The Baselworld 2013 that presented us with a number of beautiful (and sometimes even innovative) watches will finally close its doors tomorrow, but there are still dozens of watches I plan to tell you about during the coming weeks. Among them, the new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe luxury diving timekeeper clearly stands out thanks to its vintage-styled body, which is crafted using the most high-tech materials and manufacturing processes.
While officially paying homage to their 1953 Blancpain Bathyscaphe diver, the new watch still seems to be primarily inspired by another version of the original Bathyscaphe that was introduced later in the 1960s.
The 2013 model that is briefly reviewed here comes in an almost identical stainless steel body, which is, however, done to more modern specs. While the original timekeeper measured less than 38 millimeters from side to side, this new timekeeper is delivered in a more massive case whole 43 millimeters in diameter and more than 13 mm thick. The steel alloy that this beautiful accessory is fashioned from, too, seems to feature a higher carbon content (just look at its gorgeous darker shade of grey) and will possibly be more difficult to scratch or ding if you are careless enough to put such an expensive piece in this sort of dangerous situation.
The unidirectional rotating bezel is also different. Crafted from a new LiquidMetal alloy, it houses a mirror polished black ceramic insert that sports the traditional diving scale with a small luminous dot at “00” that matches in color the patches of Superluminova on hands and hour markers.
The dial, too, can’t be called a faithful reproduction. While the hour and minute hands are almost the same, the luminous hour markers are done to more modern specs, as is the central seeping seconds hand that sports a huge luminous dot near its end, which is painted red.
The traditional greenish Superluminova nicely contrasts the anthracite dial, which is called “meteor grey” and features a traditional sunburst pattern that makes this diver look almost like a dress watch, albeit a very large one if you believe that a dressy timekeeper should measure no more than 40 millimeters in diameter.
According to official specs, this new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe is powered by the same Caliber 1315 self-winding movement that also animates their gorgeous Blancpain Fifty Fathoms “Tribute to Fifty Fathoms” (Ref. 5015B-1130-52) model that was released back in 2011 and, too, offered on a highly practical NATO strap.
Still nothing on price, but expect something close to $10,000 MSRP.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe diving watch specification
Price: $10,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Calibre 1315, 30.6 x 5.65 mm, 227 components, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 35
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 120 hours (5 days)
Movement decoration: Geneva stripes, polished screw heads
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 13.40 mm
Lug width: 23.00 mm
Dial: Meteor Grey
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 300 meters
Strap: Black or khaki triple-loop textile NATO G10 strap
Case back: Sapphire