By TLex Cutting-edge vintage! It's been 60 years since the first Fifty Fathoms dive watch came to be in 1953. Today Blancpain present two new Fifty Fathoms models. Recalling models of the past, they continue a lineage that has earnt the 'FF' iconic status. The vintage inspired Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe watches incorporate the very latest in watch industry technologies with a silicon balance-spring and a Liquidmetal® bezel insert!
Inspired by the legendary deep sea underwater explorations of Swiss adventurer, Jacques Piccard, Blancpain’s Bathyscaphe divers watches were introduced in the late 1950s as models for both men and women. The new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe also available as gents and ladies watch offers a modern reinterpretation of these two models, combining the latest technical innovations.
A number of the 2013 Bathyscphe's features recall the first editions. Firstly, the contours are just as sharply defined as those of their predecessors (so I have read). The hands also feature the traditional look of the vintage models, and the date appears through a dedicated aperture at 4.30. Remaining true to the original Bathyscaphe version, the luminescent 12hr bezel dot continues to ensure readability of dive time just as it did in the days before dive computers.
The new models incorporate modern Blancpain calibres renowned for their robustness and reliability. The heart of each of the mechanical self-winding movements beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour. Driven by a constant concern to improve these calibres, a non-magnetic silicon balance-spring can be seen through a Sapphire crystal exhibition caseback.
In addition to its corrosion-resistant properties, silicon is also extremely resistant to wear and natural ageing. Another novel feature for Blancpain is the bezel insert with its graduated scale in Liquidmetal® - as seen on some Omega Seamaster models. This amorphous metal alloy avoids any deformation and ensures perfect bonding with the ceramic bezel insert. The hardness of these two materials serves to enhance the bezel’s scratch resistance.
Like all divers worth their salt, each model is equipped with a unidirectional bezel activated by turning it counter-clockwise in one-minute increments. During dives, the seconds serves as an operating indicator, while a contrasting dial and luminescent gold hour-markers ensure optimal readability. The new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe is naturally water-resistant to 30 bar, equivalent to around 300 meters.
Each model is fitted with a triple-loop NATO strap. This broad and extremely practical wristband is as reliable and robust as the watch itself. Introduced in the 1960s when the British Ministry of Defence was looking for a sturdy strap to equip its military watches, its origins are echoed in its name that is a nod to its reference code: NATO G10.