Monochrome Watches
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The Swatch x Blancpain Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms, With Automatic Sistem51

Swatch's new collaboration with a much higher-end watchmaker is fun, and it's also mechanical!

| By Brice Goulard | 5 min read |
Swatch x Blancpain Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms

We knew it was coming… Not only Swatch’s latest collaboration with a higher-end watchmaker from the Swatch Group was teased by the brand, but we even created our own vision of what these Swatch x Blancpain models could have been. And looking at the new Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms, we were not too far away from reality. Following the Moonswatch and its success, it’s time now for another Swatched-out emblematic watch, but here, there is some good news on the side of the functionalities and mechanics. 

The Swatch x Blancpain Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms next to the inspiration, the classic Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

Dubbed the Swatch x Blancpain Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms, what we’re looking at here is basically a Swatch take on what is one of the earliest and most respected dive watches, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. Born in 1953, this legendary watch has celebrated its 70th anniversary this year with several commemorative models. It isn’t such a surprise to see the Swatch x Blancpain being released now, as it fits within the whole jubilee strategy. We let you judge if such an accessible take on the model was an appropriate move to celebrate its anniversary or not… What’s sure is that there won’t be competition between these two models, one retailing at EUR 390 and the other going easily into 5-digit prices.

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What do we know about this Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms? Well, just like the Moonswatch was modelled after the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, the Swatch x Blancpain collaboration takes inspiration from the classic Fifty Fathoms. The design is undoubtedly that of the FF, with an identical shape, down to the bezel, the crown guards, the sides of the case and the lugs. Even the proportions are that of a FF, with a 42.3mm diameter, a 14.4mm thickness and a 48mm lug-to-lug. The side is even stamped with a Swatch logo, just like the classic Fifty Fathoms has Blancpain engraved on the left side of its case. The crown features both brands logos too.

There are, however, some drastic differences between this Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms and the real deal, but also with the MoonSwatch. Sure, the case is still made of Bioceramic – available in 5 different colours – beige, yellow-orange, blue, green or ice-white – modelled after the 5 main oceans (Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Antarctic) and the crystal is said to be bio-sourced material with anti-scratch coating (no sapphire here, sorry), but this one feels somehow like a step up compared to the MoonSwatch. For instance, the bezel is functional, like it should be in a dive watch. It’s unidirectional, and it even features a glass-like insert with a luminous 60-minute scale that mimics the sapphire insert found on the classic FF. And the lugs are drilled, meaning that changing the OEM strap will be effortless. Note that water-resistance is rated at 91 metres, which corresponds to fifty fathoms.

As said, a total of 5 different Swatch x Blancpain Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms editions have been presented. All feature a gradient dial that is based on the design of the Fifty Fathoms, with identical markers and hands (all luminous). Apart from the colours, each version has a slightly different personality and two even come with a no-date display and a cool detail on the dial, a tribute to rare editions of the Blancpain FF (No-Rad and Mil-Spec).

  • Arctic Ocean – beige Bioceramic case, orange bezel, warm beige dial with gradient effect, No-Radiation logo and no-date display, orange NATO
  • Antarctic Ocean – ice white Bioceramic case, grey bezel, cool grey dial with gradient effect, Mil-Spec moisture indicator and no-date display, grey and blue NATO
  • Pacific Ocean – yellow-orange Bioceramic case, black bezel, white to black gradient dial, date display, black and orange NATO
  • Atlantic Ocean – blue Bioceramic case, blue bezel, blue dial with gradient effect, date display, blue NATO
  • Indian Ocean – green Bioceramic case, black bezel, green dial with gradient effect, date display, black and green NATO

The most important thing about the Scuba Fifty Fathoms is, to us, the fact that Swatch has made it automatic. When relaunching the Blancpain brand, JC Biver created the motto “There has never been a quartz Blancpain watch. And there never will be” and this has been respected. Indeed, inside is the Sistem51 movement, a calibre known for its innovative conception. It is the first and only mechanical movement with fully automated assembly. The escapement does not have a regulator (no-index assembly) and the rate, or precision, is factory-set using laser technology. Precision is given for -5/+15 seconds per day. An interesting point, it boasts a solid 90-hour power reserve and an anti-magnetic Nivachron hairspring. The see-through back reveals another specific feature, with an illustration of nudibranchs thanks to a digital print on the movement’s rotor. All the bridges also feature an oceanic illustration.

Availability & Price

All 5 references are worn on a NATO strap made from recycled fishing nets removed from the sea, closed by a Bioceramic pin buckle and loops. The watches will be presented in a special diving case.

The 5 models from the Swatch x Blancpain Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms will be available from September 9th, 2023, only at selected Swatch stores worldwide. As with the MoonSwatch, purchases are limited to one watch per person per day. They will also be on display in selected Blancpain boutiques for several weeks, but not for sale in these boutiques. The price will be EUR 390 or USD 400. For more details, please visit

12 responses

  1. @Emre, No. The Sistem 51 caliber is not designed to be serviceable.

  2. @berantle: not only is it not serviceable, it’ll probably be like MoonSwatch where it’s apparently welded into the watch so you can’t even replace the whole movement! It’s an automatic caliber made out of cheap materials too, so it’ll very likely be far more fragile than the quartz movements and will for sure not be a long lasting one either.

    Then there’s the crystal which is welded in (probably) so you can’t even replace that easily scratched cheap thing…

    Total failure, a disgrace when it comes to watchmaking. They look really nice and I like the idea, it’s just really poorly executed and there was no legitimate reason to make them planned obsolescence junk. Why not just make the movement and crystal replaceable?? Why? They would be excellent if that was the case.

  3. And still they will sell like cupcakes, especially to the armada that bought the moonswatch + new clients

  4. I have one of first Swatch automatic with date. Broke off these acrylic lugs.Asled wether I could have new case, no sorry was the answer, buy a new one.

  5. Hype…. That’s all. Well, it encourages young people to buy watches, not smart ones… but it kills the real watches culture…. because I cannot call it a real watch…

  6. This is a perfect way of degrading the horological significance of a timepiece and a brand, that many paid a pretty penny for, in favor of a bottom line. Swatch is a business, I get it…but the more brands that are taken the route of a Swatch degradation, the more those brands feel like Canal St. fodder. If I was in the market for an actual Fifty Fathoms before, I certainly wouldn’t be now.

  7. This is all headed in the wrong direction in the name of “marketing by a watch group”. If your an owner of a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, then you’ve just been slapped in the face or kicked in the teeth.

  8. Does anyone know what is the lug width? What is the width of the straps that would fit?

  9. If you can’t afford a Blancpain why would you want this instead? Casio do very good plastic watches for a fraction of this and don’t pretend to be something that they are not. Is this the start of a slippery slope for Blancpain?

  10. The Arctic Ocean Swatch Fifty Fathoms is hard to find, but it’s worth the search. It features a cool “NO-RAD” dial, which was used to indicate a radium-free dial on Fifty Fathoms watches of old.

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