In 2007, Blancpain re-interpreted its Fifty Fathoms diving watch in a chronograph version. It called for some impressive feats in terms of its construction, particularly with regard to the pushers. Most chronographs cannot be handled while diving, but thanks to a system of special joints concealed within the case, Blancpain has succeeded in making the push-buttons perfectly water-resistant and operational at depths of 300 metres.
Representing another refined technical feature, the chronograph is endowed with a flyback function – one of Blancpain’s specialities, as confirmed by the 1997 launch of the very first ladies’ Flyback Chronograph. This sophisticated system enables instant restart of a new timing operation by pressing the push-button at 4 o’clock, without needing to first stop and reset the hands. The small hour and minute counters are easily legible thanks to the contrast of white indications against a black background. The self-winding movement is protected from magnetic fields by a dedicated cage.
The Fifty Fathoms Chronographe Flyback is fitted with a rugged case carved from steel. It is also available in a gold version in which the deep black of the dial, bezel and strap make a wonderful match for the warm shade of 18-carat red gold.
When it comes to diving watch specifications, this model displays the main signature features that forged the reputation of the original Fifty Fathoms and of its subsequent enhanced versions. The same professionalism is apparent in the decisive choices, dictated by a wealth of experience in the field of diving, its risks and its imperious necessities. Water-resistance is same, 300 metres. It is equipped with the same oversized hour-markers and hands ensuring optimal readability. It boasts the same black dial and bezel colour, against which the luminescent indications make a striking contrast. The rotating bezel remains a key element of the watch, with its notched profile facilitating handling and its unidirectional rotating system that avoids any inadvertent extension of the dive times. Crafted from scratch-resistant sapphire, one of the hardest materials in the world, and featuring a slightly cambered raised effect that reduces its vulnerability to shocks, this bezel is distinguished by its luxurious finishing.
Loyal to its tradition of innovation, the Manufacture in Le Brassus has also made a point of re-examining each detail of the Fifty Fathoms in order to optimise its performances and fine-tune its immediately recognisable design. To accentuate its extreme readability in all circumstances, Blancpain has chosen a new shade of luminescent coating applied to the markings on the bezel and to the hands; the trapeze-shaped hour-markers on the sunburst-effect black dial, as well as the graduated scale showing the last fifteen minutes on the bezel, optimise the user-friendliness of this model. The case is equipped with crown guards that reinforce the security surrounding this essential component.
Blancpain has also created a rugged new water-resistant strap in rubber-lined black canvas. The pin buckle specially developed for the collection is adorned with a trapeze reflecting the design of the hour-markers. As on the limited edition in 2003, the exclusive fastening system enables quick and easy strap change. Moreover, an additional strap in rubber along with the instrument required to change it may be acquired separately to complete this set of gear. Blancpain has even innovated in terms of the packaging, by presenting the Fifty Fathoms in an ultra-sturdy watertight box in high-tech materials, which can be used even in extreme conditions.
Model: Fifty Fathoms Chronographe Flyback
Ref. 5085F-1130-52: Steel case and Black dial
Ref. 5085F-3630-52: Red Gold case and Black dial
Flyback Chronograph, date and small seconds
Calibre F185, Self winding
Diameter: 26.20 mm
Thickness: 5.50 mm
Power reserve: 40 hours
Steel or Red Gold
Diameter: 45.00 mm
Thickness: 15.50 mm
Water resistance: 300 meters