Blancpain celebrate their signature divers watch with a unique exhibition at their boutique on the Place Vendôme, Paris and with a new watch - the Fifty Fathoms "Tribute to Fifty Fathoms".
The Fifty Fathoms divers watch was created in the 1950's, designed for and with the assistance of the elite French Navy divers, "Les Nagers de Combat". Their requirements were a sturdy, resistant, reliable and highly legible divers wristwatch thus the Fifty Fathoms was born, its bold yet functional epoxy unidirectional bezel and super-luminous chunky hands and markers were originally safety features yet they have become iconic features of the collection. The watch was not initially meant for the commercial sector, but the new popularity of recreational deep-sea diving presented a lucrative market-place so the Fifty Fathoms destined for use on civilian wrists featured a "strike-through" version of the universal symbol for radioactivity to differentiate these models from those used by the military which used dangerous materials to achieve the readability needed for covert missions.
The Fifty Fathoms Tribute piece measures 45mm, is made from steel and has all the features loved by the "Fathomisti" - the robust hands and outsize hour markers, the unidirectional rotating bezel with the raised notches and is almost true to the original 1960's piece from which its design takes inspiration. The movement is the Blancpain Calibre 1315 with 120 hours power reserve and anti-magnetic shield. Water resistance is to 300m and the piece comes presented on Blancpain's black sail rubber lined canvas strap
For those who prefer a visual history, the brand have created an exhibition of more than 60 pieces which showcases the Fifty Fathoms from its creation in 1953 to the 2010 models taking place at its Parisian boutique. The event features pieces borrowed from collectors all over the world - real watches owned by real people, not just "museum" pieces, so expect scratches,dents and a unique overview of the collection.