Hands-on with the Fifty Fathoms Barakuda

The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda was received enthusiastically when introduced earlier this year on May 17th. Now that delivery through the Blancpain Boutiques has started, let’s take a closer look at this beautiful timepiece.

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Inspired by the 1968 vintage icon that got its name from the German military equipment distributor Barakuda, the reference 5008B-1130-B52A is standing faithful to its iconic predecessor, particularly when you look at the matte black dial and hands.

You can find a direct comparison of the new Barakuda with the historic one here in my report from earlier this year. In this new hands-on report let’s focus on the new Fifty Fathoms Barakuda in different settings.

The color code is as refreshing as it was 50 years ago, the date window at the 3 o‘clock position mirrors the vintage piece, as do the white lacquered hands.

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The bezel has obviously changed to the modern day sapphire version. The indications on the bezel are consistent with the Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MilSpec from 2017, and they are a compromise between the two known versions of the 1968 Barakuda which had either a calibration for 60 minutes or only a diamond at the 12 o‘clock position.

To stay close to the original, the shape of the bezel is different than the previous Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MilSpec: with a coin edge design it is true to the original Barakuda. This little detail creates a significantly different look, together with the Barakuda dial layout the timepiece despite being the exact same size looks slightly larger than the MilSpec or the Anniversary Fifty Fathoms.

When I encountered the Barakuda for the first time in May, I had no opportunity to see it on the Tropic strap, which was created as a reminiscence to the straps that were so popular with dive watches from the 1950s and 1960s. This new one however is far away from the shiny plastic strap in those years, today’s Tropic strap is made from a slightly elastic rubber that feels very comfortable and looks just fantastic.

The beautifully curved 40.3mm is well known, and when you turn the watch over you will find calibre 1151 with the usual beautiful decoration, albeit with a new rotor design that can also be found in the other 2019 Fifty Fathoms novelties.

Now, since pictures talk louder than a thousand words (and also since only 500 lucky connoisseurs will have a chance to wear this timepiece), here are many more shots of the new Fifty Fathoms Barakuda in various settings and under different light conditions, with a focus on a variety of wrist shots. Click to enlarge each single photo.

Delivery of the first Barakuda timepieces has just begun through the Blancpain Boutiques, and rumor has it that actually all 500 pieces are firmly reserved all over the world. So if you fall in love with this piece just now and have not yet placed your order, it’s probably not all to easy to get hold of one.

Let’s end this hands-on report with a twilight shot showing the lume of the Fifty Fathoms Barakuda and a bright autumn day colored wrist shot:

Fifty Fathoms Barakuda

Fifty Fathoms Barakuda

I hope you enjoyed the report and the photos (which have been – if at all – only modestly edited). For additional information find the Fifty Fathoms Barakuda here on the Blancpain website.

Cheers

Henrik

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