Baselworld 2018: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Grande Date. Live Pictures & Pricing.

One of the most iconic watches in the world just got an interesting update. Since the debut of the modern Fifty Fathoms in 2007, date indications have appeared through a window placed at the 4 o’clock position. Now for the first time, Blancpain has brought its signature instant-change large date complication to the Fifty Fathoms, displayed in two windows located at 6 o’clock. The new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Grande Date or 'Big Date' as most of us are already calling it, features a 45 mm case this time in satin brushed titanium and the signature domed sapphire rotating bezel with superluminova.

About the Watch

The new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Grande Date released at Baselworld 2018 is identical in proportions and overall appearance to the modern Fifty Fathoms as we knew it with the exception of the location and size of its date aperture. In addition to the enhanced readability due to the large size of the numerals, its design changes the date instantly at midnight without excess energy consumption from the running train of the watch.

Those advantages have been brought to the new Fifty Fathoms Grande Date. The large windows have been placed at 6 o’clock, with the date adjustable via the crown. Just like everything else on the new watch besides the obvious 'Big Date' even the superluminova is exactly the same as on the previous iteration of this watch.

The watch is water resistant to 300 meters and equipped with the usual sail-canvas strap —leather lined— equipped with pin buckle. An additional NATO strap is also offered with the watch.

The Movement

The new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Grande Date —'Big Date'— is powered by the same Blancpain in-house automatic calibre 1315 powering the previous iteration of the modern Fifty Fathoms. The 1315 is equipped with three mainspring barrels and achieves a five-day power reserve. The use of a non-magnetic silicium hairspring protects the movement from magnetic fields without the need for an inner soft iron case. Thus, the movement on the new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Grande Date can now be admired through a display sapphire case back.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Grande Date wears true to its size. While we absolutely love the Fifty Fathoms, we feel that the larger date aperture is distracting and makes the watch look somewhat busier at first glance, specially if you have the bezel aligned at 12 o'clock. While the more cluttered look might not be a deal breaker for us, the price difference between this new model and the previous iteration of the Fifty Fathoms is totally a deal breaker. A $2,500 USD premium for a bigger date aperture and a sapphire display case back, no thank you.

Sticker Price $17,500 USD. For more info on Blancpain click here.