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BLANCPAIN WATCHES – Models with Technical Specifications, Price, Brand Details, History, News and Archives

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph New Models, Ref. 5200-3640 / 5200-1210

In 2022, Blancpain is focusing on introducing new variants of its Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe watches, playing with styles by means of red gold and grade 23 titanium.

Following the 1953 launch of the Fifty Fathoms, the first modern diver’s watch, Blancpain developed numerous variations of this vital timekeeping tool for divers.

The Bathyscaphe watch created in 1956 is undoubtedly one of the finest examples. The flyback chronograph joined the contemporary Bathyscaphe line in 2014 and was the first complication to equip Blancpain’s “urban diver” model.

The Manufacture is now returning its Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph model to centre-stage, housing one of the watch industry’s most renowned chronograph movements. Blancpain Calibre F385 is one of the latest in a line of Blancpain chronographs that have often been world firsts over the past 30 years.

This in-house movement draws on Blancpain’s refined vertical clutch design that ensures smooth engagement of the chronograph mechanism, eliminating the problem of the chronograph seconds hand making sudden, abrupt jumps. Control of starting, stopping and resetting the chronograph is done via a column wheel, enabling smooth and comfortable operation of the pushers.

The F385 beats at a frequency of 5 Hz, which is a considerable advantage in terms of timekeeping accuracy compared to lower frequencies. It has an inertia-regulated balance wheel with a silicon balance spring, whose geometry and lightness help ensure excellent chronometric performance.

Recently introduced into its collections by Blancpain, grade 23 titanium – also known as grade 5 ELI (extra low interstitials) – is the purest type of titanium available.

The red gold version has a blue dial while the grade 23 titanium features an anthracite dial. Whether the model is in red gold or titanium, the dial is graced with a sunburst pattern throughout and a snailed motif on the chronograph counters, designed to create a sense of depth and contrast.

The new Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph models are naturally framed by a unidirectional rotating bezel with a ceramic inlay, a signature of the contemporary Bathyscaphe line.

The blue inlay on the red gold version sports a glossy finish and a Ceragold™ time scale, while the anthracite inlay of the titanium watch is satin-brushed and features a Liquidmetal™ scale.

The cases of both watches measure 43 mm in diameter and are water resistant to 30 bar (approximately 300 m).

They are paired with a NATO or sailcloth strap matching the dial colour. The sail canvas strap of the red gold version comes with a choice of pin buckle or folding clasp, while the grade 23 titanium model is also available with a titanium bracelet.

Technical details

Model: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph

Material: Satin-brushed titanium/ Satin-brushed 18ct red gold
Diameter: 43.00 mm
Thickness: 14.90 mm
Water resistance: 300 meters
Sapphire crystal back
Lug width: 23mm

Calibre F385 (5HZ), self-winding movement
Diameter: 31.80 mm
Thickness: 6.65 mm
Power reserve: 50 hours
Jewels: 37
Number of components: 322

Flyback Chronograph, date and small seconds

Titanium version: Unidirectional satin-brushed titanium bezel with ceramic insert and LiquidmetalTM hour-markers
Red gold version: Unidirectional satin-brushed 18ct red gold bezel with ceramic insert and CeragoldTM hour-markers

Titanium version: Sunburst anthracite dial
Red gold version: Sunburst blue dial

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet New Models, Ref. 5054-3640 / 5054-1210

Swiss luxury watch brand Blancpain has announced the launch of two new versions of its Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet (full calendar) model: a red gold version with a blue-gradient dial; and a titanium version with an anthracite dial.

The Bathyscaphe was created in 1956 with the aim of offering a diver’s watch whose size would make it suitable for everyday wear. It has evolved over the years and was reinterpreted by Blancpain in 2013 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Fifty Fathoms.

The Blancpain Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet model displays day and month via the two apertures placed below 12 o’clock, the date with a pointer hand and a moon phase positioned in a large window at 6 o’clock.

The 6654.P calibre of this Bathyscaphe features an innovative date mechanism with a security system. This enables the owner of the watch to handle each indication at any time, without any risk to the movement, unlike the usual calendar watches. This 28 jewel self-winding movement provides about 72 hours of power reserve.

Measuring 43 mm in diameter and water-resistant to 30 bar (approximately 300 m), the new Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet is available in two satin-brushed versions with well-marked contours: one in red gold and the other in grade 23 titanium.

The case thickness is 13.4mm and the lug width is 23mm. The red gold model is paired with a sunburst blue-gradient dial that catches the light with remarkable ease. The gold hour-markers, hands and moon match the case colour and the dial is framed by a unidirectional rotating bezel with a brilliant blue ceramic inlay featuring a Ceragold™ time scale.

The colour-material match continues on the back of the timepiece which reveals a red gold oscillating weight. Meanwhile, the titanium model is distinguished by subtle shades of grey. Its sunburst anthracite dial is enhanced by gold hour-markers, rhodium-plated hands and moon.

The likewise anthracite ceramic bezel is satin-brushed for a resolutely contemporary matt effect and bears a graduated Liquidmetal™ scale. The gold rotor of the titanium model has been given an anthracite NAC coating instilling a sporty and dynamic vibe.

The 18K red gold Blancpain Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet watch is available with a blue NATO or sailcloth strap, with the latter option also offering a choice between a pin buckle and a folding clasp. The titanium model comes with a titanium bracelet or a grey NATO or sailcloth strap.

Blancpain Air Command Flyback Chronograph 36.2mm

Blancpain has launched a new feminine version of its iconic Air Command Chronograph watch.

Feminine watches hold a special place in Blancpain’s watch range. Since the early 1930s, the Manufacture has tirelessly developed new movements and introduced innovations on women’s behalf.

Blancpain is no stranger to ladies’ chronographs and in 1998 became the first to introduce a flyback chronograph for women. The new Air Command 36.2 mm is a sportier and more adventurous interpretation of the ladies’ flyback chronograph.

The rare 1950s Blancpain chronograph that inspired the Air Command collection is naturally reflected in the vintage look of this new model.

The layout of the counters and tachymeter scale on the dial, as well as the shape of the luminescent hands and hour-markers, the piston-type chronograph pushers and the glass box-type sapphire crystal all evoke the original timepiece.

Exactly like authentic vintage aviation watches, the new Air Command offers two distinct timing modes: a flyback chronograph and a countdown bezel. This model is nonetheless firmly rooted in the 21st century.

The blue colour of the dial and the ceramic bezel insert endow it with a blend of modernity and elegance. The refinement continues with the sunburst and snailed dial finishes, as well as the alternating satin-brushed and polished finishing on the case.

Housed inside its 36.2 mm diameter is the F188B self-winding movement whose vertical clutch ensures stutter-free activation of the chronograph seconds hand, as well as smooth and optimal stop/start functions.

Equipped with a silicon balance-spring, the movement also features a column-wheel system guaranteeing a smooth feel when starting or ending a measurement and resetting the hands to zero.

The sapphire crystal case-back of the watch reveals the beauty of this high-end mechanism and its open-worked oscillating weight, adorned with traditional watchmaking finishes such as circular graining, bevelling and snailing.

Available in grade 23 titanium or in 18K red gold, the Air Command comes with a blue calf leather strap featuring white stitching.

Technical details

Model: Blancpain Air Command Flyback Chronograph 36.2mm

AC03-12B40-63: With titanium case
AC03-36B40-63: With 18ct red gold case

Calibre F188B
Thickness: 5.50 mm
Diameter: 26.20 mm
Power-reserve: 40 hours
Jewels: 35
Components: 255

Hours and minutes
Flyback Chronograph

Satin-brushed titanium or Satin-brushed 18ct red gold
Thickness: 11.50 mm
Diameter: 36.20 mm
Sapphire crystal back
Two-way rotating titanium or 18ct red gold bezel with blue ceramic insert
Interhorn space: 18.00 mm
Water-resistance: 3 bar

Sunburst blue dial
Super-LumiNova® hour-markers
Tachymeter scale

Blancpain Ladybird Valentine’s Day 2022 Edition, Ref. 3660B-1954-55A

Celebrating Valentine’s Day is a tradition that Blancpain watchmakers have been perpetuating for over 20 years. The Ladybird “Valentine’s Day 2022” bears perfect testimony to enduring feelings, uniting time with love.

A token of eternity, the Ladybird “Valentine’s Day 2022” features the brilliance of noble stones and materials, crafted with the utmost dedication to ensure that this watch finds a worthy and desired place on the wrist of its chosen one. A white mother-of-pearl dial adorned with varnished red numerals and a circle of diamonds expresses the sweetness, ardour and infinity of love. The theme of this timepiece is confirmed by the seconds hand, which sweeps a fiery red heart along in its perpetual rotations.

The 34.9 mm diameter case crafted in white gold sparkles with 58 scintillating diamonds daintily set on the bezel and lugs. Their purity strikes a powerful contrast with the glow of the rose-cut ruby gracing the watch crown. The colour of love extends to the alligator leather strap, secured to the wrist by a diamond-set pin buckle.

The sapphire case back reveals the round curves of the 1153 self-winding movement, entirely developed and produced in Blancpain’s workshops based on almost three hundred years of expertise.

The mainplate, bridges and other components are meticulously decorated in accordance with the finest traditions of Haute Horlogerie, embellishing the gentle ticking of this true gem. An expression of delicacy, but also and above all of reliability with its generous four-day power reserve and its silicon balance-spring, the 1153 movement is a promise of longevity.

Issued in a 99-piece edition, the Ladybird “Valentine’s Day 2022” watch is as precious as time itself. It is proof of love, including that which Blancpain has shown for women over nearly a century, notably by creating dedicated timepieces for them such as the first self-winding ladies’ wristwatch (1930) and the world’s smallest round watch (1956).

