This year, Blancpain quietly introduced the Fifty Fathoms “Nageurs de combat” dive watch in a limited edition of 300 pieces.
In tribute to its original collaboration with the founders of the French Combat Swimmers unit, Blancpain unveiled a special edition of its iconic Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch. The Fifty Fathoms’ recognizable case is crafted from stainless steel and has a significant wrist presence at 45 mm x 15.7 mm. Encircling the black dial is a stainless steel unidirectional rotating dive bezel with the signature Fifty Fathoms sapphire crystal bezel insert.
The matte black dial features printed luminous indices, along with the brand logo in white at 12 and “Fifty Fathoms” in a white cursive font at 6. The black number “7” is embossed — with a contrasting glossy black finish — as a reference to the maximum depth (7 meters) that divers can swim underneath the water when using pure oxygen — after 7 meters the oxygen becomes toxic.
Each watch has a screw-in steel caseback with a frosted finish on the center that’s stamped with the “Nageurs de combat” combat diver qualification badge emblem in relief (authorized by the French Army). The emblem features a central anchor dedicated to sailors flanked by two winged seahorses representing the underwater world as well as parachutists. Around the edge, the limited edition number “X/300” is individually engraved.
Driving the thick white lacquered baton-shaped luminous hour and minute hands, and elongated diamond-tipped luminous center seconds hand with diamond-shaped counterweight, as well as the white-on-black date display, is Blancpain’s in-house automatic caliber 1315 movement. The movement measures 30.60 mm x 5.65 mm, beats at 4Hz, has 35 jewels, a total of 227 components, and three series-coupled barrels good for 120-hours of maximum power reserve (5 days). Beveled and polished edges accentuate the circular-grained matte surfaces of the bridges, as do the polished screw heads. A Glucydur free-sprung balance with gold regulation screws, supported by a single bridge, along with an anti-magnetic silicon balance spring, and lever escapement, regulate the timekeeping.
The Fifty Fathoms “Nageurs de combat” is presented on a black sailcloth canvas strap that measures 23 mm wide at the lugs. Water-resistance is rated to 300 meters. (Ref. 5015E 1130 B52A)
Retail is $15,500.