Blancpain Fifty Fathoms FF96
The first ‘professional’ divers watch was without a doubt the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. To those who think there’s a discussion on this topic; you’re wrong. Yes, Rolex had the first waterproof watch case, and yes, Omega introduced the waterproof Marine watch in 1932, but those weren’t real professional divers watches. The Fifty Fathoms was the first watch to have a rotating bezel with a timing function so professional divers would know how much time underwater they had left. Many know this feature from the Rolex Submariner, but the Blancpain FF (1952) was born one year before Rolex’ Submariner (1953).
The 1950s divers have become true holy grails and are incredibly rare. the result is that there’s a real collectors market for these watches. The piece is a slightly newer one; 1977, but the condition is like new! The Squale watch case is in absolute mint condition, never polished and razor-sharp. This piece still has the bakelite bezel. A character that is valued a lot among vintage watch enthusiasts. The bakelite bezels were prone to cracking, and at some point were replaced by aluminum ones and eventually, the ceramic bezels became standard. Rolex quit using the Bakelite after four years in 1959 because they really broke that easy. Omega threw the fragile material out the window in 1967. Blancpain luckily kept using the fragile synthetic a little longer, and last used it on this model.
This piece has been worn only a few times and we’ve bought it from the first owner. It is close to NOS. The original case-back sticker is still intact and legible, and the red paint seal was even intact when we bought it. We had to break it in order to perform a movement service but what a cool piece. This Blancpain also has its original tropical strap and buckle. For the Connoisseurs!
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