Blancpain Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar “Year Of The Tiger” Limited Edition

Swiss luxury watch brand Blancpain celebrates the 2022 Lunar New Year by unveiling a new version of its Traditional Chinese Calendar. Crafted in platinum and issued in a 50-piece limited edition, this watch presents the indications of the lunisolar calendar on a white grand feu enamel dial. The zodiac sign of the year, the tiger, is highlighted on the back of the timepiece.

A complication exclusively developed by Blancpain, the Traditional Chinese Calendar is based on fundamental principles established for millennia and profoundly rooted in Chinese tradition.

On its dial, the hours, minutes and the Gregorian calendar rub shoulders with the main indications of the Chinese calendar: traditional double-hours, day, month with indication of leap months, signs of the zodiac, as well as the five elements and the ten celestial stems. The moon phases, defining traditional Chinese months and a key element in all Blancpain complete calendars, are also presented.

To mark the transition to the year of the tiger 2022 (1 February 2022 to 21 January 2023), Blancpain has created a new edition of this emblematic timepiece: a model in platinum with a white grand feu enamel dial whose oscillating weight is engraved with the Chinese zodiac sign of the year, the tiger.

Faithful to the aesthetic signature elements of the Villeret collection, the refined 45 mm double-stepped case is equipped with under-lug correctors enabling easy function adjustments. It frames a display revealing Blancpain’s artisanal savoir faire. Whilst the chapter ring is composed of gold appliques, the other indications are enamel painted.

The main hands shaped like slightly hollowed leaves are associated with a blued serpentine hand sweeping over the Gregorian date numerals, a shape that is reminiscent of the 18th century watchmaking tradition. The Traditional Chinese Calendar model is driven by the self-winding 3638 movement.

Technical details

Model: Blancpain Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar “Year Of The Tiger” Limited Edition
Ref. 00888J-3431-55B

Platinum case
Case thickness: 15.00 mm
Case diameter: 45.00 mm
Sapphire crystal glass and case back
Crown set with a Madagascar ruby
Water resistance: 3 bar
Lug width: 23.00 mm

Traditional Chinese Calendar [double-hour indication, signs of the zodiac, date and month of the Chinese calendar. Indication of the five elements, the celestial stems and the leap months]
Gregorian calendar
Moon phases
Under-lug correctors

Calibre 3638
Self-winding movement
Oscillating weight set with a Madagascar ruby
Thickness: 8.30 mm
Diameter: 32.00 mm
Power reserve: 168 hours
Jewels: 39
Number of components: 464

Limited edition of 50 pieces
Available in Blancpain Boutiques only

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon 8 Jours New Models

The new Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon 8 Jours diver’s watch from Blancpain blends horological complexity with high performance. It boasts a captivating flying tourbillon visible via a dedicated opening in the refined blue dial. This new model comes in a surprisingly light titanium version, as well as a red gold version ensuring a striking presence on the wrist.

Introduced in 2007 with the launch of the contemporary Fifty Fathoms collection, the Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon 8 Jours is a symbiosis of Blancpain’s savoir faire in the realm of diver’s watches and its expertise in horological complications.

The two new versions of this prestigious diver’s watch showcase this sophisticated complication through a refined blue dial graced with a sunburst finish. The flying tourbillon appears to be floating in a large round opening at 12 o’clock.

The technical complexity of this watch construction contrasts with the sporty style of the hour-markers, hands and bezel. The latter remains a key element of the watch, with its notched edge giving added grip, its unidirectional rotation system and its slightly domed scratch-resistant sapphire insert.

The 45 mm-diameter case of this new Fifty Fathoms is available in two materials: grade 23 titanium and red gold, both satin-finished.

A bold choice for a highly complicated watch, titanium is notable for its lightness – ensuring excellent wearer comfort – as well as its resistance to shocks, pressure and corrosion. Red gold offers a more conventional setting for the tourbillon and radiates an aura of timeless nobility.

Water-resistant to 30 bar (approximately 300 metres), the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon 8 Jours watch houses self-winding Calibre 25C, a movement finished with a Côtes de Genève motif and circular graining in the noblest watchmaking tradition. Its gold oscillating weight is satin-brushed and open-worked to provide the most open possible view of the movement.

The titanium timepiece is available with a blue NATO or sailcloth strap, as well as a titanium bracelet; the red gold watch comes with a blue NATO or sailcloth strap. For both models, the sailcloth strap can be combined with a pin buckle or folding clasp, as desired.

Technical details

Model: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon 8 Jours

Satin-brushed titanium or Satin-brushed 18ct red gold
Unidirectional sapphire bezel
Thickness: 14.80 mm
Case diameter: 45.00 mm
Water resistance: 30 bar
Sapphire crystal case back
Lug width: 23.00 mm

Calibre 25C self-winding
Thickness: 4.85 mm
Diameter: 26.20 mm
Number of components: 197
Number of jewels: 29
Power reserve: 192 hours

Sunburst blue dial

5025-12B40-O52: Titanium model with sail cloth strap
5025-12B40-NAOA: Titanium model with NATO strap
5025-12B40-98S: Titanium model with titanium bracelet
5025-36B40-O52: 18-carat red gold version with sail cloth strap
5025-36B40-NAOA: 18-carat red gold version with NATO strap

Blancpain Air Command Flyback Chronograph New Models: Ref. AC02-12B40-63 and AC02-36B40-63

Introduced in the mid-1950s, the Air Command chronograph is probably the rarest Blancpain watch of its era. The Air Command Flyback Chronograph is inspired by this highly sought-after vintage timepiece.

Blancpain’s new Air Command fully reflects the spirit of the vintage pilot’s watch. It features a flyback chronograph and a countdown-type rotating bezel. The flyback function is a valuable element for pilots, as it enables them in a single press to reset the current timing operation and start a new one while the chronograph is running.

With a conventional chronograph, each new measurement requires three presses – on two separate pushers – to stop, reset and restart the mechanism. The purpose of the countdown bezel is to indicate the time remaining until the destination is reached. Its numerals or hour-markers run counter-clockwise, unlike those on the bezel of a diver’s watch. The Blancpain Air Command also has a tachymeter scale indicating ground speeds, a 30-minute counter with three elongated markers marking three-minute increments and a 12-hour counter.

The deep blue colour dial is enhanced by a fine sunburst pattern, while the chronograph counters are finely snailed. This contrast heightens the legibility of the timepiece, which is optimal for both day and night thanks to the use of Super-LumiNova® on the hands and hour-markers. This luminescent material is also found on the watch’s bezel, which incorporates a scratch-resistant ceramic insert matching the dial colour. Both sides of its Air Command model is fitted with a “glass box” sapphire crystal.

The back of the watch reveals the Manufacture F388B movement (a variant of the F385), distinguished by a free-sprung silicon balance oscillating at a frequency of 5 Hz. The design reflects Blancpain’s philosophy of both precision and robustness. The free-sprung balance-and-spring assembly regulated by inertia screws was conceived to facilitate fine adjustments and increase shock-resistance.

Compared to widely used metal balance-springs, the silicon balance-spring is insensitive to magnetic fields and guarantees greater precision throughout the power reserve. The 5 Hz frequency not only contributes to improved accuracy, but also enables a clear division of the seconds into 1/10th intervals. The F388B movement comprises a column-wheel system with a highly advanced Blancpain vertical clutch ensuring perfect starting and stopping without the jerks that occasionally occur with horizontal constructions.

It is self-winding and topped by an open-worked gold oscillating weight with a snailed finish identical to that of the calibre’s bridges. This aesthetic coherence is accentuated by the colour of the rotor, which matches that of the watch case.

Available in red gold or grade 23 titanium, the 42.5 mm-diameter case is water-resistant to 3 bar (approximately 30 metres). Alternating between satin-brushed and polished surfaces, such as on the outer edges of the lugs and the contact surfaces of the pushers, it reveals a refinement that confirms the prestigious character of the new Air Command.

The model is paired with a blue calfskin strap featuring white stitching and setting the final touch to the sporty look of this pilot’s watch.

Technical details

Model: Blancpain Air Command Flyback Chronograph

Flyback Chronograph
Hours and minutes
Tachymeter scale

Sunburst blue dial
Super-LumiNova® hour-markers

AC02-12B40-63: Satin-brushed titanium
AC02-36B40-63: Satin-brushed 18ct red gold
Two-way rotating titanium bezel with blue ceramic insert
Diameter: 42.50 mm
Thickness: 13.77 mm
Lug width: 22.00 mm
Sapphire crystal back
Water resistance: 30 meters

Calibre F388B self-winding
Thickness: 6.65 mm
Diameter: 31.80 mm
Power reserve: 50 hours
Jewels: 35
Components: 293

Blue calfskin strap

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe in Titanium

Blancpain expands its Fifty Fathoms collection by introducing a new Bathyscaphe diving watch in titanium.

Measuring 43 mm in diameter and water-resistant to 300 metres, the sharply contoured case of the new Bathyscaphe is made of satin-finished grade 23 titanium. This high-end titanium rarely used in the watch industry requires substantial machining work that is extremely challenging.

The anthracite-coloured dial features a hand-crafted vertical satin finish creating a resolutely modern matt effect, enhanced by the Bathyscaphe’s traditional luminescent baton-type hands and geometric hour-markers, as well as a satin-finished titanium bezel with a satin-finished ceramic insert and a Liquidmetal™ time scale.

This new Blancpain Bathyscaphe is equipped with in-house Calibre 1315. Known for its accuracy and performance, this self-winding movement with a five-day power reserve features a silicon balance-spring rendering it totally insensitive to magnetic fields.

Its high level of finishing is visible through the transparent sapphire caseback, where snailed and chamfered bridges rub shoulders with a sandblasted, satin-finished and snailed gold oscillating weight.

