Blancpain was the first watch brand to support the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy (AMM) in 2001. For Only Watch 2017, Blancpain is presenting a one-of-a kind model inspired by the new Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC. This interpretation features hands and hour-markers in a bright yellow shade of Super-LumiNova® recalling the color of the Only Watch logo. The watch’s solid gold winding rotor with an NAC coating (a ruthenium-based alloy) is specially engraved with the inscription “Only Watch” along with the Blancpain logo.
The Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC “Only Watch unique piece” is equipped with self-winding caliber 1151, comprising 210 components notably including two series-coupled mainspring barrels ensuring a four-day power reserve. Nestling in a 40 mm-diameter stainless steel case, the movement is visible through the transparent sapphire case back that also reveals the solid gold winding rotor with an NAC coating (a ruthenium-based alloy) and engraved for the occasion with the name “Only Watch” as well as the Blancpain logo.
This timepiece features the entire set of diving watch technical characteristics, as established by the original 1953 Fifty Fathoms and subsequently adopted by the entire watch industry. For this one-of-a kind model, the black dial features hour-markers and hands in a bright yellow shade of SuperLumiNova® evoking the Only Watch visual identity. These elements recall the designs of the 1950s MIL-SPEC 1. The date is also yellow and the water-resistance indicator once again appears at 6 o’clock.
The black unidirectional rotating bezel, also bearing luminescent yellow markings, is topped by a scratch-resistant sapphire ring, an innovative feature serving to protect it from wear and introduced by Blancpain in 2003 with the “50th Anniversary” Fifty Fathoms. This unique piece, water-resistant to 30 bar, which is equivalent to approximately 300 meters, will be auctioned with a NATO strap.
The original Fifty Fathoms model launched in 1953 by Jean-Jacques Fiechter, Blancpain’s CEO at the time and a pioneer of leisure scuba diving, was the first modern diving watch. This timepiece was worn by the French Navy’s combat swimmers corps in the early 1950s. Keenly aware that a diver’s life directly depends upon the reliable operation of his watch, Jean-Jacques Fiechter decided to endow this model with an additional feature: a water-resistance indicator. If any liquid were by chance to seep into the watch case, a two-tone disk at 6 o’clock would signal the problem by changing from white to red. This timepiece, named the Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC 1, was adopted by the American Navy in 1957-58.
In addition to acquiring this one-of-a-kind model, the lucky purchaser of this watch will have an opportunity to enjoy a unique double Blancpain experience, starting with a chance to learn the technique of static apnea under the guidance of Gianluca Genoni. The champion holds 18 apnea world records, including 160 meters in depth and a time of 18 minutes and 3 seconds. In addition, Blancpain, the world’s oldest watch brand, is offering a discovery tour of its workshops, where the horological complications of the Manufacture have been coming to life for more than 280 years.