Among all of the pieces unveiled at Baselworld, two theme keep coming back. Revisited vintage watches and diving watches. Blancpain is no exception to the rule, as they unveiled a watch mixing the two: the Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC. The diving watch, as the name suggests, takes inspiration from the iconic Fifty Fathoms and its water-tightness indicator launched in the 50s. Blancpain managed quite a feat with this masterful re-interpretation, modernising it while doing just enough in the elegant way the brand is known for.
An elegant and masterful new take on the mythical Fifty Fathoms
For this historical watch’s 60th anniversary, Blancpain pays tribute with a new version brilliantly taking all the original’s features. Namely, the black dial with Super-LuminNova® covered indexes and pencil hands, the curved sapphire crystal as well as the unidirectional rotating bezel.
This new model even improves on the old one with a rotating bezel covered in scratch-resistant sapphire, in order to protect the luminescent indications underneath. An innovation brought by Blancpain back in 2003. The bezel might feel a little bit hard to rotate but we’d rather want that than it being loose, as its used to keep track of diving time and a mistake could end up being fatal.
The special little detail : the water-tightness indicator
Most of all, the real show-stealer of this 2017 take on the Fifty Fathoms is the water-tightness indicator making a comeback at 6 o’clock. This feature should delight diving watches enthusiasts. It was first introduced on the Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC 1 in 1957-58 by Blancpain’s CEO Jean-Jacques Fiechter, thanks to his pre-occupation for diver safety. If, by chance, liquid were to leak into the watch case, a two-coloured disk at 6 o’clock would signal the problem by changing its color from white to red.
So if you can’t tell the difference between the orange half and the white half, you know that the watch has been compromised and that it’s time to head towards the surface (and to check the waterproofing !). This smart innovation became a standard feature for American combat swimmers.
The case, a reasonable 40 mm, integrates an automatic 1151 caliber providing a 96 hours power reserve. This model will be limited to 500 pieces and will be sold for around 14.000 dollars depending on the strap. NATO, sail cloth or a steel bracelet will be availables.