This new model comes fitted with a NATO or anthracite sailcloth strap, or a grade 23 satin-finished titanium bracelet. The design of the latter is identical to those fitted on Fifty Fathoms models – a first for a Bathyscaphe timepiece. The use of grade 23 titanium affords numerous finishing possibilities that influence the colour nuances of the material.

Technical details

Model: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe in Titanium
Ref. 5000-1210-G52A / 5000-1210-NAGA / 5000-1210-98S

Case and dial
Satin-brushed titanium
Thickness: 13.45 mm
Diameter: 43.00 mm
Water resistance: 30 bar
Lug width: 23.00 mm
Unidirectional satin-brushed titanium bezel with ceramic insert and LiquidmetalTM hour-markers
anthracite dial

Calibre 1315
Thickness: 5.65 mm
Diameter: 30.60 mm
Power reserve: 120
Jewels: 35
No of components: 227

Blancpain Ladybird Colors

Blancpain presents Ladybird Colors as a tribute to an iconic ladies’ watch from the Swiss watch manufacture.

Introduced in 1956, the Ladybird watch revolutionised watchmaking by offering the world the smallest round movement of its era. This brilliant achievement was the initiative of an audacious duo, Betty Fiechter and her nephew Jean-Jacques Fiechter. Their vision and talents resulted in numerous triumphs while jointly running the Manufacture, including several ladies’ models and the first modern diver’s watch: the Fifty Fathoms launched in 1953.

The white mother-of-pearl dial of the new Ladybird Colors watch is adorned with slightly rounded applied gold Arabic numerals, sized to form an asymmetrical hour circle crowned by the number 12. A band of diamonds highlights the hour-markers while embracing the hands, those displaying the hours and minutes are shaped like hollowed-out sage leaves – a signature Blancpain attribute.

The red or white gold case has also been carefully designed to guarantee harmonious proportions. Its 34.9 mm diameter ensures a generous display of the watch’s finery, while at the same time offering flexibility and adjusting to a wide range of wrists.

It is further distinguished by a bezel, lugs and crown set with 59 diamonds totalling over 2 carats. A true jewellery watch, the Ladybird Colors features high-end gem-setting in which each parameter is meticulously hand-crafted. This watch has a rose-cut diamond fitted on the crown.

The demanding level of finishing applied to the dial and case of the Ladybird Colors is reflected in its movement, in-house Calibre 1153, which is renowned for its slenderness and its generous four-day power reserve, as well as its silicon balance spring.

Rich in both structure and contrasts, it combines a circular-grained mainplate with chamfered, satin-brushed bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif. The exclusive open-worked gold oscillating weight matches the circular patterns of the watch face.

Specifically developed to meet the wishes and expectations of contemporary women, the Blancpain Ladybird Colors watch is available in seven colourful case and strap combinations.

According to personal preference, the red gold model is available with a choice of peacock green, midnight blue or satin-white alligator leather strap, while the white gold version can be paired with a lemon yellow, tangerine orange, lilac or satin-white alligator leather strap. Each wristband is fitted with a gold pin buckle or folding clasp set with nine diamonds.

Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad Unique Piece for Only Watch May 2021

Blancpain, who has been supporting the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy since its creation in 2001, renews its participation to the charity auction Only Watch. The Maison has chosen to dedicate a one-of-a-kind, Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad model, to this noble cause.

This exclusive timepiece inspired by an iconic Blancpain historical timing instrument joins the ranks of the rare and highly prized “No Rad” collector’s items, coveted by watch enthusiasts. This unique iteration will be awarded to the highest bidder, in Geneva, on November 6th 2021.

The Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad watch revisits a Blancpain diving instrument from the mid-60s, which was notably used by the German Navy’s Combat Swimmers. The latter has the characteristic feature of a stamp on the dial with a “no radiations” logo indicating that Blancpain did not use luminescent materials composed of radium – a highly radioactive element declared harmful to health. This distinctive symbol has forged the success of this timepiece, which has become one of the most sought-after Fifty Fathoms watches among collectors.

The Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad model created for Only Watch is characterised by a matt black dial punctuated by the traditional geometrical hour-markers combining round dots, rectangles and a diamond-shaped mark at 12 o’clock. The chapter ring, the hands and the time scale on the bezel all feature orange-coloured Super-LumiNova®. Bespoke to this special piece, this acidulous shade refers to the colour representing the 2021 edition of Only Watch.

The dominant element on the dial remains the “no radiations” logo, whose original yellow and red colours have been replaced by orange and yellow, respectively. The unidirectional rotating bezel, featuring a graduation typical of the initial Fifty Fathoms models, is fitted with a sapphire insert, a distinctive feature of the contemporary collection. Its domed profile contributes to the depth effect of the watch face, already enhanced by the use of a glassbox-type sapphire crystal.

Water-resistant to 30 bar (approx. 300 metres), the steel case measures 40.3 mm, a diameter exclusive to limited-edition Fifty Fathoms watches. It houses Blancpain Calibre 1154, a finely finished self-winding movement equipped with a silicon balance spring and endowed with a four-day power reserve.

Its two barrels wind by means of a rotor in solid gold bearing a special “Only Watch” inscription. A black NAC coating and a cartouche-shaped aperture, a detail observed on some of the historic timepieces in the collection, including the very first Fifty Fathoms, also distinguish this horological offering.

This now atypical attribute formerly was in place to increase the suppleness of the oscillating weight in order to safeguard the movement in the event of impacts. The watch comes with a strap in “Tropic”-type rubber, a material very popular with divers in bygone days because of its durability and wearer comfort.

Technical details

Model: Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad for Only Watch
Reference: 5008E-1130-B64A

Steel case, 40.3 mm diameter
Unidirectional rotating bezel with domed sapphire insert
Sapphire crystal case-back
Water-resistant to 30 bar (approx. 300 meters)

Matt black dial with geometrical hour-markers combining round dots, rectangles and a diamond-shaped mark at 12 o’clock
Chapter ring and hands in orange Super-LumiNova®. “No radiations” logo.

Blancpain Calibre 1154, a finely finished self-winding movement equipped with a silicon balance spring and endowed with a four-day power reserve
Black rotor in solid gold bearing a special “Only Watch” inscription

Black “Tropic”-type rubber strap

Blancpain ‘Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad’ Limited Edition (Ref. 5008D-1130-B64A)

Blancpain reinterprets one of its emblematic historical timepieces, the Fifty Fathoms “no radiations”. This mid-1960s diving instrument, of which one version was used by the German Navy’s Combat Swimmers, had the characteristic feature of being stamped with a “no radiations” logo indicating that Blancpain was not using luminescent materials composed of radium.

This distinctive symbol on the watch dial has forged its success; the timepiece and its variants are now among the most iconic Fifty Fathoms models, which the new Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad intends to honour. This watch is issued in a 500-piece limited series.

The Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad watch revisits the historical model that inspired it. Its matt deep black dial is punctuated by geometrical hour-markers, combining traditional round dots as well as rectangles and a diamond-shaped mark at 12 o’clock.

The chapter ring, the hands and the time scale on the bezel all feature “old radium”-coloured Super-LumiNova® reprising the beige-orange hue of vintage indicators bearing the patina of time.

At 3 o’clock sits a date aperture highlighted by a white rim, as seen on one of the 1960s models. The yellow and red “no radiations” logo remains the dominant element on the dial, adding to the already strong character of this timepiece.

The unidirectional rotating bezel, featuring a graduation typical of the initial Fifty Fathoms models, is fitted with a sapphire insert, a distinctive feature of the contemporary collection. Its domed profile contributes to the depth effect of the watch face, already enhanced by the use of a glassbox-type sapphire crystal. Water-resistant to 300 metres, the steel case measures 40.3 mm, a diameter exclusive to limited-edition Fifty Fathoms watches.

It houses Blancpain Calibre 1151, a self-winding movement equipped with a silicon balance spring and endowed with a four-day power reserve. Its two barrels are wound by means of a rotor with a cartouche-shaped aperture, a nod to some of the historic timepieces in the collection, including the very first Fifty Fathoms.

This now atypical detail was formerly used to increase the suppleness of the oscillating weight in order to safeguard the movement in the event of impacts. The watch comes with a strap in “Tropic”-type rubber, a material very popular with divers back in the day because of its durability and wearer comfort.

With this limited series, Blancpain is restoring a cult instrument from its past as a supplier to the navies of numerous armed forces worldwide.

In 1953, French Combat Swimmers were the first to use the Fifty Fathoms for their underwater missions. Thanks to its watertightness, legibility, safety and robustness, the watch immediately became an indispensable component of their equipment.

Others were to follow, including the German military, which in the mid-1960s acquired the Fifty Fathoms RPG 1 model, now better known as “BUND No Rad”. This name refers to the term “Bundeswehr” (armed forces), engraved on the back of the watches that equipped the “Kampfschwimmer”, the elite German frogman commando unit, until theearly 1970s. The distinguishing attribute of the RPG 1 model was the “no radiations” logo, featured for the first time on the dial of a Fifty Fathoms.

In the early 1960s, radium – a radioactive element used in watchmaking for its luminescent properties – was declared harmful to health. To reassure professional divers, as well as experienced amateurs who purchased their Fifty Fathoms watches from specialist equipment providers, Blancpain thus decided to clearly indicate that its timepieces were radium-free – and hence harmless.

The special symbol consisting of three red segments on a yellow background with a black cross was accompanied by the words “no radiations” designed to ensure that the message was easily understood. The same logo subsequently appeared on the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms RPGA 1 model, a calendar-based variant of the “BUND No Rad”, for which it would remain the main criterion.

These diver’s watches, whose dial indicated the absence of radium through the “no radiations” logo, have become particularly sought-after collector’s items. They now form part of the Fifty Fathoms’ legendary heritage spanning almost 70 years.

