Hands-on with the 2020 novelties: the Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition

Two years ago Blancpain introduced a Bathyscaphe limited edition commemorating a rather extrovert dial from a 1970s Bathyscaphe watch, the Jour Date 70s ref 5052-1110-63A. Now we see a new iteration of this reference, the Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition ref 5052-1146-E52A, so let’s get up close with it. Since this beauty is showing a lot of different faces, brace yourself for many impressions.

Bathyscaphe Jour Date 70s

Before I get to the defining elements of the new watch, let me recap on the technical data and common aspects of both the previous and the new Jour/Day Date. The watch has the well known Bathyscaphe case in satin brushed stainless steel, measuring 43mm in diameter, 15.25mm in height and 49mm lug to lug. And of course you find caliber 1315DD with 5 days of power reserve.

Despite having the same dial configuration, the new Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition has a different expression than the 70s. This is a result of the Fumé dial being a lot more colorful and the bezel being executed in brown ceramic.

To illustrate the lively and strong character of this new dial/bezel combination, let’s take a look at a short wrist turn video:

The timepiece changes its expression under different light conditions quite significantly. Under direct sunlight the darker aspects of the dial appear more prominent, being up close under direct artificial light the immaculate finish and the lighter aspects can be fully appreciated.

Here’s a set of photos taken under daylight:

As a contrast these shots are taken against the bright afternoon sun, so can notice that now the brown bezel is emphasized a lot more:

Now let’s get to some close ups with the 6x Loupe System lens and the clear white light ring activated. Exploring this dial and bezel with a loupe is pure joy: you can find so many details, so many shades of colors… and despite the fact that we are used to see beautiful and immaculate dials from Blancpain, this one is special.

Without any doubt this is an unusual Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, just as the first Bathyscaphe Jour Date 70s has been. This new version however is a bit less dependent on the reference to the vintage watch, it develops the idea further into a timepiece that expands today’s Bathyscaphe aesthetics.

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Since I reference the first Bathyscaphe Jour Date 70s from 2018, here is it together with the new Day Date Desert Edition for comparative reasons. you will notice the similarities and differences easily, I suppose.

The watch wears comfortably on the wrist, it is clearly a large watch and the height of the case is noticeable. The unusual strap with contrast stitching works well with the dial, it however looks significantly different under natural or artificial light. Indisputably this new Bathyscaphe has a lot of character on and off the wrist.

The Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition is limited to 500 pieces and it is available immediately. You can find the watch here on the Blancpain website and my report on the Bathyscaphe Jour Date 70s here in the blog.

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I hope you enjoyed the live impressions of this new Bathyscaphe. I must say I like this one a lot!

Cheers

Henrik

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