It's been quite a long wait.....

Jan 30, 2020,22:28 PM

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.


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 By: samwan : January 30th, 2020-22:44
Glad you concur. I polled my friends unofficially and they seem to like it too... I predict it will be my daily beater for some time to come

Wow....I know I can always count

 By: samwan : January 30th, 2020-23:57
on you for more accurate information, especially with vintage watches... Best my friend.

Nice one Sam!

 By: fernando : January 30th, 2020-22:51
I'm glad we have the internet and some cool watch photos to ogle at.

Retro done in the right way

 By: George Gently : January 30th, 2020-23:01
congratulations, Sam, on this beauty and thanks for the pictures. Best regards, George.

I don't have a basis for comparison

 By: samwan : January 30th, 2020-23:58
but I like the looks of this one

Congratulations to a very nice BP

 By: COUNT DE MONET : January 30th, 2020-23:16
Thank you for the summary of its qualities/properties and the reminder of its high beating movement. Enjoy your Air Command in good health.

I surely will.

 By: samwan : January 30th, 2020-23:59
Thanks for your kind words...


 By: Jurry : January 30th, 2020-23:17
I’ve got no other words for it

Not only that

 By: samwan : January 30th, 2020-23:59
I like the way it sits on the wrist. Normally steel watches are pretty light, but this one feels more substantial...

Good hunting Sam, many congrats

 By: Seeks : January 30th, 2020-23:19
Very nice photos and glad to read that it is a keeper. Looking forward to see this one soon Warmest regards

I hope I don't have to eat my own words :)

 By: samwan : January 31st, 2020-00:01
It has been a day and I have not yet grown tired of it :P

haha. i like that.. [nt]

 By: Seeks : January 31st, 2020-06:55

You will love it...

 By: samwan : January 31st, 2020-01:47
Hope you get it soon enough.

Blancpain made great work of this piece...

 By: Cpt Scarlet : January 31st, 2020-01:49
Vintage vibe without overdoing it. Enjoy !

I don't know why

 By: samwan : January 31st, 2020-02:49
But I often find vintage re-editions irresistible.

Thank you [nt]

 By: samwan : January 31st, 2020-06:30

Congrats Sam! Enjoy that stunning piece!

 By: Mach : January 31st, 2020-03:56
I cannot wait for mine to land . . .


 By: samwan : January 31st, 2020-06:29
Looks like a lot of people in this forum ordered it

Like you . . .

 By: Mach : January 31st, 2020-07:52
I originally put a deposit down on the Barakuda and then changed my decision and went for the Air Command!

So I am not alone :) [nt]

 By: samwan : January 31st, 2020-08:13

Well done [nt]

 By: aperna : January 31st, 2020-08:53

Thanks! [nt]

 By: samwan : January 31st, 2020-16:25

big congratulations Sam...

 By: mahesh : January 31st, 2020-09:09
I've a weak spot for twin counter dialed chronos - you've made a great choice ! love this BP...well chosen. wear in the best of your health. Best, mahesh.,

Thank you sir [nt]

 By: samwan : January 31st, 2020-16:24

This piece is a jawdropper

 By: Cookies : September 14th, 2021-16:57
I was searching for a FF chronograph and searched the forum to find this post from 1 year ago. How are your thoughts of it after owning it for a year?

Excellent acquisition!

 By: aperna : September 15th, 2021-18:12