Blancpain Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar ‘The Year of the Metal Ox’ Edition (Ref. 00888I-3431-55B)

Blancpain celebrates Chinese New Year with a limited series of 50 watches dedicated to this tradition and its festivities. The Year of the Metal Ox begins on February 12th 2021 and ends on January 31st 2022. Housed in a precious platinum case, the Traditional Chinese Calendar bearing the emblem of the ox features an exclusive complication appearing on an elegant Grand Feu enamel dial.

Forged in noble platinum, the 50-piece limited-edition Traditional Chinese Calendar watch pays homage to the age-old culture of the Middle Kingdom.

The Grand Feu enamel dial of this exceptional timepiece reveals the complexity of a display combining Chinese calendar indications with those of the Gregorian calendar and moon phases – all specialities of the Manufacture Blancpain.

Unlike the Gregorian calendar, whose unit of measurement is based on the solar day, the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar is based on the lunar cycle as well as exact astronomical observations of the sun’s longitude.

Thus, in addition to the hours and minutes, date and moon phases, Blancpain’s Traditional Chinese Calendar watch offers the main indications of the traditional Chinese calendar: double hours, days, months and leap months, zodiac signs, five elements and ten heavenly stems. The latter, combined with the 12 earthly branches – symbolised by the animals of the zodiac – produce 60 different pairs forming the sexagesimal cycle of the Chinese time measurement system.

Despite their complex combination, these functions are clearly displayed on a dial with Roman gold numerals and hollowed-out sage leaf-shaped hands. The ox, the animal of the year 2021, appears in an aperture at 12 o’clock above the double-hour counter. Symmetrically positioned at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock, two subdials respectively indicate the celestial stems and the five elements, as well as pointer-type month and date indications and leap months through a round aperture.

In a manner typical of Blancpain’s Complete Calendar watches, the moon phases that determine the months of the Chinese calendar can be read off at 6 o’clock, while a blued serpentine hand sweeps over the date numerals around the dial circumference.

This innovative complication, a genuine mechanical challenge whose development required five full years to master, is incorporated into the self-winding 3638 calibre. Endowed with a seven-day power reserve, this Haute Horlogerie movement is housed in a 45 mm case featuring a crown set with a cabochon-cut ruby.

It is equipped with Blancpain’s patented under-lug corrector system allowing easy function adjustments. The sapphire crystal case back enables one to admire the finishing of the movement and its white gold oscillating weight, engraved with the Chinese zodiac sign of the year.

Blancpain’s Traditional Chinese Calendar is also available in a non-limited version in red gold with a finely guilloché oscillating weight.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC Limited-Edition for Hodinkee (Ref. 5008-11B30-NABA)

Swiss luxury watch brand Blancpain created a new Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC model in a limited edition produced in collaboration with Hodinkee.

Inspired by the first Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC timepieces created in the second half of the 1950s, this re-edition is characterised by an authentic and minimalist design highlighting the Manufacture’s technical expertise in the field of diver’s watches. This 250-piece special series is available in Blancpain Boutiques in the United States as well as online via the Hodinkee shop website.

This new interpretation of the MIL-SPEC model embodies the origins of the Fifty Fathoms collection and stands out for its pure design. The 40.3 mm diameter satin-brushed steel case is distinguished by the absence of the Blancpain signature traditionally engraved on the case middle at 9 o’clock. Moreover, the notching generally adorning the bezel is more discreet on this version of the timepiece, and the matt black dial is also devoid of the date display usually found between 4 and 5 o’clock.

This vintage styled diving watch bears the emblematic attributes of the Fifty Fathoms models launched in the 1950s. Visibility, safety, watertightness and robustness were the fundamental specifications established by the first Fifty Fathoms born in 1953, which became the benchmark for diver’s watches in the modern era.

The new Blancpain MIL-SPEC model faithfully reflects these distinctive characteristics. This is particularly evident on its dial, where the hours, minutes and seconds indications stand out clearly thanks to luminescent hands and hour-markers. Its unidirectional rotating bezel – an indispensable attribute for precise measurement of immersion time – also features a Super-LumiNova®-enhanced graduated scale protected by a rounded sapphire insert.

Water-resistant to 300 metres and offering all the technical guarantees of a diving instrument, this timepiece is equipped with the self-winding in-house calibre 1154, a date-free version of calibre 1150. Insensitive to magnetic fields thanks to the use of a silicon balance-spring, this mechanism is endowed with a four-day power reserve and reveals its components through a sapphire crystal case back.

In addition to these features, the typical MIL-SPEC moisture indicator appears at 6 o’clock, serving to alert the wearer to any humidity seeping into the case by switching from white to red.

This Blancpain invention was developed in the 1950s to complement the specifications already defined by the 1953 Fifty Fathoms, which was tested and adopted that same year by the French Army Combat Diving Corps. Following this initial success and in order to continue meeting the most stringent military requirements, Jean-Jacques Fiechter – Blancpain’s CEO between 1950 and 1980 – developed a moisture indicator system which was made famous by the first MIL-SPEC model presented in 1957-58.

After a series of tests and two reports published in 1958 and 1959 respectively, the US Navy stated that the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC watch was the only one to give virtually complete satisfaction and meet all the criteria established for its underwater missions.

The MIL-SPEC models thus found themselves on the wrists of American combat divers, and in particular members of the elite UDT and Navy Seals units. The moisture indicator became a standard requirement for the US armed forces and thus an essential part of all the models dedicated to them.

Blancpain Villeret Extraplate Boutique Edition New Model with Green Dial (Ref. 6651-1453-55A)

Blancpain’s new Villeret Extraplate boutique edition features a yellow gold case framing a green dial – a first in the Villeret collection.

The shimmering green dial with its sunburst finish is paired with a 40 mm-diameter yellow gold case. This 8.7 mm thin case houses Blancpain’s ultra-thin 1151 calibre. Measuring a mere 3.25 mm thickness, this self-winding movement powers the hours and minutes indications, complemented by a large central seconds hand and a date window. This calibre provides a four-day power reserve.

The hours and minutes are indicated by two cut-out sage leaf-shaped hands. The front side expresses the refinement of this timepiece through the dial finish as well as the hand-applied hour-markers; while its elegance shines through the back on bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève pattern as well as an oscillating weight featuring a honeycomb motif.

This exclusive model, available only in Blancpain Boutiques worldwide, is paired with a brown nubuck alligator leather strap.

Blancpain Métiers d’Art Formosa Clouded Leopard Boutique Edition for Taiwan

Swiss luxury watch brand Blancpain presents Formosa clouded leopard: two Métiers d’Art models in a Boutique edition for Taiwan

The Formosa clouded leopard, endemic to the island, is an important symbol in the collective consciousness of the Taiwanese. The Paiwan aboriginal people consider the leopard to be a spiritual icon. If not extinct, the animal is extremely rare.  Like the Formosa clouded leopard, the artistic techniques practiced by Blancpain are rare in watchmaking.

Some, such as miniature enamel painting, are only offered by a handful of watch companies worldwide. Others, such as shakudō, are produced exclusively by the Manufacture. The range of Blancpain’s craftsmanship is vast and represents an age-old heritage.

Five skills, fully integrated within the Métiers d’Art workshops at the “Farm” in Le Brassus – as is always the case at Blancpain – have been selected to interpret the theme of the Taiwanese clouded leopard on the dial: the art of porcelain, miniature enamel painting, shakudō, engraving and damascening.

The two one-of-a-kind models resulting from the meticulous work of Blancpain artisans represent the clouded leopard in its forest habitat. A skilled acrobat, this animal enjoys hiding in the trees. Trunks and foliage have been patiently painted or hand-carved in minute detail.

The same naturally applies to the majestic feline. Also crafted using the enamel painting on porcelain and engraving techniques, along with shakudō, its tawny coat with spots reminiscent of clouds is strikingly realistic. On the engraved model, the craftsmen of the Manufacture have gone so far as to inlay the panther’s whiskers hair by hair, made of gold threads almost as fine as a silk ribbon, in accordance with the art of damascening.

The dials thus executed come to life beneath the artist’s fingers, giving rise to the kind of emotions that stem from blending aesthetics with technical perfection. The Formosa clouded leopard enamel painted on porcelain is framed by a 33 mm white gold case with a diamond-set bezel.

The accompanying movement is the Manufacture 1154 self-winding calibre, whose meticulous finishing is revealed through the back of the timepiece. The engraved and damascened shakudō model comes in a 45 mm red gold case. Traditionally favoured for highly decorative timepieces, the sapphire crystal caseback reveals the 15B hand-wound movement adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif.

About Miniature Enamel Painting

Miniature enamel painting is one of the numerous enamelling techniques carried out by the Blancpain Manufacture’s artisans in the Le Brassus “Farm”. The process of bringing painted enamel to a watch dial is particularly complex and begins with the fabrication of a surface for the painting. Blancpain’s enamel dials are elaborated following a series of steps punctuated by long drying and firing phases.

Presented in the form of a powder mainly composed of quartz, feldspar and kaolin, porcelain is first diluted in water. The resulting pulp is sieved and filtered to remove all residues and impurities, prior to being cast in dial-shaped molds.

After demolding, the dials are dried for 24 hours before being fired at 1,000°C for 24 hours. This first step in the kiln hardens the dials and prepares them for enameling. Rigorously applied by hand to each dial, the enamel requires a second 24-hour firing at 1,300°C that serves to vitrify the porcelain and make it shiny, translucent and enduringly stable. Before any paintbrush touches the prepared surface of the dial, the artisans draw sketched studies of the image to be created. Often multiple trials are evaluated.

Blancpain’s craftsmen are looking for balance, not only with respect to the design itself, but also with regard to the way in which that design relates to other elements on the dial. Once the layout of the design has been decided, the next step is the preparation of the colors. The substance, based on enamel powder, is mixed to pine oil. The enamel painter makes his own palette in order to obtain the nuances that he needs. Certain shades originate from special recipes confected by Blancpain.

