It's been quite a long wait.....
I made a deposit for the Fifty Fathoms Barracuda some 7/8 months ago when it was launched but subsequently changed my mind to prefer the Air Command remake. Fortunately, despite being a limited production of 500 pieces, it was available. So I waited patiently, like a good boy.
About a week ago, the boutique notified me that the watch finally arrived. Ignoring the Conronavirus looming around town, I went over to pick up the time piece yesterday. It was in fact more beautiful than I had imagined.
The Air Command was produced by Blancpain in the late 1950s for the US Air Force but only a dozen prototypes were made. The watch collecting public became aware of its rarity when such a piece was auctioned at Phillips in 2016 for 100,000 Swiss Francs. Perhaps prompted by this success, Blancpain decided to launch a re-edition last year, and the end product was somewhat faithful to the original. Here are the specifications:
- Caliber F3888 movement (derived from the Frederic Piguet 1185); the original Air Command housed a Vajoux movement
- Automatic (with propeller-shaped rotor in 18k red gold)
- Flyback Chronograph with Tachometer scale
- High frequency (36,000 beats per hour)
- Two-way rotating bezel with ceramic insert and Superluminova hour-markers
- Water resistance of 3 bar
- Case in steel with 42.5 mm diameter (42 mm for the original)
- Dial: sunburst black
- Limited edition=500 pieces
- Calf skin leather strap with stitches
- Case thickness=13.77 mm
- Reference AC01 1130 63A
Here are some wrist shots
And the case back
This, I must confess, is my second Air Command. I owned one some 10 years back when the AD erroneously told me it was a Fifty Fathoms. Right or wrongly, I soon parted with it. Hopefully. this version will be a keeper.
With the Coronavirus posing as a threat, there is nothing better than to stay home, do some reading and take watch pictures, don't you think?
Let's all stay healthy.