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Jason Pitsch

Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC

Jason Pitsch

Blancpain has a storied history with the Fifty Fathoms line of diving watches dating back to 1953, the same year the Rolex Submariner came out, backed up by an impressive archive of timepieces. However, unlike the Submariner, the original Fifty Fathoms models have been largely replaced by contemporary Bathyscaphe versions. The continuity of the original line has mostly been lost but for 2017, thankfully, Blancpain has returned to the vault to create something with a more classic look. The Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC comes in a 40.30 mm x 13.23 mm stainless steel case and is equipped with in-house caliber 1151, which consists of 210 components including 28 jewels, a silicon balance spring, and two series-coupled mainspring barrels good for four days of power reserve (96-hours). The movement measures 27.40 mm x 3.25 mm and is fully visible through

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Jason Pitsch

Pre-Baselworld: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe 38 mm

Jason Pitsch

The modern Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe, which is based loosely on Fifty Fathoms models from the 1950s, was first presented in 2013, in a 43.60 mm diameter case, and available in stainless steel or ceramized titanium. Following that, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe line was offered in a ceramic case, which we wrote about here and here. This year at Baselworld 2017, following the 38 mm diameter Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Revolution Special Edition that was presented last year in steel, Blancpain will further extend the line with a new three-hand 38 mm diameter brushed stainless steel model. It is worth noting that Blancpain has also previously produced a 38 mm diameter white Fifty Fathoms model for women that came out in 2013. This version is presumably marketed more towards men. And judging the from the feedback we have already read online,

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Jason Pitsch

Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Blancpain Ocean Commitment II

Jason Pitsch

Blancpain has just announced a second version of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment, which mostly notably features a new deep-blue colored ceramic case. Apart from the case, and the strap color, everything else is identical to the original model. Despite that, according to Blancpain, getting the color of the case to match correctly with other components was quite a challenge. The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II case is presented in a 43.60 mm x 15.25 mm ceramic case (23 mm interlug width), with a 300 meter water resistant depth rating, screw-down crown, and an exhibition caseback. The movement is caliber F385 (measures 31.80 mm x 6.65 mm ), which features a vertical clutch column wheel chronograph that beats at the high rate of 5Hz (36,000 vph), has 322 components, 37 jewels, the balance wheel

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Jason Pitsch

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

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

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Jason Pitsch

Blancpain Villeret Quantième Annuel GMT Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Previously only offered in precious metal, the Blancpain Villeret Quantième Annuel GMT is now available in stainless steel. The new steel model measures 40 mm x 11.04 mm, which are the same dimensions as before. The case is fully polished, along with the crown, which features the company logo engraved in relief. Instead of an intricate sunray guilloche pattern, as seen on previous models, the dial has a smooth matte white surface. The dial layout stayed the same. An annual calendar with individual rectangle apertures, one after the other, displays the day, date, and month – with ease. Long, skeletonized leaf-shaped hands, crafted from stainless steel, and polished, indicate hours and minutes. The hour indices are marked with hand applied, polished stainless steel Roman numerals. For seconds, there is a centrally mounted baton-shaped hand, in polished steel, with a logo

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Jason Pitsch

PHOTO REPORT: Blancpain Engraving

Jason Pitsch

This photo report is from a cocktail party held at Blancpain’s NYC flagship boutique at 645 5th Avenue last night. Guests watched demonstrations of one of the brand’s master engraver at work, highlighting the incredible level of manual dexterity required to do miniature engravings by hand. Check out some of the finished timepieces HERE.

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Blancpain Traditional Chinese Calendar for Only Watch

Blancpain presents a one-off Traditional Chinese Calendar for Only Watch 2015. Housed inside a 45 mm diameter red gold case is a highly complicated movement that powers hours, minutes and a Gregorian calendar (typical calendar), as well as the indications of the Chinese calendar that include: traditional double-hour indication, day, month with indication of leap months, signs of the zodiac, as well as the five elements and the 10 celestial stems. According to the manfacturer, “The combination of the latter with the 12 animals of the zodiac that represent the terrestrial branches follows the sixty-year cycle that is central to Chinese culture. The moon phases, a key element in Blancpain complete calendars, are also presented and play a particularly important role in this model, given the link between the lunar cycle and traditional Chinese months.” The black grand feu enamel

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Blancpain Villeret Grand Date Hands-On

This is a hands-on look at the Blancpain Villeret Grand Date, which we previewed before Baselworld. The Grand Date is available in either 18K red gold or stainless steel. The case measures 40 mm in diameter by 10.88 mm in thickness and features a stepped bezel. The case is fully polished, matching the polished hands (hour and minute hands are skeletonized), and polished applied Roman numeral hour markers. At 6 o’clock there is a dot marking the hour instead of a numeral, allowing for the double aperture Grand Date window. The date changes instantaneously at midnight. The timepiece is powered by in-house caliber 6950, which has a honeycomb-pattern oscillating weight, a free spring balance with a silicium spiral regulated by gold screws and twin mainspring barrels (72-hour power reserve). The movement has 285 components, 35 of which are jewels and

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Blancpain les Métiers d’Art Shakudō

On one end of its product spectrum Blancpain makes sports watches, like the Bathyscaphe Chronograph we showed you last month, on the other end of the spectrum is the classical Villeret collection. Both are made to very high standards and powered by movements designed and manufactured in the Vallée de Joux. And while PROFESSIONAL WATCHES is typically focused more on the former than the latter – these Villeret pieces are so good we had to show you. Enter the Blancpain les Métiers d’Art Shakudō, which combines the skills of engraving and Damascening, with the art of shakudō. Shakudō, which originates from Japan, is an alloy composed mostly of copper and gold, which acquires a dark patina between blue and black, according to variations in its composition and texture. According to Blancpain, “The black patina is obtained following a process called

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Jason Pitsch

Hands-On with Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback Ocean Commitment

Jason Pitsch

At Baselworld, last week, we got a hands-on look at the limited edition Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback Ocean Commitment, which we originally featured HERE. As we mentioned before, a portion of the sales from each watch going to support oceanic environmental causes. Also, each Ocean Commitment Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback will be individually numbered. In addition, each purchaser of one of these limited edition timepieces will receive a copy of Blancpain’s collectible volume entitled Fifty Fathoms The Dive and Watch History 1953-2013. The copy received by each purchaser will be hand numbered to correspond to the serial number of his watch. The case is crafted in grey satin-brushed ceramic, measuring 43.6 mm in diameter. The crown and pushers are ceramic as well. The blue sunburst finish dial features applied, lume-filled Liquidmetal indexes, combined with large luminous treated rectangle shaped hour and minute

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