Two years ago I shared some quick impressions of the Blancpain 500 Fathoms with you, now it’s time to go into more detail. So let’s get up close with reference 50015-12B30-52B, a 48mm professional diving instrument crafted in titanium and offering a plentiful of distinct details.
Putting the 500 Fathoms into perspective
One could say that the larger a Blancpain dive watch is, the more focused on its professional purpose it becomes. At the peak of professional capabilities we find the X Fathoms, the next in sequence is the 500 Fathoms with its 48mm titanium case.
In comparison to the signature dive watch, the Fifty Fathoms 5015, the 500 Fathoms is not necessarily a watch that can hide its purpose. While a Fifty Fathoms can easily work as a casual every day watch without ever getting even close to water, the 500 Fathoms appears a lot more technical, less versatile and also too big to go incognito even on a large wrist.
Some basic information on reference 50015
The 500 Fathoms ref 50015-12B30-52B is a limited to 500 pieces edition. It comes on a black sailcloth strap with titanium deployant buckle and in addition you receive a strap change tool with spare parts and a black rubber strap with titanium tang buckle.
The shape of the 48mm case is following the Fifty Fathoms code, it is 16.9mm high and features a decompression valve at the 10 o’clock position.
The water resistance of the 500 Fathoms is 1000m, another aspect that identifies this watch as a purpose built instrument.
Besides the familiar case shape the watch also features the well known unidirectional sapphire bezel. The similarities end, however, when we take a look at the dial of reference 50015.
Dial and hands fully focused on legibility
The two level dial has a very distinctive look with oversized numerals and the mix of polished and grained surfaces. There’s no subtlety with this dial on first glance, the fine details reveal themselves only on second sight.
The glossy upper levels of the dial feature a subtle sunburst finish, just like we know it from the Fifty Fathoms 5015. The grained lower level of the dial creates a beautiful contrast, which is more or less pronounced under different light conditions.
The most remarkable aspect of the dial lower level is revealed only in the absence of light, though: it carries black SuperLuminova and delivers a spectacular sight in the dark:
The broad minimalist hour and minute hands work perfectly with the bold dial layout. A highlight of the 500 Fathoms is the seconds hand with its long red painted tip.
Now that we looked at the clarity and legibility on the dial side of the 500 Fathoms, let’s turn the watch and take a look at the beauty of the movement.
A well known movement with a twist
The timepiece is powered by caliber 1315, the same movement we know from the FF 5015 and the Bathyscaphe 5000. It oscillates at 4Hz, three barrels deliver 5 days of power reserve, and it is designed to be a sturdy, reliable and precise automatic winding caliber.
And it is even more beautiful in the 500 Fathoms compared to all other timepieces with the exception of the FF 5015 Tribute to Aqua Lung because of its spectacular rotor. This hand finished masterpiece in the shape of a ship propeller is a visual delight and it offers a welcome contrast to the rather bold and purpose driven face of the watch.
Clearly the 500 Fathoms requires a sizable wrist to support the 48mm diameter and almost 17mm height of the titanium case. Or, someone with a smaller wrist can easily wear it over a swimsuit when it is used for its primary purpose. In any case, the 500 Fathoms leaves nothing to be desired: a robust yet beautiful movement, perfect readability during day and night, a plentiful of details, executed at highest standard.
To close this essay here are a variety of thematic shots, which show the 500 Fathoms on the background of colorful photographs related to the oceanic world.
I hope you enjoyed this essay and the photos. You find the 500 Fathoms here on the Blancpain website. If you want to see some more pictures of the watch, here you find my earlier blog post on ref 50015. An overview on all variants of the Fifty Fathoms 5015 can be found here, my essay on the amazing X Fathoms is featured here in the blog.