Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition (Ref. 5052-1146-E52A)

This new limited edition version of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date watch is inspired by a Blancpain diver’s watch from the 1970s is characterised by a gradient-coloured sandy beige dial featuring a sunburst pattern. This nuance evokes the desert, and more specifically Death Valley in the United States, where Ernest H. Brooks II, pioneer of underwater photography and contributor to the Edition Fifty Fathoms project*, made a spectacular dive in 1962.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition (Ref. 5052-1146-E52A)

“It is unbelievable how hot the sun blazes at seven o’clock in the morning in infamous Death Valley. We could already feel the hot sand under our feet as we set off [to dive]“, says Ernest H. Brooks II. The dive he is referring to is Devils Hole, an underwater chasm that plunges into the bowels of the earth at a depth of more than 120 metres before opening out into a gigantic underwater river.

Devils Hole is also unique in that it is the exclusive home of a seriously endangered species of fish, Cyprinodon diabolis, of which Brooks took the first pictures.

The Devils Hole spring is located within the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, in Nye County, Nevada, United States. The hole is a geothermal aquifer-fed pool within a limestone cavern in the Amargosa Valley of Nevada, east of the Funeral Mountains in Death Valley.

Devils Hole branches into deep caverns at least 150 meters deep from an opening at the surface that is approximately two by six meters. According to geologists, the caves were formed over 500,000 years ago. Devils Hole is the only natural habitat of the Devils Hole pupfish, which thrives in the hot water. It is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The rough hand drawing of Devils Hole was done by Ernie Brooks himself while explaining his dive to the author of this story. No official map of Devils Hole exists, and today it is forbidden to dive there due to the endangered pupfish and also be – cause of the dangers the underwater river presents to any deep diving expedition.

The new desert-coloured Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date is for adventurers, enthusiasts and creative minds. In the 1970s, Blancpain’s own innovative mindset led the Brand to break with the traditional aesthetic codes of the Bathyscaphe models by producing a series of pieces featuring a cushion-shaped case, an inner rotating ring – replacing the conventional outer rotating bezel –, a gradient-coloured grey dial as well as the day of the week and date indication.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition (Ref. 5052-1146-E52A)

The dial of the Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition adopts this style, which it combines for the first time with a subtle gradation of sandy beige, a hue that is new to the collection. Its shades and sunburst finish endow it with remarkable clarity, while its boldly-sized rectangular hour-markers guarantee instant readability of the information displayed.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition (Ref. 5052-1146-E52A)

A chapter ring punctuated with Arabic numerals marks the five-minute intervals while evoking the inner rotating ring of the 1970s watch. Just as on the period timepiece, the date and day of the week windows are located at 3 o’clock.

The hands are coated with Super-LumiNova® and feature the same baton-shaped design as earlier Bathyscaphe models. The dial of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition is enhanced by a unidirectional rotating bezel with a brown ceramic insert and Liquidmetal® hour-markers.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition (Ref. 5052-1146-E52A)

Although this new model has a vintage look, its mechanism is resolutely modern. Housed in a 43 mm satin-brushed steel case and water-resistant to 30 bar (approximately 300 m), the Manufacture-made 1315DD movement offers all the performance attributes essential to a diver’s watch. It also features a five-day power reserve, which is particularly useful in daily life. Another major asset is its balance fitted with a silicon balance-spring, a guarantee of accuracy and resistance to magnetic fields.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition (Ref. 5052-1146-E52A)

The sapphire crystal caseback of the watch allows one to admire the finishes of this top-of-the-range movement, including its gold oscillating weight coated with a NAC treatment, thereby endowing it with added character.

Issued in a 500-piece limited series, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition model comes with a sandy-coloured sail canvas strap matching the warm tones of the dial.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition

Technical details

Model: Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition
Reference: 5052-1146-E52A

Case
Satin-brushed steel case
Unidirectional satin-brushed steel bezel with ceramic insert and Liquidmetal® hour-markers
Case diameter: 43.00 mm
Case thickness: 14.25 mm
Lug width: 23.00 mm
Sapphire crystal glass
Sapphire crystal case-back
Water-resistance: 30 atm/ 300 meters

Dial
Dial with subtly graduated sand coloring

Movement
Calibre 1315DD self-winding
Thickness: 6.60 mm
Diameter: 34.75 mm
Power reserve: 120 hours
Jewels: 37
Total components: 281
Silicon balance-spring

Functions
Hours, minutes and seconds
Day and date at 3 o’ clock

Edition
Limited edition of 500 pieces

* The Edition Fifty Fathoms project

In 2008, to share its passion for diving, exploration and the beauty of the world’s oceans, the Manufacture launched the Edition Fifty Fathoms project, a collection of annual publications dedicated to the most stunning underwater photographs.

Blancpain is convinced that public awareness is vital to achieve its goals of preserving and protecting the world’s oceans. In continuation of the important role played by the Fifty Fathoms watch in the history of diving, the Manufacture collaborates with Editor Dietmar W. Fuchs, and invites renowned photographers to share the wonders of the underwater world.

The result, Edition Fifty Fathoms, is an annual limited-edition publication launched in 2008 which presents four underwater photography portfolios. Fifty photographers have published their work, starting with the patriarch of underwater photography, Ernest H. Brooks II, who notably uses light and shadow to display his passion and creativity.

Edition Fifty Fathoms has been methodically designed to pay tribute to the first modern diving watch, the iconic Fifty Fathoms. Each book consists of 50 double-page spreads, each measuring one fathom around its perimeter when open, hence a total of 50 fathoms, and comprises a selection of 50 underwater photographs. The number 12 also has its own significance in the conception of the publication. It is the magic number in watchmaking, as a watch depicts 12 hours on its dial. In addition, 12 is the number of letters in the name Fifty Fathoms. The collection of Edition Fifty Fathoms books will be completed in 2020.

Published photographers

  • Ernest H. Brooks II
  • Maurine Shimlock & Burt Jones
  • Udo Kefrig
  • Helmut Horn
  • Amos Nachoum
  • Doug Perrine
  • Norbert Probst
  • Masa Ushioda
  • Chris Newbert
  • Kurt Amsler
  • Reinhard Dirscherl
  • Stephen Frink
  • Aaron Wong
  • William Winram
  • Fred Buyle
  • Ethan Daniels
  • Imran Ahmad
  • Laurent Ballesta
  • Martin Strmiska
  • Keri Wilk
  • Eric Cheng
  • Michael Aw
  • Mark Strickland
  • Marc A. Hayek
  • Alan Lo
  • Mikhail Semenov
  • Werner Thiele
  • Steve Jones
  • Vincent Truchet
  • Ellen Cuylaerts
  • Tony Wu
  • Uli Kunz
  • Becky Kagan Schott
  • Harald Hois
  • Tobias Friedrich
  • Zena Holloway
  • Christian Vizl
  • Anuar Patjane
  • Yoshi Hirata
  • Greg Lecoeur
  • Alex Mustard
  • Ace Wu
  • Henley Spiers
  • Octavio Aburto
  • Dietmar W. Fuchs
  • Chuck Davis
  • Jade Hoksbergen
  • Jonas Dahm
  • Jorge Cervera Hauser