Alongside the preview for Act 2 of the Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary lineup I had the chance to get up close and personal with this all new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms in the Munich Boutique.
The Tech Gombessa ref 5019-12B30-64A was developed in cooperation with Laurent Ballesta to support long time dives with closed circuit systems. To also support saturation dives it is equipped with a helium escape valve.
The all new case is made from titanium grade 23, it measures 47mm in diameter and a little less than 15mm in height.
The bezel has a ceramic insert with a 3 hour indication which corresponds to a fourth hand. More about that later. Let’s concentrate on the shapes first: the convex bezel insert tilts towards the dial, which creates an entirely new look for a Fifty Fathoms.
The case shapes are not as rounded as we are used to, the center lugs are a new look for a Blancpain dive watch and the design of the crown guards is perfectly aligned to the new design language.
The „absolute black“ dial absorbs close to 97% of the light. Big Luminova blocks are used for the hour markers, executed in bright orange. The dive timing hand, the bezel markings and the center seconds carry Luminova in natural color for better differentiation.
The fourth hand is coupled to the hour hand, but it runs at four times higher speed, making one full turn in 3 hours. To time a dive, the bezel is aligned to the current position of the fourth hand.
In total darkness (here the watch was lumed only for a few seconds so the emission is not necessary at full power) we see that the time related indications glow in subdued blue while the dive timing and the seconds hand glow in bright green.
When worn over a dive suit the strap extension comes into play. Its shape at the end makes sure the connection between both straps via tang buckle can’t fail.
Here you see the 47mm Tech Gombessa on my small 16.5cm wrist and it is obvious that despite the center lugs the curving of the strap makes it a bit to large for me.
Here it is on a 17.5cm wrist, and the fit is excellent. Actually the watch wears like a 43/44mm watch, albeit more comfortable.
Finally, here’s the packaging of the Tech Gombessa: a huge PeliCase, holding (other than the watch) a special watch stand, the strap extension, a travel case, a loupe and the booklet.
I hope you enjoyed these hands-on impressions.