Swiss luxury watch brand Blancpain presents the 3rd edition (Act 3) of the commemorative series celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the iconic Fifty Fathoms watch.
Issued in a limited edition of 555 pieces, this timepiece is inspired by the 1950s MIL-SPEC model with the moisture indicator. Faithful to its original 41.30 mm diameter, the Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 is made of 9K Bronze Gold.
Fifty Fathoms, the world’s first true diver’s watch, was developed by Blancpain co-CEO and passionate diver Jean-Jacques Fiechter in 1953.
Although this timepiece established the fundamentals for safe diving, in the 1950s Jean-Jacques Fiechter also developed a moisture indicator, an additional safety feature whose purpose was to provide divers with the confirmation that the watch had not been damaged by another diver on a previous mission.
Appearing on the dial of the MIL-SPEC watches in 1957, this moisture indicator was part of the specifications of the US Navy, which regarded this model as the only one to meet all the strict criteria laid down for its underwater missions. The Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 pays tribute to that watch.
It is immediately apparent that this third anniversary timepiece is indeed inspired by its non-magnetic parent used by the US Navy.
The matt black dial with vintage Super-LumiNova®-enhanced moisture indicator and hour-markers; the unidirectional rotating bezel with black ceramic insert featuring a vintage Super-LumiNova® diving scale; as well as the two-tone NATO strap featuring the colour code of the original timepiece and made from fishing nets recovered from the oceans are all features that demonstrate their close kinship.
They are however distinguished from each other by the material used for the case. While the MIL-SPEC from which the anniversary model is inspired is made of German silver, the Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 is clothed in 9K Bronze Gold.
This patented alloy is enriched with 37.5% gold (hallmarked 9K), copper – 50%, allowing it to be called “bronze” – silver, palladium and gallium. Offering a pink hue and pleasing aesthetics, this type of bronze can be worn in direct contact with the skin, unlike traditional bronze.
Moreover it has a longer lifespan, since oxidation to a verdigris colour is prevented by the addition of gold. This anniversary model therefore honours the DNA of the original timepiece while adapting it to the everyday use required nowadays.
The 1154.P2 movement is housed in a 9K Bronze Gold case that is water-resistant to 30 bar and measures 41.30 mm like the historic MIL-SPEC. Its twin barrel endows the timepiece with a substantial 100-hour power reserve, while a silicon balance-spring ensures the movement’s resistance to magnetism.
For the first time, Blancpain is offering a 1000-gauss version of its movement, thanks to the use of this material coupled with exclusive alloys for the escapement.
Unlike the original version – whose movement is not visible because resistance to magnetic fields was only possible at the time by encasing the mechanism in a soft iron cage – the heart of the Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 can be admired through a sapphire crystal caseback, as the use of a non-magnetic spiral enables the timepiece to feature such transparency without compromising its resistance to magnetism.
The open caseback reveals bridges enlarged to the diameter of the mainplate, enhanced by decoration inspired by that of the period.
For its part, the oscillating weight boasts a geometry inspired by the historical rotor as well as a snail-shaped finish reminiscent of its rotating motion. The engraved vintage logotype, that sheds light on 18K gold, sets the finishing touch to the watch’s vintage look.
Issued in a 555-piece limited edition, the Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 is presented in a box inspired by a historic camera housing.
Model: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary – Act 3, Reference 5901-5630-NANA
Satin-brushed 9ct bronze-gold
Thickness: 13.30 mm
Diameter: 41.30 mm
Unidirectional satin-brushed 9ct bronze-gold bezel with black ceramic insert and
Sapphire crystal case-back
Lug width: 20.00 mm
Water resistance: 30 bar/ 300 meters
Black dial with moisture indicator
Vintage Super-LumiNova® hour-markers
Thickness: 3.55 mm
Diameter: 27.40 mm
Number of components: 192
Power reserve: 100 hours
Limited edition of 555 pieces