of rather fragile movements. It is based on the Cal. 13R0, the manual wind, 8-day movement. Blancpain's CEO, Marc A. Hayek, told me recently that he had the watchmaker putting his watch with the 13R0 together, they did not even adjust, and he immediately subjected it to immense tortures (e.g. downhill mountain biking).
Notwithstanding all this, the accuracy of Mr Hayek's watch is consistently within 1 sec/week.
The 50 Fathoms is powered by the Cal. 1315, an automatic version designed to be even more robust:
Allow me to summarise the technical specifications:
- Exclusive movement, automatic winding
- Diameter 30,6 mm
- Thickness 5,65 mm
- Power Reserve 120 h (three barrels)
- Free-sprung Glucydur balance
- Rubies 35
- Components 222 handfinished parts
- high-end, "industrial" finish
The mainsprings are fed with energy by an automatic winding sytems featuring an extremely dense bimetallic rotor ensuring excellent winding efficiency. In addition, this movement features most of the characteristics that made the 13R0 such a truly exceptional calibre, including its free-sprung balance with no index and no swan’s neck, equipped instead with regulating screws placed around the rim of the balance. This screw-based system promises ideal stability for a sporty watch, since it mitigates the potentially detrimental effect of shocks that could modify the position of the index or the swan’s neck, thereby disturbing the rate. To ensure accurate and efficient adjustment, Blancpain has equipped it with square-headed gold micrometrical screws, enabling the watchmaker to easily visualise the corrections he/she is making. Governed by a concern for optimal sturdiness, the balance is crafted from Glucydur, which is heavier than the titanium used in the 13R0:
The Blancpain movement design engineers have also sought to find an effective solution in terms of energy storage. The goal in particular was to endow the watch with an optimal autonomy, while ensuring constant energy at all times. The new Calibre 1315 does indeed have an exceptional power reserve of 5 days. Towards this aim, it has been equipped with three series-coupled barrels just like the Cal. 13R0. Due to the choice of a Glucydur balance, the three mainsprings have been specifically readjusted for this movement.
Another technical refinement lies in the date display on Calibre 1315, enabling fast date-change at midnight in either direction.
The finish might look disappointing, or at 'unexpected', on the first view. Upon closer inspection, however, one realises its finesse in design and execution: straight graining, bevelling, circular-graining and circular satin-brushing clearly speak a language of sophistication. The large jewels contrast the splendid surfaces of plates and bridges, which are adorned with a sunburst motif reflecting that on the rotor.
To avoid any potentially disturbing effects of magnetic fields, the Calibre 1315 powering the 50 Fathoms is enclosed within a cage protecting it on all sides.
My personal comment:
I personally think this movement is a bold statement for Blancpain, just like Cal. 13R0: it clearly conveys the message of sturdyness, be it construction, dimension and optical appearance. This is a highly refined tool, and it does not pretend to be something else.
As for the red gold 50 Fathoms, I agree with Nicolas: a sports watch is a sports watch, and those do not come in precious metals, no matter how much accounting departments at the watch manufactures this might like. It is the same nonsense like putting a tourbillon in such a watch (what purpose? to make the sharks dizzy?)!