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Blancpain Expands the Bathyscaphe Collection with a Ceramic Quantième Complet and New Ceramic Bracelets

Ceramic everywhere in the new Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet but also on the Chronograph and time-only.

| By Brice Goulard | 5 min read |

A more streamlined and less instrument-oriented take on one of the most emblematic dive watches ever created (the Fifty Fathoms, if you ask), the Blancpain Bathyscaphe collection continues its evolution initiated a few years ago with the introduction of new materials and redesigned dials. This year will be all about ceramic. First, Blancpain introduces a new black ceramic version of its original Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet. Second, we’ll see the addition of full ceramic bracelets to some of the best-loved Bathyscaphe models. Let’s see what they’re like.

The Bathyscaphe is Blancpain‘s more compact and streamlined version of the Fifty Fathoms, which was first released in 1956. Since its reappearance in the collection in 2013, marking the 60th anniversary of what was one of the very first dive watches ever created, it has appeared in many iterations. We’ve seen this watch in different sizes, different materials and equipped with all sorts of complications, such as a chronograph, an annual calendar or a complete calendar with moon phase. Following the evolution of the collection that was implemented recently in the time-and-date version, also seen on the chronograph and the Quantième Complet, it is now time to introduce new materials to this collection, starting with a surprising blue-on-black, full ceramic edition of this calendar dive watch. But first, let’s talk bracelets…

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The full ceramic bracelet, a first for Blancpain

Ceramic watches are nothing new. We’ve seen them around for decades now, and most established watchmakers have one in their collection – one exception to the rule remains Rolex… Durable, highly scratch-resistant and hypoallergenic, ceramic is nearly five times harder than stainless steel, almost four times harder than grade 5 titanium, and about 25% lighter than steel. Besides this, ceramic can be coloured (solid colours, not coated colours), opening endless creative ideas. The only downside of ceramic is its lower resistance to shock, as the material is known to be brittle when pushed to its structural limits.

Now, there are various ways to bring a ceramic watch to life. The accessible way is by moulding parts, often resulting in rounded shapes. High-end watchmakers such as Blancpain do it differently by finishing all parts in the same way they do for a metallic case. This involves polished and satin brushing the parts by hand with diamond tools, a time-consuming process given the hardness of ceramic.

While Blancpain is no stranger to using ceramic for the case of its Bathyscaphe, what’s new this year is the addition of a ceramic bracelet. It’s been long known that creating a solid, well-designed bracelet is a complex task, often more complex than a case – something that is often outsourced to suppliers. Making a ceramic bracelet is nothing short of complex, specifically when one wants to respect the shape of that used for a metallic bracelet.

Blancpain presents a full black ceramic bracelet, shaped and finished in the same way as the bracelet found on its titanium models. The base material is produced locally in Switzerland by one of Swatch Group’s companies (Comadur) and then finished in-house. What makes a ceramic bracelet for the Bathyscaphe so complex is that all links are different in shape and size, designed to guarantee ideal ergonomics and comfort. The bracelet tapers from the lugs to the buckle, and all links have to be manufactured individually. The links are connected by a patented mounting system using cam-shaped pins for greater resistance to wear. The bracelet is closed by a titanium triple-folding clasp.

In addition to being presented on the new complete calendar model (more about this below), Blancpain also provides its most appealing versions with ceramic bracelets. First is its classic time-and-date dive watch, the Bathyscaphe reference 5000, with its 43.6mm black ceramic case, matching ceramic bezel and sunray-brushed dial. Technically identical to the titanium version, it is powered by the automatic calibre 1315 with a 120h power reserve and silicon balance spring. Known as the reference 5000-0130-01S, this new model joins the editions worn on sailcloth or NATO straps and retails for CHF 19,600.

The other model now available on a black ceramic bracelet is the cool green Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback. Housed in a 43.6mm black ceramic case, this version is characterized by its gradient green sun-brushed dial and a matching green ceramic bezel. The tri-compax dial layout results from a high-end chronograph movement powering the watch, the calibre F385. This automatic, integrated column-wheel and vertical clutch chronograph movement runs at a 5Hz frequency and stores up to 50 hours of power reserve. Known as the reference 5200-0153-01S, this new model joins the editions worn on sailcloth or NATO straps and retails for CHF 23,900.

In both cases, the ceramic bracelet adds CHF 7,000 to the total price compared to the versions on a strap. This is somewhat explained by the complexity of the machining and finishing. I’ll let you decide, however, if you prefer this ceramic bracelet or add another strap next to your Bathyscaphe.

The Black Ceramic Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet

The other major novelty within the Blancpain Bathyscaphe collection is the addition of a ceramic version of the original Quantième Complet Phases de Lune, a.k.a Complete Calendar Moonphase. Already available in titanium or gold, as well as a classic black dial model in steel, this watch combines true diving credentials (300m water-resistance, unidirectional bezel, screw-down crown) with a display that is often seen in dress watches.

A classic of the brand, the Quantième Complet or Complete Calendar consists of a traditional date display (pointer date style around the dial), the day of the week and the month in windows at 12 o’clock, and the phases of the moon in a sub-dial at 6 o’clock – with Blancpain’s signature elegant moon face. Polarizing and original, to say the least, this complex dive watch now comes with a black ceramic case and bracelet and a brushed blue dial.

The dimensions are identical to the other ceramic models (43.60mm diameter, 14.10mm thickness), and the watch retains the same aquatic properties despite being equipped with recessed correctors on the caseband. The brushed and polished case is combined with a black ceramic bezel. Inside the case is the in-house automatic calibre 6654.P with a modern 4Hz frequency and a comfortable 72h (3 days) power reserve. It is equipped with a date mechanism with a security system.

This new full ceramic Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet will retail for CHF 23,900. Versions on sailcloth or NATO straps will also be added to the collection at CHF 16,900.

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2 responses

  1. Having them next to each other, you start wondering why isn’t the time one+date model as large as the tricompax and the QC, that have much more things to show.

  2. To expensive, no micro adjust on bracelet, this will be next year on second market less than $8K


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