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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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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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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The Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment III on bracelet

I was lucky enough to „customize” this beauty with a matching bracelet.

This was possible thanks to the Blancpain Boutique Munich, since they were so kind to re-work a Tribute to MilSpec bracelet fully brushed so it matches the case of the OC III.

Here we go:

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment III

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about / links

I am a long time Blancpain collector and enthusiast, also active under the pseudonym shortys home in various worldwide watch fora and on Instagram. You can also join me and many other enthusiasts in the Blancpain – Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Group on Facebook.

Based on my experience with Blancpain timepieces for more than 20 years and countless interactions with fellow enthusiasts I decided to create a blog entirely dedicated to the Manufacture based in Le Brassus.

The aim of this blog is to create a home for Blancpain aficionados, sharing views and opinions. Over time the blog shall provide a comprehensive view on the Manufacture and the timepieces. For now the blog will concentrate on the timepieces from the mid 1990s until today, the vintage watches will not be featured in the blog since they deserve specific attention and expertise.

One key feature of the blog is photography that is meant to capture the watches just as a caring owner would look at them, explore their details and appreciate the timeless design. All photography is done by myself using an iPhone 7+, occasionally with the help of a 6x Loupe System lens.

The blog is independent from the Manufacture, but it receives support in terms of knowledge and access to the timepieces. A heartfelt thank you goes to Blancpain and their representatives for their support!

There is a lot to learn about Blancpain, it’s history, heritage, philosophy, creativity, craftmanship, activities and of course timepieces. With a current annual output of just north of 20,000 pieces, Blancpain can be called a comparatively small manufacturer, still offering the full depth and excellence of Haute Horlogerie. Please explore the just recently re-designed

Blancpain website

There are many interesting aspects  I do not explicitely want to repeat here, since many aspects are already captured very well on the website. This one however I’d like to point out: a wonderful overview on the history of the Manufacture Blancpain:

Blancpain History

The Manufacture entertains close relationships to the  Haute Cuisine, Motorsports and of course the underwater world with the truly remarkable initiative named Blancpain Ocean Commitment. It is a true pleasure to join Blancpain in their activities to raise awareness and support projects to save the oceans of the world, captured on their dedicated and just renewed website.

Blancpain Ocean Commitment

The world of Blancpain is captured extremely well in the Lettres du Brassus, a now annual magazine that consists of 18 editions as of today. The Lettres du Brassus can be subscribed to through the Blancpain website or any Blancpain Boutique – or you download them here:

Lettres du Brassus

One other area that’s worth exploring is Blancpain TV. You will find close to 250 videos in 5 different channels:

Blancpain TV

In case you wish to get an overview on (almost) all modern Blancpain references, you can work yourself through this quite comprehensive collection of data:

all Blancpain references, Nov 2018

And finally , here you find an explanation of the Blancpain reference numbers:

Overview Ref No System

There are multiple addional places a Blancpain aficionado can find interesting information and the opportunity to take a closer look. Here are some I recommend exploring further:

A must read is the site of Peter Speake-Marin, aka The Naked Watchmaker. PSM frequently deconstructs modern and vintage Blancpain timepieces, allowing for a close look at the excellence that normally is hidden to the owner.

The Naked Watchmaker

Thanks to Peter Speake-Marin I have the opportunity to feature the deconstructions on this blog, which I am very grateful for. You will find the decontruction reports in the blog posts section.

Some wordwide watch fora offer a designated section for Blancpain, obviously with a slightly different bias due to the primary geographic audience and group of members.

For English speaking audiences I recommend two fora:

PuristSPro offers a lot of information, with a bias on vintage Blancpain timepieces . You will also find a good representation of current models.

Timezone is a sophisticated forum since more than two decades, the focus of the Blancpain forum is mainly set on current timepieces.

For German speaking audiences I recommend the forum Watchlounge which provides a variety of topics and a dedicated sub-forum for Blancpain.

I hope you enjoy this blog and participate actively. Together we can share our passion and build a source that over time accumulates knowledge accessible to collectors and enthusiasts. You are kindly invited to follow the blog and receive updates on each new report, in addition you can register as a member and have the opportunity to actively participate. Also, please do not hesitate to contact me for any questions or any topics you would like to see covered in the blog.

Henrik Schwiening, November 2018

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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