Blancpain just gave the first true dive watch a modern makeover for its 70th birthday.
The Swiss watchmaker launched the Fifty Fathoms in 1953 for underwater exploration. Although Panerai (and later Rolex) offered similar dive watches, the Fifty Fathoms was the first to feature a rotating, unidirectional bezel with a diving scale to time underwater jaunts. As a result, the timepiece was favored by the Marines and other elite divers.
The new special edition, officially known as the Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 1, pairs signature elements from the 1950s with a few modern touches. The automatic timepiece sports a similar 42 mm case as the 1953 original, as well as a black dial with extra-large numerals and markings. It also sports a domed sapphire bezel insert with a luminous timing scale and a screw-down crown.
Diving into Blancpain’s Calibre 1315 is where things get a bit more interesting. Launched in 2007, the self-winding movement is based on a three-barrel architecture that provides you with a five-day power reserve. Just like the Fifty Fathoms 50th Anniversary watch, the newcomer offers an impressive water resistance of up to 300 meters. It is also equipped with an oscillating platinum weight inscribed with “Fifty Fathoms 70th.” By no coincidence, platinum is also the traditional gift for the 70th wedding anniversary. To top it off, the watch is fitted with a black Nato YTT+ strap that was made from 100 percent recycled and recyclable thread from fishing nets found at sea.
As with the 50th anniversary, Blancpain has opted for a three-series release strategy. Fittingly, a total of 70 watches will be offered to collectors. The Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 1 will be available exclusively at Blancpain this month.