The Bathyscaphe is Blancpain‘s more compact and streamlined version of the Fifty Fathoms that 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 last year in the time-and-date version, it’s time to refresh the calendar model with new editions of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet, in red gold or in grade 23 titanium.
The Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet isn’t per se a new watch. It has actually been around since 2018, in a version in stainless steel with a dark grey dial and black ceramic bezel. And with this combination of classic horology and diving credentials, it’s also one of the most surprising watches in the brand’s collection. Such a complex calendar display is expected in a dressy, elegant gold watch, not so much in a large, instrumental watch meant to be taken underwater. Still, this very peculiarity makes the Bathy complete calendar such a charming watch. Not something consensual, but something that generates passion. After all, this might be what high-end mechanical watchmaking is all about…
What matters this year is the fact that this original model undergoes the transformation that was first applied to the classic time-and-date model. In short, Blancpain has given its Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe an even more tool-ish look and more resistance to underwater life. To do so, the case is made in a rather surprising titanium alloy and matched with new colours for the dial and the bezel, giving it an all-grey, all-matte style that seems just about right for a piece of diving equipment.
The same recipe is applied to the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet, with the introduction of an evolution in titanium, which is also completed by a new reference in gold. The basics of this original watch are identical to the version we’ve reviewed here in steel. The case, with the signature angular design of the collection, retains the same proportions with a 43mm diameter and a 13.9mm height – not particularly thin on paper, but considering the complications it carries, it isn’t that bad for a diver’s watch. The case, which is entirely brushed for a sportier, less reflective look, features nicely shaped lugs with a lateral bevel. As said, you’ll have the choice between the18k red gold for a warm, luxurious look or Blancpain’s latest titanium alloy, grade 23.
About titanium grade 23
Titanium, as used for watchmaking, automotive, aerospatial or medical applications, isn’t a pure metal but an alloy. As such, you’ll often hear us talk about grade 2 or grade 5 titanium, which are the two most common alloys in watchmaking. On its side, Blancpain relies on grade 23, also known as Ti6Al4V ELI. It is a purer version of grade 5 titanium mostly used in medical applications, with lower oxygen, nitrogen and iron concentrations. It is highly resistant to corrosion. It also has a high damage tolerance and is used where high durability is required. Still, it doesn’t seem to be polished like grade 5 titanium.
Whether you choose this highly resistant titanium alloy or the higher-end satin-brushed 18k red gold, you’ll end up with a watch with all the diving capacities you’d expect from a Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe. As such, it features a unidirectional bezel matching the case material, housing a fully brushed (new to this year’s version) ceramic inlay with a 60-minute scale obtained thanks to the Ceragold or Liquidmetal technologies (seamless integration). Also, the watch features sapphire crystals on both sides, a screw-down crown and caseback and has a 300-metre water-resistance rating despite the presence of recessed pushers to adjust the calendar.
Depending on the material you choose, the new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet will present two different faces. The titanium edition plays on all-grey, monochromatic tones, with an anthracite grey ceramic insert, a sunray-brushed meteor grey dial and rhodium-plated hands/markers. Even the gold rotor on the back is grey NAC coated. The grey look continues on the bracelet or strap, which is either matching titanium, grey NATO or sailcloth strap. On the other hand, the red gold model plays on contrasts, with a gradient, sunray-brushed blue dial with a blue bezel and gold hour markers/hands. And the rotor is also uncoated gold. This model comes on a blue NATO or sailcloth strap.
The most surprising part of the Bathyscaphe Complete Calendar is its dial. Sure, the hands and markers are typical of the collection. What’s more original is the complex display, which is more familiar in Villeret watches. As such, in addition to the central hours, minutes and seconds, you’ll find a central pointer date and two apertures for the day and the month. At 6 o’clock is a large moon phase indicator with Blancpain’s signature “moon face.”
Inside the case is the familiar calibre 6654.P in-house movement. This self-winding engine, finished with snailed bridges and polished bevels, runs at a modern 4Hz frequency and boasts a comfortable 72h (3 days) power reserve. It is equipped with a date mechanism with a security system. This enables the owner of the watch to handle each indication at any time, without any risk to the movement, unlike usual calendar watches.
Availability & Price
All new editions of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet will soon be available from boutiques and retailers as part of the permanent collection. Prices start from CHF 14,800 for the titanium model on a NATO or sailcloth strap. The model with a titanium bracelet is priced at CHF 17,200. Finally, both editions of the red gold Bathyscaphe retail for CHF 28,000. For more details, please visit www.blancpain.com.