Blancpain introduces two Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe watches – the Chronographe Flyback with a green dial, and a Day Date 1970s in a desert sand coloured dial. We had a hands-on session with the watches earlier today, and will publish our detailed findings soon. But in the meantime, here is the press release and some of our live photographs.
Press Release information
Chronographe Flyback S$ 23,700 with GST
Day Date (sand coloured sunburst dial) S$ 17,600
The new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyschape
Fifty Fathoms Bathyschape Chronographe Flyback
The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe diver’s watch is one of Blancpain’s must-haves. It owes its aura to its remarkable performance and robustness, as well as to its unique style, which has evolved over the years while respecting the collection’s DNA. The Bathyscaphe now appears in a new chronograph version adorned in green from dial to bezel; a shade enhanced by peerless expertise and skills in terms of dial-making.
Dozens of steps are required to achieve a perfect colour and finish, not to mention the considerable research and development involved in finding the ideal shade. Once the initial phases devoted to the shape and apertures have been completed, the dial is polished in two stages: the first to remove scratches; and the second to obtain a soft, smooth appearance. This is followed by a series of processes designed to give the surface a special texture, including a sunburst effect that endows the dial with a pattern of lines radiating from the centre. The chronograph counters are then hollowed out and snailed to create greater overall depth. The highly technical colouring process can now begin. The dial is coated with several nanometric layers of material. Transformed by the surface, rays of light reflect the desired hue. The dial of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback can then reveal its subtle shades of green which change according to the angle of illumination, sometimes taking on metallic shades.
Colours, surfaces and textures do justice to the heart of this timepiece, the Manufacture F385 calibre, visible through a sapphire crystal caseback. The self-winding chronograph movement beats at a frequency of 5 Hz, enabling each second to be divided into 1/10th intervals. This high frequency guarantees increased accuracy, particularly when timing events. The F385 movement is equipped with a vertical clutch and a chronograph mechanism controlled by a column-wheel. It has a flyback function that enables the chronograph to be reset to zero and restarted instantaneously by simply pressing the push-piece located at 4 o’clock.
The new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback comes in a 43.6 mm satin-brushed black ceramic case topped by a rotating bezel featuring a green ceramic insert. It is paired with a NATO or sail canvas strap.
Fifty Fathoms Bathyschape Day Date 70s
Blancpain presents a new version of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s model. This 500-piece limited-edition model inspired by a Blancpain diver’s watch from the 1970s is characterised by a gradient-coloured sandy beige dial featuring a sunburst pattern. This nuance evokes the desert, and more specifically Death Valley in the United States, where Ernest H. Brooks II, pioneer of underwater photography and contributor to the Edition Fifty Fathoms project, made a spectacular dive in 1962.
“It is unbelievable how hot the sun blazes at seven o’clock in the morning in infamous Death Valley. We could already feel the hot sand under our feet as we set off [to dive]”, says Ernest H. Brooks II. The dive he is referring to is Devils Hole, an underwater chasm that plunges into the bowels of the earth at a depth of more than 120 metres before opening out into a gigantic underwater river. Devils Hole is also unique in that it is the exclusive home of a seriously endangered species of fish, Cyprinodon diabolis, of which Brooks took the first pictures.
The new desert-coloured Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s is for adventurers, enthusiasts and creative minds. In the 1970s, Blancpain’s own innovative mindset led the Brand to break with the traditional aesthetic codes of the Bathyscaphe models by producing a series of pieces featuring a cushion-shaped case, an inner rotating ring – replacing the conventional outer rotating bezel –, a gradient-coloured grey dial as well as the day of the week and date indication. The dial of the Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s adopts this style, which it combines for the first time with a subtle gradation of sandy beige, a hue that is new to the collection. Its shades and sunburst finish endow it with remarkable clarity, while its boldlysized rectangular hour-markers guarantee instant readability of the information displayed. A chapter ring punctuated with Arabic numerals marks the five-minute intervals while evoking the inner rotating ring of the 1970s watch. Just as on the period timepiece, the date and day of the week windows are located at 3 o’clock. The hands are coated with Super-LumiNova® and feature the same baton-shaped design as earlier Bathyscaphe models. The dial of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s is enhanced by a unidirectional rotating bezel with a brown ceramic insert and Liquidmetal® hour-markers.
Although this new model has a vintage look, its mechanism is resolutely modern. Housed in a 43 mm satin-brushed steel case and water-resistant to 30 bar (approximately 300 m), the Manufacture-made 1315DD movement offers all the performance attributes essential to a diver’s watch. It also features a five-day power reserve, which is particularly useful in daily life. Another major asset is its balance fitted with a silicon balance-spring, a guarantee of accuracy and resistance to magnetic fields. The sapphire crystal caseback of the watch allows one to admire the finishes of this top-of-the-range movement, including its gold oscillating weight coated with a NAC treatment, thereby endowing it with added character.
Issued in a 500-piece limited edition, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s model comes with a sandy-coloured sail canvas strap matching the warm tones of the dial.
Such a shame that Blancpain consistently gets the sizes wrong. 43mm are too large for many wrists, 37mm too small. I type this with a Blancpain Aqua Lung Grande Date in 40mm on my wrist, a perfect watch! Wishing so much that BP will return to this format at some stage!