Once the colors have been readied, the actual painting can begin. Due to the small scale of a watch dial, artisans work with staggeringly fine brushes. Since the colors are enamel themselves, the painting must be followed by oven firing at a temperature of 1200°C. Each resulting dial is therefore unique, ensuring owners of an enamel painted porcelain Blancpain watch possess a one-piece only model.

About Shakudō

Shakudō is a centuries old Japanese art form favored by samurai to embellish small elements of their katana. Blancpain’s artisans use it to create one of- a-kind watch dials. The introduction of this craft in watchmaking emanates from the Manufacture’s innovative spirit, which constantly looks for new artistic techniques and unique decorative patterns matching its timepieces.

Shakudō itself is a technique that transforms the color of a gold/copper alloy from its natural yellow/orange hue to a subtle nuanced black/gray. Often, the surface is reworked to bring complexity and texture to the black/gray color. At its most basic, the alloy, used in the form of a disk for the watch dial, is submerged in a warm chemical bath, composed of copper acetate (greyish green) named rokushō, until the desired color is achieved. This ancestral know-how lies on a trial and error process even in its most basic form.

The disk is plucked repeatedly from the bath, rinsed and color examined, before re-emersion. When the artist reaches a perfect hue, the shakudō itself is finished. Although the chemical bath process lies at the center of this art, Blancpain associates it with additional artistic techniques such as engraving, damascening, and carving. Not only that, but the shakudō process is often repeated at various stages of the work to bring extra hues and depth to the designs brought onto the disk of the dial.

Each Blancpain shakudō dial is unique, and this uniqueness runs deeper than artistic variation in carrying out coloring and engraving. Each particular design represents a special and one-unit piece, since no two designs will be the same. The dial featuring the Formosa clouded leopard is a perfect example.

The work on creating such a timepiece begins with a paper sketch of the pose and the background decorations. The image of the leopard, along with other foreground elements, takes the form of a gold applique hand-engraved thanks to extremely precise tools. These appliques are also dipped in different salt baths to obtain the desired color effects, like the spots that adorn the feline’s fur.

They are applied to the surface of the dial and held in place by very fine pins, which are inserted into holes preliminary drilled into the dial. The back of the pins are thereafter carefully hammered to ensure that they will remain securely nestled in place.

Historically, many shakudō objects were decorated with damascening. This ancient art form consists of carving designs into a surface in the form of a trough, and thereafter hammering soft gold into the trough. As tradition dictates, no glue is used. The hammering process suffices to fix the gold filaments in place, which are then polished smooth.

Blancpain’s creations combining shakudō, engraving and damascening highlight the Manufacture’s uniqueness in the watchmaking world. Blancpain is in fact the sole Maison to propose this marriage of artistic crafts.

Technical details

White gold version with Porcelain dial, Reference 6124-1919-55B

18ct white gold case, circled by 1 row of diamonds
Thickness: 9.15 mm
Diameter: 33.20 mm
Water-resistance: 3 bar
Sapphire crystal back
Interhorn space: 18.00 mm

Porcelain dial with enamel painting

Calibre 1154 Self-winding movement
Thickness: 3.25 mm
Diameter: 27.40 mm
Power-reserve: 100 hours
Jewels: 28
Total components: 190

Carat weight

Limited edition
Unique pieces

Red gold version with Shakudō dial, Reference 6615-3616-55B

18ct red gold
Thickness: 8.30 mm
Diameter: 45.00 mm
Sapphire crystal back
Interhorn space: 23mm

Hand-decorated and engraved gold-damascened Shakudō dial

Calibre15B Hand-winding movement
Thickness: 2.20 mm
Diameter: 36.10 mm
Power-reserve: 40 hours
Jewels: 20
Components: 117

Limited edition
Unique pieces

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback Green (Ref. 5200-0153-B52A)

The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe diver’s watch from Blancpain now appears in a new chronograph version adorned in green from dial to bezel; a shade enhanced by peerless expertise and skills in terms of dial-making.

Dozens of steps are required to achieve a perfect colour and finish on this particular dial. Once the initial phases devoted to the shape and apertures have been completed, the dial is polished in two stages: the first to remove scratches; and the second to obtain a soft, smooth appearance. This is followed by a series of processes designed to give the surface a special texture, including a sunburst effect that endows the dial with a pattern of lines radiating from the centre. The chronograph counters are then hollowed out and snailed to create greater overall depth.

The highly technical colouring process can now begin. The dial is coated with several nanometric layers of material. Transformed by the surface, rays of light reflect the desired hue. The dial of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback can then reveal its subtle shades of green which change according to the angle of illumination, sometimes taking on metallic shades.

Powering this diving chronograph is the Manufacture F385 calibre, visible through a sapphire crystal caseback. The self-winding chronograph movement beats at a frequency of 5 Hz, enabling each second to be divided into 1/10th intervals. This high frequency guarantees increased accuracy, particularly when timing events.

The F385 movement is equipped with a vertical clutch and a chronograph mechanism controlled by a column-wheel. It has a flyback function that enables the chronograph to be reset to zero and restarted instantaneously by simply pressing the push-piece located at 4 o’clock.

The new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback comes in a 43.6 mm satin-brushed black ceramic case topped by a rotating bezel featuring a green ceramic insert. It is paired with a NATO or sail canvas strap.

Technical details

Model: Blancpain Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph

5200-0153-NABA: with NATO strap
5200-0153-B52A: with sail canvas strap

Satin-brushed black ceramic case
Diameter: 43.60 mm
Thickness: 15.25 mm
Lug width: 23.00 mm
Unidirectional satin-brushed black ceramic bezel with green ceramic insert and Liquidmetal® hour-markers
Sapphire crystal glass
Sapphire crystal case back
Water resistance: 30 bar/300 meters

Green dial
Date and small seconds

F385 (5HZ) self-winding
Diameter: 31.80 mm
Thickness: 6.65 mm
Jewels: 37
Total components: 322
Power reserve: 50 hours

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.

“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.

The dial of the Blancpain 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.

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.

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.

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 Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition model comes with a sandy-coloured sail canvas strap matching the warm tones of the dial.

Technical details

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

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 with subtly graduated sand coloring

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

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

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

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Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe New Model with Sedna® Gold Case and Blue Dial (Ref. 5000-36S40-O52A)

Blancpain’s popular Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe model, renowned for its dual function as a diving instrument and civilian timepiece, is now available in a version combining a blue dial and bezel with a Sedna® gold case.

The history of the Fifty Fathoms goes back to 1953, when Blancpain unveiled a timepiece that was to become the first professional diver’s watch. A few years later, Blancpain complemented this time measuring instrument with the Bathyscaphe model, thereby aiming to offer a diver’s watch in a size suited to everyday wear.

Reissued in 2013 in a contemporary version to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Fifty Fathoms, the Bathyscaphe has since been enriched with a wide choice of models, both in terms of complications and materials. For the first time combining a blue dial and bezel with a Sedna® gold case, the new Bathyscaphe by Blancpain is an elegant addition designed to delight lovers of water sports and beautiful watches as well as experienced divers.

The deep blue color exalts its shimmering reflections and plays with light thanks to the sunburst finish of the dial. Rectangular hour-markers and the chapter ring composed of gold and Super-LumiNova® dots further make their contribution to endowing the dial with an elegant and perfectly legible appearance in any situation. Complemented by a slim seconds hand and a date window, the hour and minute hands are also rectangular and coated with Super-LumiNova®, evoking the Bathyscaphe watches of the 1950s.

Crafted from Sedna® gold – a gold, copper and palladium alloy guaranteeing the exceptional durability of red gold –, the 43 mm case features a sharp outline and satin finish that gives the Bathyscaphe a sporty yet refined look. The Sedna® gold unidirectional rotating bezel is fitted with a ceramic insert including a Ceragold® time scale and hour-markers.

Water-resistant to 300 meters, the new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe beats to the rhythm of the 1315 caliber. Stemming from a longstanding quest for precision and performance, this self-winding movement was specially developed and produced by Blancpain to equip its sports watches.

Its three series-coupled barrels provide it with a five-day power reserve while maintaining constant energy. Its balance features a silicon balance-spring that ensures remarkable regularity of the oscillation frequency as well as impermeability to magnetic fields.

A sapphire case-back provides visual access to the movement, revealing all the beauty of a sandblasted, satin-finished and snailed Sedna® gold oscillating weight engraved with the Blancpain logo, along with snailed and beveled bridges.

Technical details

Model: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Sedna® gold

Sedna® gold case
Unidirectional Sedna® gold bezel with ceramic insert and Ceragold® hour-markers
Diameter: 43.00 mm
Thickness: 13.40 mm
Sapphire crystal back
Water resistance: 30 bar/300 meters
Inter-horn space: 23.00 mm

Calibre 1315 self-winding
Thickness: 5.65mm
Diameter: 30.60mm
Components: 227
Jewels: 35
Power reserve: 120 hours

Blue dial

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Mokarran Limited Edition

Blancpain is dedicating a Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch issued in a 50-piece special series – the Bathyscaphe Mokarran Limited Edition to support the study of the great hammerhead shark in French Polynesia. It is the most recent initiative by the Blancpain Ocean Commitment (BOC) program.

This model will be available exclusively in Blancpain boutiques in New York and Las Vegas, USA. Each customer acquiring one of these timepieces will be joining Blancpain in supporting the Mokarran Protection Society to the tune of $1,000. A total of $50,000 will be added to the brand’s regular contributions to promoting, respecting and protecting the fascinating world of the oceans.

In January 2020, Blancpain President & CEO Marc A. Hayek traveled to Rangiroa, French Polynesia, where he took part as a volunteer underwater videographer in a scientific expedition dedicated to the study of the seabed and particularly the great hammerhead shark, Sphyrna mokarran.

