The genuine Diver’s watch…the story of the Fifty Fathoms is a great tale and one often lost in the myriad of nautical watches that have swamped the market. Every agency we carry has a story that accompanies its most historic pieces and Blancpain is no different, except they don’t feel the need to shout it from the rooftops. It is this subtlety that endears Blancpain to me as a Brand. In terms of the Fifty Fathoms, shoe heritage can be read here, there comes a certain sentiment that comes with selling a timepiece of such importance. However, the watch never appealed to me in an aesthetic sense until now.
The latest Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographs are quite frankly awesome! Delivered in matt black ceramic & brushed stainless steel (with a limited edition in brushed grey ceramic too), Blancpain have created a brand own NATO strap to accompany each model alongside the favoured sail canvas usually associated with this model. A cool addition to the NATO strap is that the metallic keepers are also made in the same metal…Blancpain is a top tier manufacture & a little detail like this is what captures the imagination of the aficionados looking for that extra attention.
Blancpain’s understated prowess was noted in the five day power reserve offered in the current Fifty Fathoms automatic line but the 46mm case size was not suited to every wrist. The Bathyscaphe models, including the newer chronograph versions, like their predecessors are delivered in a smaller 43mm case size. It doesn’t sound like a drastic difference but one must see it to believe it as the depth of the case create arguably the perfect proportions for virtually any wrist size. Something that can’t be said for many contemporary sports watches.
The movement is as one would expect from Blancpain with a column wheel flyback chronograph activated by an ergonomically pleasing push of the buttons at 2 & 4 o’clock. There is something about the feel of these pushers, that are often rarely used, which sets brands apart from one another. As Blancpain cleverly replaced buttons on the case with under lug correctors to calibrate their calendar models, here the crown & pushers have the feel that someone actually tested them underwater and ensured the depression was clearly felt by the user. Furthermore the dark dial, not typically associated with modern diving watches offers a marvellous level of luminosity & legibility.
A thorough timepiece, easily workable for day to day wear as well as the sports it is designed for; the black ceramic version is my favourite, stealthy & elegant all at once but the brushed steel model married with the anthracite dial is a beauty in its own right too. Spoilt for choice? Please feel free to visit our boutique & try both on at your leisure.
Ref: 5200-1110-B52A – Brushed Steel – £10,300.00
Ref: 5200-0130-NABA – Black Ceramic – £11,900.00