Blancpain, the esteemed Swiss manufacture that opened its doors way back in 1735, is known worldwide for crafting some of the most elegant pocket and dress wristwatches in history. Many of these pieces are brilliant works of horological art, and as a category are worthy of in-depth study and analysis. But today we want to talk about Blancpain’s other genius – their entrant into the world of purpose-built tool watches, and the industry’s prototypical modern diver’s watch, the legendary Fifty Fathoms.
Blancpain’s pioneering effort was named the “Fifty Fathoms” after the British measurement of 50 fathoms, or approximately 91.45 meters, which was at the time considered the maximum depth which a diver could achieve with the oxygen mixture then in use. For both commercial and administrative reasons, the French Navy elected to purchase all of its diving equipment, including
the Blancpain diving watches, through a single source, Spirotechnique, located on the left bank in central Paris. T
The Bathyscaphe shares a number of design cues with its larger sibling, and like the Fifty, was also licensed and sold under a few different brand names. The most desirable, of course, are those with the Blancpain name on the dial, and that is exactly what we have here! In original condition with bakelite insert. A watch with a rich history!