Blancpain Fifty Fathoms High-End Swiss Watches Review
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms diver watches constitute the apex of the company's Sports Collection. Fifty Fathoms timepieces combine technologically advanced movement (Calibre 1315) with a leaner, more restrained design than the testosterone-pumped Speed Command and Air Command.
Yet despite shedding some “muscle mass”, the collection displays unmistakable masculine character – only instead of a body-builder's physique, the watches show off a swimmer's body, as appropriate for a diver watch. Fifty Fathoms include a women's line, which abandons the deep black in favor of a more mellow mother-of-pearl (also appropriately found in the sea) off-white palette.
Beside the women's segment, three main models comprise the collection: automatic variation featuring a novel movement, flyback chronograph, and the somewhat decadent tourbillon. Blancpain declare Fifty Fathoms a full-fledged collection – and, as the different design directions indicate – rightfully so.
True Diver's Watch
As it often happens, a separate collection requires specific new developments, be it in the field of materials, mechanisms or complications. Blancpain deliver in all three, the unique incorporation of rubber in the bezel and the bracelets being the most original.
All Fifty Fathoms watches carry a unidirectional rotating bezel (to prevent it from moving accidentally backwards and deceiving the diver by showing more than actual amount of remaining diving time and air), large illuminated indexes and numerals, and massive illuminated hands.
Additional specs include water resistance of 1000 meters (true dive watch), decompression valve, GMT complication, and stainless steel or titanium cases. Automatic movements are standard.
Sports and Function
As exemplified on the website, the focused glow of the luminous hands and markers enables to read time quickly in dark conditions. Red-tipped seconds hand, self-winding movement and a case that has undergone antimagnetic treatment add another set of useful functions.
Overall, design elaborations and subtleties cannot change the true character of a Fifty Fathoms watch: it is decidedly sports and function oriented. A historical collection (the first watch was manufactured in 1953), it continues to evolve, as Blancpain dedicate time and research to this line of diver watches.