As a watch itself and also an entire collection, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is one of the most iconic dive watches of the lot – and the modern version is the worthy descendant of what was one of the earliest dive watches ever created. Its reputation is immense. Modern-day versions were usually more on the luxurious side, with polished cases and beautiful finishes. Today, the brand unveils a new version that has a more “tool-watch” attitude. Meet the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 5015 now in a titanium & black dial version.
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms was developed in 1953 by Jacques Fiechter, CEO of Blancpain at the time and a scuba diving fan. It was later refined (with the addition of magnetic shielding) with French military divers, Bob Maloubier and Claude Riffaud who needed a rugged, functional watch for their perilous underwater missions. It is often regarded as the archetype of the dive watch. Together with the Zodiac Sea Wolf and the Rolex Submariner, it defined the category: a robust, highly legible watch, water-resistant to great depths (91 metres, in this instance) and equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel to time dives.
The Fifty Fathoms comes in a bevy of incarnations but the most emblematic remains the ref. 5015, the 45mm Automatique model with a black dial and steel case. As mentioned, beautiful but some may feel it lacks a bit of tool-watch toughness. Problem solved, as now there is a new titanium variant of the ref. 5015 fitted with an ebony-black dial (it is already available with a blue dial), which could very well become a favourite for fans of the watch.
Being strong, hypoallergenic and rustproof, titanium is an ideal material for field watches and divers. Titanium also means greater comfort despite the 45mm diameter. As a comparison, titanium is about twice less dense than steel, making activewear easier. Last but not least, its dark grey colour makes the Fifty Fathoms a stylish daily-beater.
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 5015 Titanium features an entirely satin-brushed case – while the steel version is mostly polished. It is tested to be water resistant to 300 metres – all specifications are similar to those of the steel model. The ratcheted unidirectional rotating bezel is equipped with a scratchproof domed sapphire insert. Its markers, dial hour markers and hands are filled with Super-LumiNova. Therefore, it provides effortless legibility and diving times can be read even in the murkiest waters. On the official photos, the luminescent coating of the indexes and hands also appears more “cream” than the regular steel model (to be confirmed with hands-on photos).
Turning the watch over, the exhibition caseback offers an unimpeded view of the Blancpain calibre 1315 with automatic winding. This modern movement is 30.60mm in diameter and 5.65mm thick. It operates at 4Hz / 28,800 vibrations per hour. With its three-barrels coupled in series, calibre 1315 can store a robust power reserve of 120 hours or 5 days. This movement also features a free-sprung balance wheel and its hairspring is in non-magnetic, shock-resistant silicon. It displays the hours, minutes, seconds and the date at 4 o’clock. The decoration combines straight-graining, beveling, circular-graining and circular satin-brushing.
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 5015 Titanium is worn on a black NATO strap or on a black sailcloth strap with pin buckle. Price is set at CHF 14,700. For more information, please visit www.blancpain.com.