Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Hands-On
May 3, 2016
Like the Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback Ocean Commitment that debuted in 2014, this year Blancpain launched a plasma grey ceramic version of the three-hand Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe, with the same deep blue dial and bezel.
Distinguished by the matte grey plasma ceramic case – that measures 43.60 mm x 13.83 mm – the new Bathyscaphe is a truly contemporary dive watch, despite its rich diving heritage dating back to the 1950s. Like the case, the unidirectional rotating dive bezel is crafted in matte grey ceramic, that has been satin-brushed, along with a polished blue ceramic insert, dive scale, and a single lume-filled Liquidmetal marker at 12 o’clock.
Matching the bezel is a stunning, deep blue sunburst pattern dial, punctuated by polished Liquidmetal hour makers, and rectangular-shaped grey hour and minute hands, along with a baton-shaped central seconds sweep hand with a lollipop and red tip, and a spear-shaped counterweight. The hands, hour markers, and 12 o’clock bezel marker all have a generous amount of luminescent material so as to provide visibility, even when underwater (a requirement of the ISO 6425 dive watch standard).
In addition to the hours, minutes, and seconds, there is also a date indication, via an aperture that sits at a 45-degree angle, located at 4:30.
This is a dive watch, and so it has to withstand at water-pressure to depths of at least 100 meters, which this does with no problem. In fact, thanks to multiple gaskets on the front, rear, and around the locking crown, water-resistance is 300 meters.
Inside is Blancpain’s automatic caliber 1315, which beats at 4Hz (28,800 vph), and consists of 227 total components, 35 of which are jewels. Uniquely, the movement is visible through the sapphire caseback, something that is rare with dive watches. However, the finishing is not traditional Swiss. Yes, the bridges have bevelled edges that have been polished. But instead of Geneva stripes, they have a more industrial straight grained finish. The rotor is dark grey, matching the theme of the watch, with a frosted finish.
Technically speaking, one of the coolest features, is the three series-coupled mainspring barrels that ensure a generous 5-day power reserve (120-hours) while guaranteeing a constant supply of energy. Another nicety is the silicon balance spring, which increases the service life of the regulation system, as well as increasing the rate stability thanks particularly to its lightness, and resistance to shock and magnetism. Adding to the robustness, and improving the isochronism, is a large glucydur balance wheel, with square-head gold micrometric regulating screws guaranteeing precision as well as efficient adjustment.
Ultimately, this is a killer modern dive watch that utilizes some cool technological advancements, including the three mainpsprings which offer an impressive 5-day power reserve, as well as the use of Liquidmetal and plasma ceramic materials. There is a lot to like. And the blue color is just wonderful; in certain lights it is appears to be royal blue, and in other it looks closer to a navy (as you can see in the images).
This Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe is offered with two strap options: a three-ring NATO strap or a sail canvas version. (Ref. 5000-0240-O52A) $12,800