Deep Sea Diver: The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe
The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe took its first dive to depths of the sea in the late 1950s, with Swiss manufacturer Blancpain the genius behind the watch. The brand is one example of high-quality workmanship in watchmaking.
The deep sea was shrouded in mystery up until the 1950s when Swiss scientist Auguste Piccard reached record-breaking depths in his bathyscaphe Trieste. The word bathyscaphe comes from the Greek words bathos and skaphos, meaning "deep" and "vessel" respectively. The explorer reached a depth of 3,150 meters in the bathyscaphe. Then, on January 23rd, 1960, the Trieste reached the ocean floor of the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point in the ocean. The vessel submerged to a depth of 10,916 meters, shattering world records. The diving watch Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe shares the spirit of those exciting moments and serves as a reminder of this incredible feat. The watches in the Fifty Fathoms series by Blancpain feature trend-setting technology, much like the submarines in years past. The name Fathoms comes from the word fathom, a unit of measurement for determining ocean depth.
Jehan-Jacques Blancpain founded his watch company in 1735 in the Swiss town of Villeret in the canton of Bern. Blancpain is one of the oldest Swiss watch manufacturers and has accumulated more than 280 successful years in the industry. Next to their world-famous diving watches, they also brought the first automatic wristwatches to the market in 1926. Blancpain is likewise well known for their mechanical watches with grand complications, which feature perpetual calendars, tourbillons, and minute repeaters.
Forward-Thinking Watchmaking Technology
A noticeable feature of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe is its satin-brushed black ceramic case. It's impossible to use screws with a ceramic case, and therefore the watch has a pressure-fit case back. The case diameter measures 43.6 mm with a thickness of 13.4 mm and it is water resistant up to 30 bar. The band's clasp is also made of satin-brushed ceramic, which perfectly complements the watch. Similar to all classic Fifty Fathoms models, the band is made of sail canvas with a reverse side made of rubber.
The indexes and numbers on the bezel are made of a modern material called Liquidmetal. It is an amorphous metal alloy with a Vickers hardness number of 550, making it especially robust. In comparison, stainless steel has a hardness number of about 220. The automatic caliber 1315, developed in-house, powers the watch. With an impressive power reserve of 120 hours, it has been in use since 2007 and is based on the manual movement 13R0 from 2006. The movement is 5.65 mm thick and has a diameter of 30.6 mm.
Variety in the House of Blancpain
The Fifty Fathoms line has made this Swiss manufacturer famous around the world. The other Blancpain series feature distinguished classic designs and modern technology. For example, the Villeret watches are classic timepieces, while the Léman series blends traditional and modern elements. The L-Evolution models entice with their mix of avant-garde design and modern technology.
The watches in the Le Brassus series feature an exceptional number of complications. The Grande Complication 1735, for instance, is a prime example of the finest Swiss watchmaking. Only 30 exclusive 1735 pieces were made and they are among the most complicated wristwatches in the world.