Three Blancpain Fifty Fathoms To Buy
A buying guide to the iconic dive watch collection.
There are dive watches, and there is the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. Having written the rules for the modern dive watch back in 1953 (check this in-depth article about its legacy if you haven’t), the Fifty Fathoms line-up has evolved to embrace precious materials, new high-performance movements, as well as urbane styles – all while still true to its roots as a utilitarian, high-performance underwater tool watch.
Here are three choice recommendations from the Fifty Fathoms’ recent catalogue if you’re considering pampering yourself with a little something-something during this festive season.
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FOR THE PURIST – Fifty Fathoms Automatique
Just look this beast. Would you dare question its credentials? This Fifty Fathoms Automatique model from 2019 oozes dive-readiness out of every pore, from its 45mm titanium case (a first for the collection) with ratcheted unidirectional bezel featuring a scratch-proof domed black sapphire insert, to its huge and highly legible hands and indices that are the hallmark of all Fifty Fathoms watches. And there are the unseen qualities, too, such as 300m water resistance and five-day power reserve. If you are looking for a modern Fifty Fathoms that bears the most direct lineage to the 1953 OG, this is one to check out.
FOR THE URBANITE - Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition
A ‘desert’ version of the Fifty Fathoms? We were caught off-guard, too, until we dug deeper and learnt its story. The watch is inspired by a historic dive that underwater photography pioneer, Ernest H. Brooks II, made in 1962, into the ‘Devils Hole’, a 120m deep underwater chasm in the Death Valley desert in the United States. Naturally, the 500-piece limited edition boasts the requisite qualities of a hardy underwater tool watch, such as 300m water resistance and anti-magnetic movement with five-day power reserve. But we gotta admit, the dial’s gorgeous gradated sandy hues, khaki fabric strap and entire package wrapped in a 1970s aesthetic is the real deal clincher.
FOR THE BALLER – Fifty Fathoms Bathyscape in Sedna Gold
The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscape was introduced in 2013 as a dressier alternative to the uncompromisingly utilitarian disposition of the regular Fifty Fathoms line-up. This version in Sedna Gold takes the proposition to its extreme, flaunting boss-level refinement in Sedna Gold, a proprietary and carefully proportioned alchemy of gold, copper and palladium that accentuates the red gold sheen. Housed in a 43mm case with slim unidirectional bezel and spaced out markers characteristic to the collection, and sheathed in beautiful navy tones on the dial and bezel to set off the gold lustre, this Fifty Fathoms is made for super yacht shindigs.
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