Set up in collaboration with the Mokarran Protection Society environmental association, this first mission was intended to observe the behaviour of this large predator in the wild in order to identify and count its population in Polynesian waters. Despite being a protected species in French Polynesia, the great hammerhead shark remains vulnerable in international and foreign waters.

Marc A. Hayek, Antonin Guilbert and Jean-Louis Jacquelle

Determining the origin of these individuals and their migratory routes will eventually make it possible to initiate protocols to prevent the extinction of this animal. This mission to Rangiroa Atoll follows several explorations conducted in French Polynesia since 2014 by diver, photographer and scientist Laurent Ballesta, under the aegis of Marc A. Hayek and with Blancpain’s support.

In addition to its commitment to the Mokarran Protection Society, Blancpain is now unveiling a special diver’s watch dedicated to the protection of the great hammerhead shark.

A three-hand version of the Bathyscaphe model, the Blancpain Mokarran Limited Edition marks the introduction of a new colour to the Fifty Fathoms watch collection. The tropical green dial of this exclusive timepiece catches the light and reveals its chromatic reflections thanks to a sunburst finish.

This vibrant hue enhances the iconic aesthetic elements of the Bathyscaphe, such as its baton type hands and geometric hour-markers coated in luminescent material. The unidirectional rotating bezel incorporates a green ceramic insert matching the dial. Made of satin-finished black ceramic, the 43.6 mm-diameter case is water-resistant to 30 bar (approximately 300 m).

A sapphire caseback provides a chance to admire Calibre 1318, a non-date variant of the 1315. Characterized by its precision, performance and beauty, the latter self-winding movement was specially developed and produced by Blancpain for its sports watches. It notably features a balance equipped with a silicon balance-spring and three barrels providing a five-day power reserve. Its solid gold oscillating weight is NAC-coated and engraved with the effigy of the great hammerhead shark, Sphyrna mokarran.

Available exclusively from Blancpain boutiques in New York and Las Vegas, the 50 timepieces composing this special edition are individually numbered. With his or her watch, each purchaser receives a certificate of donation, a framed underwater photograph from the January 2020 mission, along with a personal code giving access to the Blancpain Ocean Commitment Circle.

This private area of the BOC website offers exclusive benefits such as sneak-preview information on the brand’s partners, opportunities to meet them, as well as invitations to previews of documentaries related to scientific expeditions supported by Blancpain.

Technical details

Model: Blancpain Bathyscaphe Mokarran Limited Edition
Ref. 5005-0153-NABA

Satin-brushed black ceramic case
Diameter: 43.60mm
Thickness: 13.83mm
Inter horn space: 23mm
Sapphire crystal glass
Unidirectional satin-brushed black ceramic bezel with green ceramic insert and Liquidmetal® hour-markers
Sapphire crystal case-back
Water resistance: 30 ATM/ 300 meters

Green dial

Calibre 1318
Self-winding movement
Diameter: 30.60mm
Thickness: 5.65mm
Jewels: 35
Components: 204
Power reserve: 120 hours

Limited edition of 50 pieces

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms New Automatique and Grande Date models with Titanium Bracelets (Ref. 5015-12B30-98B, Ref. 5015-12B40-98B & Ref. 5050-12B30-98B)

This year, Blancpain presents new versions of the iconic Fifty Fathoms Automatique and Fifty Fathoms Grande Date watch models with a titanium bracelet.

The Fifty Fathoms collection is based on a rich heritage dating back to 1953, when Blancpain presented the first modern diver’s watch. The Fifty Fathoms stood out thanks to its avant-garde technical and aesthetic features. Its large luminescent black-grounded hour-markers and hands, its robustness, water-resistance and secure rotating bezel all rapidly became benchmarks for the entire watchmaking industry.

While Blancpain played a pioneering role in the definition of diver’s watches, the Maison also made early use of innovative materials in creating its timepieces. Indeed, Blancpain’s use of titanium dates back to the early 1960s, when it produced a special series of MIL-SPEC II models for US Navy minesweeper teams.

Blancpain’s must-have Fifty Fathoms Automatique and Grande Date models reflect the Brand’s history and tradition of innovation. Their remarkably light new titanium bracelet complements the sail canvas and NATO straps with which these timepieces have been fitted until now. Its production involves a series of demanding assembly and finishing processes.

The hand satin-brushed links are joined together by means of transverse pins, endowing them with a fluidity and flexibility that ensure a perfect fit on the wrist. Based on a patented system, the (usually lateral) screws are placed on the back of the links so as to preserve the smooth look and feel of the bracelet edges.

Combining these skills guarantees seamless cohesion between the case and bracelet. The latter highlights the emblematic face of the watches, endowed with all the attributes of a diving instrument, such as Super-LumiNova® hour-markers and hands that remain easily legible in all circumstances, as well as a unidirectional rotating bezel with a scratch-resistant sapphire insert.

Equipped with a 45 mm titanium case that is water-resistant to 30 bar (approx. 300 meters), the Fifty Fathoms Automatique and Grande Date models respectively beat to the rhythm of the Manufacture 1315 movement – a mainstay of the contemporary Fifty Fathoms collection since its launch in 2007 – or the 6918B.

Insensitive to magnetic fields thanks to the use of a silicon balance-spring, these calibres deliver a comfortable five-day power reserve provided by three series-coupled barrels. Their meticulous finishes are visible through a sapphire crystal case-back.

The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique remains available with a black or blue sunburst dial, while the Fifty Fathoms Grande Date continues to be offered with a black dial.

Blancpain Villeret New models in Red Gold Case and Blue-Dial – Villeret Quantième Complet (Ref. 6654-3640-55B) & Villeret Ultraplate (Ref. 6651-3640-55B)

In 2020, Blancpain is expanding its classic Villeret collection with the addition of two blue-dial versions of its Quantième Complet and the Ultraplate.

The Villeret Quantième Complet model harmoniously combines a complete calendar and moon phases. Its dial features discreet apertures indicating the day of the week and month at 12 o’clock, a calendar with a serpentine hand and a moon-phase display with a mischievous face positioned at 6 o’clock.

This timepiece is powered by the 6654 self-winding movement equipped with a safety system protecting it against any improper use of the functions. The watch owner is thus able to set the complete calendar at any time without any risk to the movement, unlike conventional calendar watches.

The Villeret Quantième Complet model is also equipped with patented under-lug correctors, enabling all the information to be adjusted at the press of a finger and thereby eliminating the need for a pusher tool.

The elegant Villeret Ultraplate features refined and contemporary expressions of the collection’s aesthetic codes. The hour and minute display is complemented by a large central seconds hand and a date window at 3 o’clock, sized to ensure optimal visual balance and readability.

This timepiece is driven by the self-winding movement 1151, which ensures a four-day power reserve thanks to the use of two series-coupled barrels and high-performance springs.

These new models pair a midnight-blue dial with a 40 mm red gold case for the first time. A symbol of nobility and refinement, blue exalts its depth and shimmer thanks to a sunburst dial finish.

The blue face of this Villeret duo is embellished by applied hour-markers with Roman numerals crafted in red gold and slender matching hands. The hour and minute hands are shaped like cut-out sage leaves, while the seconds hands bear the initials of the House’s founder, Jehan-Jacques Blancpain.

The charm of the new Villeret Quantième Complet and Villeret Ultraplate watches is also evident on the reverse side.

Visible through a sapphire crystal case-back, the movements feature carefully executed decorations, such as the Côtes de Genève motif adorning the bridges and the honeycomb pattern that can be admired on the red gold oscillating weights.

These pure and elegant timepieces are teamed with a midnight-blue alligator strap in a shade as intense as that of their dial.

Blancpain Valentine’s Day 2020 Limited Edition (Women Collection, Ref. 0091-19R54-63A)

To celebrate the Valentine’s Day, Blancpain unveils a splendid jewelry timepiece inspired by a cocktail watch once owned by Marilyn Monroe. Symbolically issued in a 14-piece limited edition, this aptly graceful model is a nod to the charm and audacity of exceptional women.

For Blancpain, Valentine’s Day is a celebration, which every year witnesses the creation of a limited series of feminine timepieces dedicated to love. A veritable jewel, the 2020 edition is inspired by a stunning Blancpain evening watch once owned by the inimitable Marilyn Monroe.

Its rectangular white gold Art Deco style case is set with 84 diamonds, sometimes in superposed rows, including two generous marquise-cut gems; while its mother-of-pearl dial, inlaid with two hearts, is adorned with two brilliant-cut diamonds and two precious butterflies made of diamond and ruby hearts.

The beauty of this timepiece also lies in its rectangular caliber 510, a major new addition to the Blancpain collection. The curves of the latter, along with the symmetry between its balance-wheel and its barrel lend both delicacy and visual equilibrium to this two-tone mechanical movement, while the chamfered finish of its bridges adds a soft and light touch.

Both sensual and technical, this jewelry watch undoubtedly recalls the unique temperament of Marilyn Monroe, the ultimate icon, as well as that of Betty Fiechter, who in 1933 bought Manufacture Blancpain, becoming the first female watch brand owner and director. Betty Fiechter had initiated the launch of the Ladybird (1956) – the ladies’ model equipped with the smallest round mechanical movement of the time.

Issued in a 14-piece limited edition, the special Blancpain “Valentine’s Day 2020” watch is available with a calf leather strap secured by a pin buckle set with a brilliant-cut diamond.

Blancpain Villeret Traditional Chinese Calendar, Year of the Rat Edition (Ref. 00888H-3431-55B)

Blancpain’s Traditional Chinese Calendar is a watchmaking masterpiece combining the fundamental principles of the age-old lunisolar calendar stemming from Chinese tradition with the date according to the Gregorian calendar. To celebrate Chinese New Year, the Manufacture is unveiling a new limited edition of this Complication featuring the Rat, the first animal of the Chinese zodiac, which heralds a year of luck and prosperity.

