To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms —the world's first diving watch—, this manufacture presented the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe ref. 5000-1110-NABA during Baselworld earlier this year. Now, here's our review with live pictures and the mandatory wrist shot.
This watch, features a 43mm in diameter satin-brushed stainless steel case with anti-magnetic protection, display case back, a flat black ceramic rotating bezel with a meteor grey sunburst dial with applied markers, rectangular shaped hands with luminescent material and a date aperture between the 4 and 5 o'clock markers.
The tip of the seconds hand features a luminous dot and a red tip to provide some contrast to the dial and the somewhat bland or simple look of the timepiece. Now, don't misunderstand us, the watch might look simple; however, the craftsmanship, history and Blancpain in-house workhorse movement are present in this timepiece. Depending on the lighting conditions and the angle, the bezel can appear black, grey or sometimes even somewhat brownish.
The watch features very sharp angles on the case, lugs, buckle and on all steel fittings on the strap, a perfect satin-brushed finish, a large easy-to-use crown and a black NATO strap or sail-canvas strap —straps also available in olive green. The Bathyscaphe looks like a rugged timepiece made to take on the abuse of the most experienced divers and non-divers. With its look completely reminiscent of 'tool watches', the Blancpain Bathyscaphe pays solid tribute and homage to the most legendary of all diving watches.
Just as in all other modern Fifty Fathoms, the beating heart inside this timepiece is the the legendary Blancpain calibre 1315 with a 5-day power reserve —120 hours— that can be fully appreciated via the display case back. The movement features a blackened 18K gold rotor, 227 parts and 35 jewels.
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size but unfortunately not very comfortable due to the NATO strap fitted on it. The wrist presence is nice but somewhat 'too shiny' due to the shape of the raised markers on the dial, other than that, this watch is sure to become one of the legendary modern Fifty Fathoms in no time. For those of you that use mechanical watches for your dives, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe is waterproof rated to a depth of 30 bar —300m/984 ft. This watch is also available in a ceramised titanium case with black dial and olive green NATO strap as ref. 5000-12C30-NAKA.
Sticker Price $10,500 USD. For more info on Blancpain click here.