Edition Fifty Fathoms

This blog post is not about a watch, it is about a series of 12 amazing books, called Edition Fifty Fathoms. This series of books with exceptional photos from the best underwater photographers started 2008 and will be concluded this year with the Final Edition. And there’s more to the books than exceptional photography…

Ernie Brooks

… so let’s have Edition Fifty Fathoms Editor in chief Dietmar Fuchs explain the fascinating numbers game behind the books in his own words: 

1, 2, 3 ,4, 6, 9 …

Our existence is determined by mathematical rules and numbers: We are 1 but need 2 to evolve in a 3 dimensional world with 4 directions, east, south, west and north, displayed on a watch face in the numbers 3, 6, 9 and 12. If you ask, these are my 7 magical numbers, fitting “Miller‘s Magical Number“.
But one, the most important, is still missing – the 50.

… 12 …

As watch lovers we feel deeply connected to the number 12, it being the central number on a watch face, the number of months and the total of all signs of the zodiac. Did you know that we counted to 12 with our fingers (the thumb points to each of the remaining 4 fingers on one hand) before we started to count the fingers on both hands and had to stop at ten? But for me, the most important 12 is the letters of Fifty Fathoms – one to be found on the spine of each of our magazines.

50 Fathoms!

You got the idea. But there is more behind it: 50 photographers in 12 issues, that is 4 per issue plus 2, Marc A. Hayek and myself. And each magazine features 50 portfolio pictures, 12 from each of the 4 photographers plus
2, cover and back cover. Beside these easy arithmetics, you also find the 50 in the amount of double page spreads. Each magazine consists of 50 double pages – each by the way, with a circumference of one fathom

Fifty Fathoms

Let’s stay with 50 and fathoms, which equal 91.45 meters. 9.145 points also is the size font for the headlines in our magazine – not 9, the one usually used for print magazines.
Divide 91,45 meters by 50 and you get 1.829 millimeters, or the amount of magazines printed each year of our limited editions.  1.829 millimeters is also the circumference of each Fifty Fathoms´ magazine double page spread – in a format of 16:9, which we’ll explain later. No coincidences but one:


FIFTY FATHOMS – twelve letters and one space in between – just when we needed it, in 2013, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first modern diving watch. Our History Book finds its place in between FIFTY and FATHOMS.


Fathoms and formats, both have 7 letters. Our media formats themselves are no coincidence either. Think of Leica’s famous photography format in the 2 to 3 ratio or vintage television in 3 to 4 – all numbers you’ll find in our magical 12. The Hasselblad format of 6×6 evokes the number 12 again. Finally, if you multiply the 4:3 ratio of vintage TV screens, you get our modern 16:9 format – a format widely used in today‘s photography as well.


Fifty and fonts have 5 letters each, no coincidence as there‘s none with the fonts we use. The sizes we already explained and the fonts were given to us by the watch name set in Commercial Script and the manufacturer‘s name set in Times New Roman. For the rest, set in Myriad Pro, we were more creative: 6 plus 3 letters, which we are familiar with from the beginning: east and west. Added and multiplied by three they form the 27 days cycle when sun and moon meet.

I would like to thank Dietmar Fuchs for his explanations and the opportunity to cover the Edition Fifty Fathoms here in the blog. Dietmar is a photographer, diving instructor, journalist, and the Editor in chief for the Edition Fifty Fathoms.

Let’s finish this post with just a few impressions from 12 books. Click on the gallery to enlarge these exceptional photos, sit back and enjoy. Now imagine how many more amazing photos are captured in this exceptional series of books.  

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You can order the Edition Fifty Fathoms books here on the Blancpain Ocean Commitment website, or you approach your Blancpain Boutique.





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