Today I invite you to a close encounter with one of Blancpain’s modern signature timepieces, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback reference 5200. Let’s start this long overdue introduction with a short summary outlining what we are dealing with in one sentence…
A truly sophisticated timepiece
Think about it: a newly developed 5Hz column wheel chronograph movement with Flyback function, silicon hairspring for antimagnetic protection, consisting of 322 parts, finished by hand in a modern style with lush details, automatic winding with the help of a 18ct gold DLC coated oscillating weight producing 50h power reserve, housed in a beautifully satin brushed 43.5mm case providing 300m water resistance, with a big screw down crown and traditional non-screw down chronograph pushers that can be operated under water, featuring a ceramic unidirectional bezel with Liquidmetal inlays and a slightly domed sapphire crystal with strong inside antireflective coating which protects a also slightly domed dial with subtle sunburst finish and a distinct set of hands, providing excellent readability of all indications and strong luminosity at night.
Sounds like the perfect sports watch for the true connoisseur, doesn’t it? Well, it is exactly that.Ocean Commitment I, the black ceramic with black dial and the stainless steel with meteor grey dial. Two other models followed in 2016 and 2018: the blue ceramic grey dial Ocean Commitment II and the blue ceramic blue dial Bucherer version.
Beating with 36000 vibrations per hour, calibre F385 offers the potential of running extremely accurate. The Bathyscaphe Chronographe featured in this report is 3 years old and has a current performance of plus 3 seconds per week.
The meteor grey dial works harmoniously with the case color, offering an ever changing look under different light conditions due to the subtle sunburst finish. All time related hands hold luminous material, the chronograph hands are not illuminated at night.X-70 bracelet. The meteor grey dial has a slight brown hue, so it works very well with a lot of strap colors. Here you see the watch on the dark brown distressed Barennia strap that usually comes with the Bathyscaphe Jour Date 70s.
Another change to the standard configuration is the brushed stainless steel deployant clasp. The Bathyscaphe tang buckle fits the design language of the case very well, but it also has some rather sharp edges, which can shorten the lifespan of a strap. The deployant is a more comfortable solution, and even if it is not especially designed for the Bathyscaphe, it is still working very well aesthetically.
This leads me to some final thoughts about the different versions of the Bathyscaphe Chronographe. The stainless steel is clearly the most versatile watch: you have the option of the exceptional X-70 bracelet and an available steel deployant clasp. The ceramic watches don’t offer those options, on the other hand they are more extrovert with their black, grey or blue ceramic cases and dials.here on the Blancpain website. An excellent article by Jeffrey S. Kingston on caliber F385 has been featured in Lettres du Brassus No. 15, which you can access here. The two Ocean Commitment versions of the Bathyscaphe Chronographe can be found here in the blog, an introduction of the Bucherer Blue Edition is featured here.
I hope you enjoyed the report and the photos.