Blancpain presents the second edition of its Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary commemorative collection.
Launched in 1953, Fifty Fathoms is the first modern diver’s watch. Celebrating the 70th anniversary of this iconic timepiece, Blancpain has proposed a number of commemorative editions.
In January this year, Blancpain presented the first 70th anniversary model (with code name Act 1), a re-edition of the Fifty Fathoms 50th Anniversary watch. Now, the brand presents Act 2 of the opus that pays tribute to the legendary diving timepiece.
The new evolution of Fifty Fathoms has been designed to meet today’s technical diving requirements. It incorporates an innovation co-developed by Marc A. Hayek, President & CEO of Blancpain, and Laurent Ballesta, founder of the Gombessa project.
With the new Fifty Fathoms “Tech Gombessa” watch, it is possible for the first time to measure up to three-hour immersion times.
Blancpain and The Gombessa Project
Founded in 2013, the Gombessa project supports the study of some of the rarest, most elusive marine creatures like Coelacanth (cœlacanth), Marbled Grouper and Grey Reef Shark as well as deep-sea ecosystems. Leading this venture is a group of passionate deep-sea divers, including Marc A. Hayek and Laurent Ballesta. Blancpain is the partner of this project.
The new Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa series commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Gombessa Project and the 70th anniversary of the iconic Fifty Fathoms.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa (reference 5019-12B30-64A) is capable of measuring the duration of up to three-hour-long tech dives or exits from a saturation system.
Unlike the bezels on conventional diver’s watches, the bezel on the Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa has a three-hour scale. It is linked to a special hand that completes one full turn in three hours and whose material and colour – a white luminescent coating with green emission – match those of its markers.
This device invented jointly by Marc A. Hayek and Laurent Ballesta is a world first for which a patent has been filed.
Bezel and Dial
The black ceramic bezel inlay has a stronger curve and tilts it towards the dial. Offering ultimate readability in all conditions, the absolute black dial’s legibility is optimised by a spherical crystal that eliminates any visual distortion.
The hour and minute hands as well as the block-shaped appliqué markers and numerals feature orange luminous coating with blue emission. The bezel markings, seconds hand, and the three-hour hand feature a different color luminous pigment (white with green emission) to differentiate between time-related information and diving times.
The 47mm diameter case of the watch is made of Grade 23 titanium. Recently introduced to the Blancpain collections, this purest type of titanium has exceptional strength and anti-allergenic properties, while being remarkably light.
The thickness of the case is 14.81 mm. The watch features – in a first for Blancpain – central lugs attached from the inside of the case middle and integrating the strap.
Water-resistant to 30 ATM/ 300m, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa diving watch features a helium valve at 10 o’clock of the case. The notches of the helium valve are identical to those of the winding and time-setting crown that enables simultaneous setting of the hours, minutes and dive-time hands.
As with all Fifty Fathoms timepieces, the crown at 3 o’clock is screwed down and associated with a crown guard that now features a new trapeze-shaped design ensuring visual consistency with the lugs.
The lower part of the case middle is bevelled rather than the rounded ‘bassine’ shape characterising the other Fifty Fathoms models. The notches used to screw in the case back have also been reworked, in the same spirit of robustness.
Visible through the sapphire crystal case-back is the 13P8 self-winding calibre.
The anthracite-coloured oscillating weight, stamped with the Gombessa Expeditions logo, features an innovative shape dominated by three large openings. This 35 jewel movement offers a power reserve of 120 hours.
The black rubber strap is screwed to the back of the lugs. It has an internal titanium reinforcement, guaranteeing ideal long-term shape, and is teamed with an extension for wearing the watch over a tech-diving suit.
The buckle with its extremely wide and ergonomic pin reinforces the hold of the watch to the wrist and facilitates fastening the extension.
The Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa comes in a special Peli™ presentation box. It is water-resistant and shock-resistant as well as reusable and configurable.
This box houses a rest for the watch, the strap extension, a travel pouch, a magnifying glass, as well as a set of dividers and cutting tools offering the possibility of compartmentalizing it for any future use.