One out of three versions offered for the 60th anniversary of the Fifty Fathoms is the one above in ceramised titanium. But before we look to the novelties we should have a quick look back.
1953 – The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms the first modern diver’s watch
It is truly amazing to note that the entire set of characteristics established by Blancpain in 1953 is virtually identical to the NIHS 92-11 (ISO 6425) norm introduced for diver’s watches in 1996, almost 40 years later:
- SAFETY: a lockable bezel bearing markings in order to check the dive time and the remaining air reserve: first patent for the FIFTY FATHOMS.
- RELIABILITY: substantial water resistance to almost 100 meters. In order to enhance the water tightness of the case, Blancpain developed a double O-ring seal on the crown: a second Blancpain patent for its diver’s watch.
- STURDINESS: automatic winding to reduce the number of times the crown would need to be unscrewed and thus in turn reduce the significant risk of wear on the crown’s water-resistance system.
- READABILITY: a black dial with clearly visible luminescent indications, housed within a broad case.
- ANTI-MAGNETISM: an indispensable form of protection for a diver’s watch.
Since its creation, this fascinating diver’s model has been interpreted in countless different ways – not only in the past: with or without a date, featuring variously shaped hands, different bezels and dials, as well as in a range of case surface treatments. Also we have seen different members in the Fifty Fathoms family and the most important ones are: Fifty Fathoms, Aqua Lung and Bathyscaphe.
The latter – two examples from the past :
2007 - Blancpain introduced THE modern Fifty Fathoms, which is probably the best selling watch in their recent collection.
The movement inside is the Caliber 1315, known for its outstanding robustness and reliability.
Strengths & weaknesses of the Ref. 5015 :
- Strenghts : beauty, robustness and reliability
- Weaknesses : size and maybe the prize (for some)
“If somebody asked me what I think is missing in the Fifty Fathoms family:
Well, I could imagine a FF Bathyscaphe with a “simpler” caliber 1315, case diameter 42mm and a price tag about € 7K. From my point of view, those should sell very well. Some nice vintage Bathyscaphe designs have been done in the past and could be used for inspiration …”
"So what I would like to see is a 'budget' 50 Fathoms with a less elaborate bezel, a more basic case and less expensive finishing but built to withstand the elements as the current one - this does not really fit into Blancpain's haute horlogerie philosophie, doesn't it?
WAIT – there was once a watch called 'Bathyscaphe'...? We almost pray in unison: Hope, is there hope?”