With the Traditional Chinese Calendar, Blancpain took up the challenge of mechanically combining two different interpretations of time. Five years of research and development were required to associate within this timepiece the main indications of the Chinese calendar as well as the date based on the Gregorian calendar.

Given that the basic unit of these two time-division systems is not the same, this represents a real technical feat. While the Gregorian calendar is based on the solar day, the lunisolar Chinese calendar is based on the lunar cycle, composed of 29,53059 days. A year of 12 lunar months is about 11 days shorter than a solar year.

In order to maintain consistency with the seasonal cycle, a leap month is added to the Chinese calendar every two to three years. This distinctive feature is the reason behind the variability of the Chinese New Year date. But the complexity of this calendar does not stop there, since it uses a system of subdividing the day into 12 double hours, thus replacing the 24 hours composed of 60minutes each featured in the Gregorian calendar. Each of these double hours is named, in successive order, after one of the twelve earthly branches and represented by one of the animals of the Chinese zodiac.

All this information can be found on the white Grand Feu enamel dial of Blancpain’s Traditional Chinese Calendar. The animal of the year, the Rat, appears in a window at 12 o’clock. Below is the double hours counter displayed in numbers and symbols. The ten celestial pillars and five elements are displayed at 3 o’clock, while two hands at 9 o’clock serve to read the month and date. They are complemented by an aperture dedicated to the leap months.

The moon phases, which are used to determine the months of the Chinese calendar and represent an emblematic element of Blancpain’s calendar models, are highlighted in a window at 6 o’clock. Finally, the date according to the Gregorian calendar, associated with these indications, is read off around the rim of the chapter ring by means of a blued steel serpentine hand.

This timepiece, which is even more complex than a perpetual calendar, is driven by the self-winding 3638 movement. The latter is distinguished in particular by a seven-day power reserve made possible by the use of three series-coupled barrels, equipped with high-performance springs. It is secured against inappropriate manipulation of the functions and equipped with a silicon balance-spring.

This exceptional movement is housed in a 45 mm platinum case featuring a crown and oscillating weight adorned with a cabochon-cut ruby. It incorporates five under-lug correctors – a patented Blancpain invention – enabling easy fingertip adjustment of functions without the need for a correction tool.

The refined and timeless aesthetics of the Villeret collection can be seen in the double stepped bezel of the case, as well as on the dial bearing gold appliques for the Roman numerals and hands shaped like cutout sage leaves. Issued in a 50-piece limited edition, this timepiece features a white gold oscillating weight engraved with the Chinese zodiac sign of the year, the Rat.

Each is entirely assembled and meticulously adjusted by hand by a single master-watchmaker in the Grandes Complications workshop of the Manufacture in Le Brassus.

Blancpain’s Traditional Chinese Calendar is also available in an unlimited red gold version with a guilloché oscillating weight.

Blancpain Métiers d’Art Porcelaine Year of the Rat Edition (Ref. 6124-1919-55B)

In celebration of the Chinese Year of the Rat Blancpain is unveiling its first watch with a porcelain dial entirely hand-crafted in its Métiers d’Art workshops. Issued in an eight-piece limited edition of one-of-a-kind timepieces, the special series marks the introduction of this traditional Chinese skill within the Manufacture in Le Brassus.

With its artisans that master a wide range of decorative techniques and ancestral manual arts, Manufacture Blancpain in Le Brassus is a leading center for watch-related artistic crafts.

Blancpain makes it a point of honor to regularly extend its expertise by integrating new forms of craftsmanship into its workshops. Against this background, after more than a year of development and testing, the Maison is now unveiling its first porcelain dials entirely designed and produced in-house.

The Blancpain Métiers d’Art Porcelaine special edition combines the art of porcelain with enamel painting. Dedicated to the Chinese zodiac sign of the year, each of its eight one-of-a-kind timepieces depicts the Rat.

With a 33 mm diameter white gold case featuring a bezel set with 48 brilliant-cut diamonds, the Blancpain Métiers d’Art Porcelaine watches are powered by the 1154 automatic movement, whose exquisite finishes may be admired through a sapphire case-back. An alligator leather strap sets the perfect finishing touch to these precious timepieces.

Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate Platinum, Boutique Edition with Blue Dial – (Villeret Collection, Ref. 6605-3440-55A)

Blancpain presents Villeret Ultraplate, a boutique exclusive. This platinum timepiece with a blue dial marks a return to essentials in which hours and minutes reign supreme. Issued in an 88-piece limited edition, it is exclusively available in brand boutiques worldwide.

Elegance and discretion have characterized Villeret models since their early days in the 1980s. The new Villeret Ultraplate watch is no exception. It has a resolutely contemporary face while preserving the collection’s emblematic aestheticism and authenticity. The Villeret style is distinguished by a delicately rounded double-stepped bezel, stylish hands meticulously crafted in the shape of cut-out sage leaves, applied Roman numeral hour-markers crafted in gold and a delightfully slim case.

Like all Blancpain models, the new Villeret Ultraplate limited edition guarantees enhanced reliability and running efficiency. Based on the renowned 1150 caliber, the hand-wound 11A4B Manufacture movement offers four days of autonomy driven by two series-coupled barrels and equipped with high-performance hairsprings. This construction enables a constant energy pulse, guaranteeing precision from the first hours of operation through to the final minutes.

Particularly concerned with ensuring the user friendliness of its watches, Blancpain has equipped the new Villeret Ultraplate with a power-reserve indicator. The latter is displayed on the back to preserve the elegance of the dial. Protected by a sapphire case-back, the mechanism has been subtly decorated to reflect the purity of the watch face. The entirely redesigned bridges are adorned with the traditional côtes de Genève motif, as well as beveled edges.

The new Villeret Ultraplate in platinum comes with a case measuring 40 mm in diameter and 7.40 mm thick. Graced with a blue dial, it is paired with a blue alligator strap secured by a pin buckle. This exclusive model issued in an 88-piece edition is dedicated to Blancpain boutiques worldwide.

A vintage Blancpain cocktail watch that belonged to Marilyn Monroe unveiled in New York

On 30th October 2019, in its emblematic Boutique on New York’s Fifth Avenue, Blancpain unveiled a legendary 1930s jewelry watch that belonged to Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe. The display of Monroe’s stunning cocktail watch is part of an exhibition entitled Timeless Elegance, featuring personal belongings and a curated selection of photographs of the beloved American actress.

Noted photographer Lawrence Schiller, who regularly collaborated with Monroe, attended the inauguration of the exhibition, which is open to the public from October 31st through November 23rd 2019.

Blancpain has chosen Marilyn Monroe’s cocktail watch to showcase its expertise and pioneering spirit in the world of feminine watchmaking.

The Art Deco-inspired 1930s model, purchased by Blancpain at auction, is displayed alongside several historic personal items that reveal the extraordinary existence and complex personality of the actress including: dresses, books, a director’s chair, a Screen Actors Guild membership card, stationery and receipts from her New York experience.

Additionally, there are portraits featured including several signed by Lawrence Schiller, in attendance at the exhibition’s opening. These intimate objects are presented in a refined atmosphere, through a retrospective of Blancpain’s women’s timepieces both past and present.

Revealed for the very first time to the public at large, the Blancpain watch may have been a gift to Marilyn Monroe from her third husband, author Arthur Miller. Crafted in platinum and paved with 71 round-cut diamonds and two marquise-cut diamonds, it bears the “Blancpain” insignia on its white rectangular dial with yellow hour-markers and blue hands, as well as the mention “Rayville Watch Co. 17 Jewels” on its tiny mechanical FHF 59 movement.

The slender geometry and structured setting of this precious watch embody a perfect balance between avantgardism and elegance, both day and night. The watch has an inimitable manner of combining charm, ingenuity and a unique temperament.

In 1930, Blancpain introduced the world’s first self-winding ladies’ wristwatch, the Rolls (now a popular collector’s piece) followed in 1956 by the Ladybird, equipped with the smallest round movement of the time.

Blancpain’s epic saga of feminine watches was written by Betty Fiechter, an equally extraordinary woman who made history much like Marilyn Monroe. As the first woman to head a watchmaking company in 1933, her intelligence and visionary spirit paved the way for jewelry watches at Blancpain and resulted in the brand’s international reputation.

Fiechter’s career trajectory was similar to Marilyn Monroe’s, who became the second American woman to run her own production company. Their destinies were to meet and mingle in a unique creation: the Blancpain cocktail watch.

The link between the star and the Maison is also revealed through a small aesthetic nod gracing Blancpain’s Moon Phase watches. Marilyn Monroe’s historic beauty mark epitomizes sensuality and glamour.

In the 1980s, when Blancpain updated the moon phase indication – which has since become a signature of the Manufacture – it gradually became distinctive thanks to the smiling face of its moon.

Since the 2006 launch of the Women collection, all the ladies’ Moon Phases models feature a female face adorned with a star-shaped beauty mark.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda Unique Piece for Only Watch 2019 (Ref. 5008C-1130-B64A)

Blancpain has been supporting the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy (AMM) since its creation in 2001 and reiterates this year its commitment to the 8th edition of Only Watch. On this occasion, the brand presents a unique piece, inspired by the new Fifty Fathoms Barakuda model, and created especially for the charity auction in Geneva on November 9th 2019.

When launched in 1953, the Fifty Fathoms was the very first modern diving watch. Frogmen from several of the world’s largest Marine Corps rapidly incorporated it as a fundamental element in their standard-issue gear. The French were the first to equip themselves with Fifty Fathoms models for their underwater missions. Other military elites followed, including the German Bundesmarine in the 1960s.

