed titanium, it is the first watch in the FF line to feature the instant changing big date we know since 2005 when it was first introduced in the Leman Aqua Lung Grande Date.

The Fifty Fathoms Grande Date has a very distinct look to it, which is also emphasized by the numerals 3 and 9 being left out from the dial. It comes on either a sailcloth strap or a Nato strap, which would be my personal choice. A titanium bracelet is not planned as of yet. The watch is a real beauty, not easy to capture in photos, though.

Here are some impressions:

Fifty Fathoms Grande Date

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