Swiss luxury watch brand Blancpain presents X Fathoms (Ref. 5018-1230-64), a modern and high performance mechanical diving watch inspired from its historical diving model created in 1953.
Depth measure up to 90 meters and maximum depth reached memory, separate indication on the 0- 15m scale with an exceptional +/- 30 cm precision, retrograde 5-minute counter for decompression stops, the X Fathoms concept watch abounds in world firsts. Its movement, reference 9918B, is based on the Manufacture-made Calibre 1315, which has already proved its worth by successfully powering several models in the Fifty Fathoms collection.
Self-winding and equipped with three barrels ensuring a five-day power reserve, it is provided with a silicon balance-spring to withstand magnetic disturbances. Its imposing 55.65 mm case made of satin-brushed titanium is water-resistant to 30 bar. It features a helium decompression valve for saturation diving and the unidirectional rotating bezel characteristic to the collection for almost 60 years.
Research and testing conducted by Blancpain show that the elastic properties and the resistance to permanent deformation of amorphous metal make this material ideal for the depth gauge membrane. This choice allows to reduce its thickness by half compared to steel and gain in precision. It also allows avoiding the risk of microcracks formation given the long-term stability of the alloy.
However, the non-linear nature of the membrane deformation had to be corrected. The ingenious solution to this problem is given by the asymmetrical toothing of the rack and pinion that linearises the curve of the membrane deformation. The individual calibration of each X Fathoms guaranties maximal precision of depth indications.
Displays result from in-depth research to offer optimal legibility, with central depth indication hands, matt black background colour to enhance contrast and three-colour luminescence to distinguish indications useful underwater.
The most complex injected rubber strap ever conceived gives the final finishing touch. It comprises 14 articulated parts to ensure a perfect fit on the wrist and allow water to seep in under the watch in order to come in contact with the membrane under all circumstances.
In order to optimise readability, Blancpain X Fathoms features:
- Central hands to enhance the legibility of the indications
- A seconds hand to provide visible confirmation that the watch is running smoothly
- A clearly visible minute hand that is easily told apart from the hour hand
Luminescence used only on the indications that are useful when diving
- Orange colour, easily readable at great depths, for the 0-90 m scale
- Blue colour for the 0-15 m scale
- Green colour for the hour, minute and seconds indications, as well as for the unidirectional rotating bezel
Since the final decompression stop before reaching the surface is vital, the X Fathoms incorporates original features providing divers with the information required to undertake this phase in the best possible conditions.
- Depth indication on the 0-15 m scale for enhanced precision in this zone
- Depth markers from 3 to 6 m highlighted by their orange luminescence
- Retrograde 5-minute counter clearly readable and easily activated by a pusher
The Blancpain X Fathoms watch is provided with an amorphous metal membrane for the mechanical depth gauge function. Honeycombed openings allow water to come in contact with the membrane.
When the diver begins a descent, the pressure of the water exercised on the membrane deforms it and displaces the feeler-spindle fixed in its centre. Using a transmission lever and a rack, the linear displacement of the feeler spindle is transformed into angular displacement transmitted by a gear crossing through the movement towards the axis of the depth gauge hands.
The hand indicating the depth on the 0-90 m scale plays the main role. As it moves, it drives the 0-15 m hand and the maximal depth hand (memory). The indication on the 0-15 m scale undergoes a reduction enabling it to display ¾ of a revolution.
When the diver reaches a depth of 15 metres, the 0-15 m hand stops. If the diver continues the descent, the two other hands continue to run.
At a depth of a little below 90 metres, the membrane reaches its maximum deformation and pushes up against the concave stop. Since the watch is watertightness tested to 37.5 bar, the diver can continue the descent without any worries.
During the ascent, the two instant indication hands are steadily pulled back by a spiral spring and return to 0 when the diver reaches the surface. The maximum depth hand indicates the maximum depth reached by the diver until it is reset via a pusher at 8 o’clock. The latter is protected during the dive in order to avoid any accidental operations.
Model: Blancpain X-Fathoms
Thickness: 13 mm
Diameter: 36 mm
Power-reserve: 5 days
One-way rotating bezel
Thickness: 24 mm
Diameter: 55.65 mm
Water-resistance: 30 bar (300 meters)
Interhorn space: 22.60 mm
Screw-down crown at 3 o’clock
Decompression valve at 2 o’clock
Retrograde 5-minute counter activation pusher at 10 o’clock
Maximum depth indication reset pusher at 8 o’clock
Hour, Minute and Seconds
Real depth hand (0-90 m scale)
Real depth hand (0-15 m scale)
Maximal depth hand (memory)
Retrograde 5-minute counter hand
0-90 m depth scale
0-15 m depth scale
Retrograde 5-minute counter for decompression stops
Injected rubber strap