The latter were supplied with Fifty Fathoms models via Barakuda – a company specialising in the production and marketing of technical diving equipment. Alongside the watches intended for the military, the company introduced the German market to a civilian model adopting a distinctive style, notably featuring the use of two-tone rectangular hour-markers, white-painted fluorescent hands, as well as a highly visible date display at 3 o’clock.

Some timepieces in this series were fitted with a tropicaltype rubber strap that was very popular with divers at the time and particularly renowned for its durability as well as its wearer comfort.

The new Fifty Fathoms Barakuda for Only Watch faithfully reinterprets the aesthetic codes of this timepiece from the late 1960s, while making the most of the technical innovations stemming from Blancpain’s longstanding watchmaking experience. Its black dial is punctuated by broad white hour-markers in Super-LumiNova® with blue luminescence, like the hands and bezel.

The pencil-shaped hands are white-lacquered and the seconds hand is rimmed with light blue, while the date – a key element of the original model – returns to its favourite position in a prominent window. Blancpain has teamed these vintage attributes with its emblematic unidirectional bezel featuring here light blue graduations, along with a scratch-resistant domed sapphire insert – an innovation unveiled by the brand in 2003.

The steel case of this unique piece, water-resistant to 300 metres, has a diameter of 40 mm, a size reserved for Fifty Fathoms timepieces in limited series. It houses the 1151 self-winding movement equipped with two barrels, whose sporty usage in this model naturally does not dispense it from high-end finishes.

These latter may be admired through the sapphire caseback revealing an oscillating weight engraved for the occasion with the inscription “Only Watch” as well as the Blancpain logo. This rotor has the particularity to present a cut-out shape, in reference to some of the collection’s antique watches. This now atypical geometry formerly served to enhance the suppleness of the oscillating weight in order to protect the movement from potential impacts.

Paired with a tropical rubber strap identical to that of the historical models, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda for Only Watch embodies a perfect combination of vintage design and advanced technicality.

Blancpain Villeret GMT (Ref. 6662-3642-55B / 6662-1127-55B)

For nearly four decades, the Villeret collection has been offering timepieces combining technical sophistication with refined aesthetics. In keeping with this tradition, Blancpain is now unveiling a GMT with date complication presented in its simplest expression.

The GMT complication enables the simultaneous indication of two timezones. Until now within the Villeret line, it has been associated with complex calendars. This year, Blancpain wished to shine a spotlight on this function by dedicating a new timepiece to it, the Villeret GMT Date model.

Featuring the restrained and refined appearance typical of all the models in the collection, this new release is remarkably easy to read. Local time – to which the date is linked – appears in the foreground thanks to a raised chapter ring composed of the traditional applied Roman numerals so characteristic of the Villeret models.

Meanwhile, the reference time is indicated using a 24-hour scale. Separate hands indicate the two timezones. They are shaped like cut-out sage leaves for local hours and minutes, while the hand pointing to the second timezone is tipped with a red triangle.

A large seconds hand completes this information. It is recognisable by its counterweight, adorned with the initials JB in homage to Jehan Jacques Blancpain, who founded the House in Villeret in 1735. Fast GMT correction, date adjustment as well as time-setting are all easily handled via the crown.

The new Villeret GMT Date is powered by the 5A50 self-winding movement, entirely designed and produced in the Manufacture’s workshops, as is customary at Blancpain. This mechanism, which is endowed with the brand’s latest technical developments, has a four-day power reserve and a silicon hairspring.

In terms of finishes, the transparent sapphire crystal caseback reveals a côtes de Genève motif on the bridges and a honeycomb pattern embellishing the gold oscillating weight.

The 40 mm-diameter case of this new product is available in 18K red gold or steel versions, the former paired with an opaline dial and the latter with a white variation.

Both models are available with an alligator strap or metal bracelet, enabling globetrotters from around the world to select and adopt a worthy Blancpain travelling companion.

Blancpain Villeret Date New Model, Ref. 6127-4628-55B / 6127-2987-55B

Blancpain is enriching its extensive collection of women’s models with the addition of a calendar timepiece. The oval date window is subtly integrated within the chapter ring. The result is a model graced with a beautifully balanced dial of which the readability is accentuated by its generous size.

When it comes to feminine watches, Blancpain is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with. The Manufacture indeed played a pioneering role in the history of women’s timepieces, with the 1930 introduction of the first automatic wristwatch for women. Until then widely considered an essentially masculine field of interest, the art of watchmaking thus took on a universal dimension. The acquisition of Blancpain by Betty Fiechter – a loyal employee of Frédéric Emile Blancpain –, who became the first female president and owner of a watch brand, strengthened Blancpain’s commitment to the development of ladies’ watches.

Building on this unique heritage, Blancpain is now unveiling a new women’s timepiece in its Villeret line. Equipped with a date, it stands out for its refined aesthetics and curved details.

The date window is oval in shape, a novelty within the collection. The successively displayed numerals have also been redesigned and feature a delightfully curvaceous font. These characteristics are naturally complemented by the key attributes of the Villeret collection, such as the rounded double-stepped bezel and cut-out sage leaf-shaped hands for the main indications. The proportions of this new model have also been carefully determined so as to guarantee perfect harmony between all its constitutive elements.

The 33.2 mm-diameter case, available in steel or red gold, is set with 48 brilliant-cut diamonds. As is customary in the Villeret collection, the steel version has a white dial and the red gold version has an opaline dial, both set with brilliant-cut diamonds.

To ensure its customers are spoilt for choice, Blancpain offers a non-set version of each of these models. The four watches thus unveiled are fitted with either an alligator strap or a mille mailles bracelet. These models can also be purchased with a kit of five interchangeable wristbands to suit every mood.

While style is the order of the day with this new Villeret Women Date, watchmaking technology remains its beating heart. This timepiece is powered by the 1151 movement, which has a four-day power reserve and is equipped with a silicon balance-spring particularly renowned for its chronometric (precision timing) properties.

Visible through the sapphire caseback, the movement is adorned in keeping with the aesthetic codes of traditional watchmaking, as evidenced by its oscillating weight decorated with a guilloché pattern reflecting a honeycomb motif first created almost two centuries ago.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms “Nageurs de combat” Limited Edition, Ref. 5015E-1130-B52A – A Fifty Fathoms Honouring French Combat Swimmers

A pioneer in the development of military and civilian diver’s watches, Blancpain pays tribute to its original collaboration with the founders of the French Combat Swimmers unit. Inspired by this heritage, the Manufacture unveils a 300-piece Fifty Fathoms limited edition bearing the symbols of French commando frogmen.

When Jean-Jacques Fiechter, himself an outstanding diver, took the helm of Blancpain in 1950, he began working on a reliable and robust timing instrument capable of accompanying him in his underwater adventures. This was a major challenge given that there were no watch industry precedents that might be used as a blueprint.

Jean-Jacques Fiechter, CEO of Blancpain from 1950 to 1980

Guided by his own experience, he defined and developed the fundamental specifications that a watch genuinely dedicated to scuba diving must meet : luminescent hands and hour-markers contrasting with a dark dial, a secured rotating bezel, a self-winding movement, perfect water-resistance, and an antimagnetic case.

In parallel, beginning in 1952, Captain Robert “Bob” Maloubier and Lieutenant Claude Riffaud, founders of the newly formed French Combat Swimmers unit, began their quest to find a watch suited for their aquatic missions. The two officers envisaged finding a watch that would become an indispensable piece of equipment for their divers. Working together, they assembled a list of specific criteria for an instrument that would meet their requirements.

The first tests which they conducted with “water-resistant” French watches were inconclusive. These watches were far too small, the dials were hard to read, and the cases were far from waterproof. Having heard that the director of a Swiss watchmaking house was testing a new model of watch when diving in the south of France, they decided to contact Jean-Jacques Fiechter.

Blancpain, The original 1953 model of the Fifty Fathoms

In 1953, Blancpain was able to deliver to the French team a watch for testing that fully met their criteria. The watch performed brilliantly in all of the tests and it became one of the essential pieces of equipment for the French Combat Swimmers corps. Later, the same occurred for naval forces around the world. This unique timepiece was named Fifty Fathoms.

In tribute to its close collaboration with the founders of the French Combat Swimmers unit, Blancpain wanted to unveil a special edition of its Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch. Supporting this initiative, the French army authorized the Manufacture to engrave the Combat Diver Qualification Badge – featuring a central anchor, dedicated to sailors and flanked by two winged seahorses representing the underwater world as well as parachutists – on the caseback of the new model.

The watch face discreetly displays a second emblem – the number 7. As oxygen becomes toxic when its partial pressure reaches 1.7 bar, the maximum depth that commando frogmen can reach when using pure oxygen is seven metres, a number that has thus become a symbolic figure in this milieu.

Faithful to the reputation of its ancestor, the new special Blancpain “Nageurs de combat” edition model ensures robustness and reliability thanks to the 1315 self-winding movement. Equipped with a date window, it notably features a silicon hairspring serving as an antimagnetic shield, while three series-coupled barrels provide a five-day power reserve. The 45 mm-diameter satin-brushed steel case is water-resistant to 30 bar (approx. 300 metres).

Like the original model, the hands and hour-markers of the “Nageurs de combat” watch are covered with luminescent material, contrasting with the matt black dial. Their geometrical shapes evoke the generation of 1950s Blancpain military diving watches. Lending an additional subtle touch, the hands are painted white, just as they are on period watches. In the same vintage spirit, the traditional triangular mark that appeared on the first Fifty Fathoms models is back in its original spot at 12 o’clock.

Meanwhile, the black unidirectional rotating bezel highlights a luminescent time scale protected by a curved sapphire insert that is extremely resistant to shocks and scratches.

The limited edition Fifty Fathoms “Nageurs de combat” watch is the latest chapter in the long history of Blancpain’s relationship with the oceans. It finds its place within the brand’s collection as an authentic tribute to the combat divers who contributed to the birth of a watchmaking icon.