By TLex Blancpain’s 2013 reinterpretation of 1950s Bathyscaphe is joined by a new model with a flyback chronograph complication for 2014. Echoing the aesthetic of the original Bathyscaphe, a diver that was designed so that it was as equally suited to wear on dry land as it was beneath the waves, the Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback’s 43mm in diameter case is available in either brushed black ceramic or brushed steel.
It is fitted with a ceramic unidirectional rotational divers bezel with its dive-time scale filled with LiquidMetal®, a patented metal alloy with an amorphous structure that bonds with the ceramic of the bezel to form a sleek and highly scratch-resistant surface.
The Bathyscaphe Chrono Flyback is also fitted with a Sapphire caseback; not an uncommon sight on a divers watch these days. However if it is to have any sort anti-magnetic shielding of its movement (from potentially damaging magnetic fields), a solid steel or titanium caseabck is usually employed to form a Faraday cage.
Blancpain have overcome this by the use of a balance-spring made in silicon – a material endowed with anti-magnetic properties that enables the watch to dispense with an inner Faraday cage. The exhibition case back affords a view a new 13-lignes Manufacture Blancpain movement with an 18-carat gold rotor clad in NAC platinum alloy that features a sculpted Blancpain logo.
Beating at a rate of 36,000 vph, the new caliber is equipped with a column-wheel chronograph mechanism and a vertical clutch - offering a flyback function that allows the wearer to reset and instantly restart the chronograph by simply pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock. Its chrono-pushers are also water-resistant so can be used underwater to depths of 300 meters without any risk of damaging the watch.
Finally a domed black or meteor grey dial, free of any numerals, highlighted only by lines and dots offers excellent readability of the time coupled with the presence of SuperLuminova guaranteeing perfect legibility when diving. A subtle black date window appears at 4 o’clock on the sunburst finished dial and a set of white rectangular hands, reminiscent of those featured on the 1950s Bathyscaphe models balance nicely with the snailed chronograph counters.
Both models are fitted with a NATO fabric or sail canvas strap – two extremely sturdy materials that are ideally suited to diving. The steel version comes on a metal bracelet, a first for the line.