The Fifty Fathoms, some would say, is the original diving watch from which all other diving watch designs, including the Rolex Submariner, stem. As I’ve pointed out many a time before now, I’m not entirely convinced about that, as Zodiac’s Sea Wolf came slightly before the Fifty Fathoms and the Submariner only a year after, yet they all had the same rotating diving bezel idea. Paperwork from the time revealing the truth doesn’t exist, or if it does, it’s well hidden. However, I’m happy to document some new additions to one of the descendent lines of the original Fifty Fathoms: the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe.
The main watch itself hasn’t changed. It’s the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronograph, which has a super simple tricompax layout for the dial, which means two subdials for the chronograph and a central one for the running seconds. There’s also a date window on both models.
Inside each watch, you’ll find the self-winding calibre F385. It has an industrial finish to it this calibre, but when you look closer you’ll see the quality of the craftsmanship is anything but industrial. The spec sheet is impressive, too, with a 50-hour power reserve, high-speed 5Hz beat rate, silicone escapement and balance wheel and a chronograph which features a column wheel and vertical clutch. The rotor is solid 18k gold and visible through the sapphire caseback.
The main change to the watch is the choice of case materials. The 43mm x 14.9mm watches come in 18k red gold or grade 23 titanium. Grade 23 titanium is commonly used in marine, aerospace and biomedical applications where its superior resistance to damage, corrosion and fracturing. It’s also generally considered to be hypoallergenic, meaning it’s very unlikely to cause an allergic reaction with your skin. Gold, by the way, is also considered to be hypoallergenic, although I couldn’t tell you whether the blend of metals in red gold makes a difference. The cases of both watches are water-resistant to 300m.
Both versions can come on either a NATO or sailcloth strap, perfect for all-season wear. The titanium version can also be had with a satin-brushed titanium bracelet. The retail prices are €16,400 for the fabric strap with titanium case, €19,060 for the titanium bracelet watch and €31,030 for the red gold version.
Visit Blancpain here.
It’s most intriguing that Blancpain released these when they did, as we recently covered the new SeaQ diving chronograph from fellow Swatch Group brand Glashütte Original. How do you think it compares with the new Bathyscaphe models? Let us know in the comments!