For the fifth consecutive year, Blancpain is dropping anchor in the Old Port of Cannes. A partner of the 32nd edition of the International Boat Show, Blancpain is marking the occasion by announcing the worldwide launch of its brand-new 500 Fathoms diver’s watch. And as the icing on the cake, the Manufacture from Le Brassus is presenting a world first on the Blancpain booth: a 500 Fathoms Cannes 2009 limited series of 50 dedicated to sea-lovers.
The Blancpain story is written in “navy” blue since 1953, the debut year of the first modern diver’s watch, the Fifty Fathoms. Blancpain regularly celebrates its historical ties with the maritime world. In 2007, Blancpain naturally chose the Cannes International Boat Show to launch its “new wave” Fifty Fathoms watch. This year, to mark its fifth participation in the prestigious yachting event, Blancpain is announcing the launch of its brand-new “500 Fathoms” and presenting a special edition of this model, issued in a limited series of 50.
The resolutely sporting 500 Fathoms is making a noteworthy entrance into the collection of Blancpain diver’s watches. Endowed with a new face, new dimensions and new performances, the 500 Fathoms may in some ways be considered the “big sister” (size-wise) of the famous Fifty Fathoms. Measuring an impressive 48 mm in diameter, the new 500 Fathoms is water-resistant to 1000 metres. An automatic decompression valve, placed inside the brushed titanium case, guarantees the security and reliability of the watch without requiring any handling on the part of the wearer.
To enhance legibility, Blancpain has designed large phosphorescent Arabic numerals engraved into sunbrushed metal appliques. The luminescent coating applied to the hour-markers, bezel markings and hands, as well as the red tip of the central seconds hand, ensures ideally convenient read-off in all circumstances.
The black luminescent base of the dial reveals its fluorescence only in the dark. The oneway rotating bezel made from titanium and scratch-proof sapphire crystal is notched to facilitate handling and slightly cambered to reduce the risk of impacts.
The sapphire crystal back enables one to admire the entirely hand-decorated self-winding Calibre 1315 with its propeller-shaped oscillating weight. The 500 Fathoms Cannes 2009 model comes fitted with a black rubber-lined sail canvas strap, while an additional rubber strap and a dedicated tool to secure it lend the finishing touch to this set delivered in an ultra-sturdy watertight presentation box designed to withstand extreme conditions.
Born in 1953 from Blancpain’s encounter with two French naval officers – Captain Robert “Bob” Maloubier and Lieutenant Claude Riffaud, who were entrusted by the French Ministry of Defence with creating an elite “Combat Divers” unit – the Fifty Fathoms proved its worth by displaying an ability to withstand the extreme conditions characteristic of underwater military operations. Named after the water resistance of the original model, guaranteed to a depth of 50 fathoms (91.45 metres), this mechanical masterpiece soon earned a reputation for reliability and sturdiness, thereby asserting itself as the archetypal modern diver’s watch.