We put our hands on the up to date Bathyscaphe version of the legendary diver’s watch Fifty Fathoms by one of the most important players of the industry Blancpain. Let’s see if this new version can meet our expectations which sky rocketed due to the cult Bathyscaphe name.
Blancpain is one of the top brands which I follow exclusively. That legendary brand has been gaining my attention not only by its solid built quality and stunning designs but also with its interesting (none)marketing approach. I simply cannot understand why Blancpain is that weak in popularity among others while being a true legend with its glorious heritage and amazing movements. Since the less popularity and small production numbers cause a unique character as an alternative effect, Blancpain manages to keep the admiring and respectful followers.
The Fifty Fathoms product line is totally a different story for the brand. Arguably sharing the title of “World’s First Dive Watch” with Rolex Submariner, the latest model Bathyscaphe is obviously one of the best versions of the Fifty Fathoms Collection. This new timepiece can easily be distinguished by the visual and technical differences it bears, when compared to the other versions in the family.
Bathyscaphe is more like a re-issue version than a brand new model. This new Blancpain has a lot of resemblance with the original timepiece which was focused mostly on the military requirements in the 60s.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe comes in a fully brushed 18K rose gold case. The built quality and the finishing of the case are simply amazing as expected from a brand like Blancpain. Measuring 43mm x 13,5mm, Bathyscaphe offers better wearing comfort than the original Fifty Fathoms which had a 45,5mm diameter. And it does that without scarifying the wrist presence and the retro look. The iconic sapphire crystal bezel is now replaced with the ceramic one. Though it provides a milder look, it’s not as fragile as its predecessor. The bezel turns in a bit unusual way making hard and loud clicks. The winding crown is big enough to grip at any occasion however, it’s too big as it immediately starts scratching the upper side of your hand. The case employs many surfaces which feel like diamond cut corners. Those lines are so sharply formed that they look like they are going to get severely damaged at the first impact and make the wearer upset for the rest of his/her life. However, the case is absolutely amazing in terms of design and aesthetics.
The dial and hands set are perfectly designed for utmost legibility at most occasions however, the SuperLuminova applied surfaces are so small that the night time visibility is not that bright.
When we turn back the watch we are surprised to see the caseback has a sapphire crystal display. Making an anti-magnetic WR300M dive watch with a see-thru caseback is a cool detail to point the Blancpain engineering. Nice touch..
We can see the Caliber 1315 thru the transparent caseback. It may not be a beauty contest winner as it offers an industrial look but, it’s surely an amazing movement with its rock solid durability and +2scn/day precision. 35 jewels Caliber 1315 beats at 28800vph and offers 5 days power reserve when fully wound.
The version we have here is offered on a NATO strap. Though the strap feels way better than the similar products in the market in terms of quality, I’d be going with the canvas strap and expect to get this NATO strap as a bonus in the box set.
Here comes the price thing.. The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe retail price makes it a weaker choice for the average luxury sports watch customer. It’s surely an amazing piece for the devoted Blancpain aficionado but, when compared to the similar products, it’s not for everyone.