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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How to properly deal with heritage timepieces: a visit to the Blancpain Vintage Atelier

On my wishlist for further exploration, a visit to the Vintage Atelier at Blancpain in Le Brassus was very high up… and now I had the chance to meet with the team that takes care of all Blancpain timepieces prior to 1981.

Blancpain farmhouse in Le Brassus

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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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Deconstruction Rolls by The Naked Watchmaker

The Rolls watch history is linked with Blancpain and the development of the automatic wristwatches. In the 1920s, Frédéric-Emile Blancpain met the British watchmaker, John Harwood, who had been working on the concept of automatic winding in wristwatches. The two worked together and used a Blancpain base movement to develop a circular automatic wristwatch in 1926. – In 1931 F.-E.Blancpain collaborated with the French watchmaker Léon Hatot, with another form of automatic winding system. Placing the movement inside a carriage allowing it to slide back and forth, winding up the mainspring. The size of the calibre meant that a small ladie’s rectangular watch could be made, which had not been available before. The name of the watch Rolls may have been influenced by the way in which the automatic functions. It has also been suggested that F.-E. Blancpain selected the name in connection with the Rolls Royce brand.

 

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