As we are getting closer to learn about Blancpain‘s 2019 novelties (follow this blog to get the news first in around two weeks), let’s spend some time with a watch that was introduced last year, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Jour Date 70‘s reference 5052.
From the very first encounter I had with the watch during Baselworld 2018 I found it very difficult to capture the true character of the timepiece in photos. It’s really easy to miss the true appearance through a camera lens, the human eye though gets the full sensation of this watch.
This of course is due to the throwback dial that not only combines a color fade from light in the center to dark at the outer part with a subtle sunburst finish, but also carries faceted bold applied white gold indices that play very actively with light. Also I really do not know how to name the color of the dial, some may call it brown, grey, gold, champagne or beige… and it is actually neither of those and all together at the same time.
Now, I think it‘s fair to say that the dial is 100% Blancpain in flawless execution and attention to detail, but rather unusual in terms of design. The reference this timepiece makes is in its name: a Fifty Fathoms version from the 1970s, when the iconic dive watch saw a number of design experiments. Courtesy of fellow Blancpain aficionado Christophe from Paris I can add this comparative photo of the original watch and the Bathyscaphe ref 5052. You can see that the characteristic outer steel rim of the dial is captured very well in the new watch, as is the fume dial and the faceted indices. The dial color however appears more grey-ish on the vintage watch.
The Bathyscaphe Jour Date 70‘s has the well known 43mm brushed stainless steel case, it also features a large crown and the ceramic/Liquidmetal bezel known from references 5000 and 5200. The height is almost identical to the Bathyscaphe Chronographe with 14,2mm.
The calibre is called 1315DD, standing for the excellent 5 day automatic movement known from the Fifty Fathoms with an additional Day/Date module added.
I have decided to put the Bathyscaphe Jour Date 70s on the X-70 bracelet, a configuration that cannot be ordered (reference 5052 only comes with the brown Barennia strap in used look), but you can get fitting end links to create this combination once you have a spare X-70 bracelet 😉
To me the bracelet supports the 70‘s throwback character of the timepiece, and it also emphasizes the light color aspects of the dial, whilst the original leather strap highlights the darker aspects.
The bracelet also provides a nice counterbalance to the heft of the case and makes the Bathyscaphe Jour Date 70‘s an absolute pleasure to wear. Limited to 500 pieces worldwide, it is a very special model in the Bathyscaphe family, and I applaud Blancpain that they chose a controversial 1970s design for a watch that is maybe not for everyone but truly beautiful and exceptional.
I hope you enjoyed the report and the photos. Again, let me point out that the photos do not capture the lively character of the dial in a fair way. This watch truly plays with light and offers a rare sensation of an ever changing look. You can learn more about the Bathyscaphe Jour Date 70‘s here on the Blancpain website.
If you want to see more photos you find my Basel report on this watch here.