Blancpain Fifty Fathoms “Tribute to Fifty Fathoms” Ref. 5015B-1130-52
This year the Swiss watchmaker will start selling its Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathom diving watch that celebrates tremendous success of the original divers that were popularized by the legendary sea explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau back in the 1950s. As usual, the watch is introduced in a fairly large stainless steel body, but now features a high-tech (and also pleasant to look at) sapphire bezel with a luminous diving scale and is powered by an in-house, magnetically shielded automatic movement!
At the time when the original Blancpain Fifty Fathoms was introduced as a watch for NATO combat divers, military standards of most countries required that the diving watches should be equipped with high-glow radioactive luminescent substances such as Promethium 147.
Featuring a half-life of 2.62 years and emitting low-energy beta particles that were easily stopped by glass or plastic, the isotope was not particularly hazardous, but was still deemed as such by many potential civilian divers. Therefore, introducing a civil version of their highly successful Fifty Fathoms model, the Swiss watch maker Blancpain replaced the radioactive glowing tubes with normal lume and even placed a “NO RADIATIONS” sign on its dial.
Celebrating the models tremendous success, Blancpain reissues the model, but tweaks it design equipping the Fifty Fathoms with a scratch-resistant sapphire rotating bezel and, like all models introduced after 2007, powers it with an in-house Blancpain 1315 automatic movement featuring a free sprung balance and three winding barrels.
Being extremely accurate and reliable, the Blancpain 1315 also offers antimagnetic protection cage, which is made of soft iron.
It is also a pleasure to mention that the timekeeper, while radiating a sense of masculine presence, is not terribly large. Although rated for a depth of 300 meters, the timekeeper is only 45 millimeters in diameter and is just 15.5 millimeters high! Not that you could safely wear this piece with a business suit, but it at least won’t look stupid when worn with more casual dress, like jeans or khakis.
To my deepest regret, this brilliant diver is introduced as a limited edition model. Only 500 watches will be produced and sold.
Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathom automatic diving watch specification (Ref. 5015B-1130-52)
Price range: $15,500
Movement: Blancpain Calibre 1315, automatic, in-house, 35 jewels, 222 components, 4.57 mm thick, 30.60 mm in diameter
Complications: Date, soft iron antimagnetic cage
Power reserve: 120 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Sapphire
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 45.0 mm
Case height: 15.5 mm
Water resistance: 300 m
Strap: Black sail canvas lined with rubber
Case back: N/A
Tags: 300 m, 45 mm, Automatic, Blancpain, Calibre 1315, diving watch, Fifty Fathoms, limited edition, Ref. 5015B-1130-52, sapphire bezel, Tribute to Fifty Fathoms