Dive Watch Releases / Articles

2017-07-17

BLANCPAIN Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC for ONLY WATCH 2017

Didn’t Blancpain already release this earlier on in the year? They did indeed, but this one errs a little more on the Brightside. The subtle green tone used for all the luminescent markings; the bezel, hands, indexes and date have all been replaced with a bright yellow.



There’s a quick side by side for you further down, if you wanna compare the two watches. Unless you’re totally colorblind, you shouldn’t have any trouble spotting the difference. Question is – do you prefer the pop of bright yellow of the Only Watch version or do you prefer the subtlety of the original?



This is the Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC Only Watch unique piece – which is equipped with self-winding caliber 1151, comprising 210 components notably including two series-coupled mainspring barrels ensuring a four-day power reserve.

It can be found nestling inside the watch’s 40 mm-diameter Stainless steel case, and is is visible through the transparent Sapphire exhibition caseback that also reveals the a solid gold winding rotor with an NAC coating (a ruthenium-based alloy), bearing the Blancpain logo as well as the Only Watch logo.



The watch is of course endowed with all the diving features of the original as well as those diving watch characteristics that were first established by the 1953 vintage Fifty Fathoms which were subsequently adopted by the entire dive watch industry. For this one-of-a-kind model, the black dial features indexes and hands in yellow SuperLumiNova. These elements recall the designs of the 1950s MIL-SPEC 1.



The date is also yellow and the water-resistance indicator once again appears at 6 o’clock. The black unidirectional rotating bezel, also bearing luminescent yellow markings, is topped by a scratch-resistant Sapphire inlay, an innovative feature introduced by Blancpain in 2003 with the 50th Anniversary Fifty Fathoms. This unique piece is water-resistant to 300 meters. It will be auctioned with military-style black NATO strap.



Here’s a little - the original Fifty Fathoms model launched in 1953 by Jean-Jacques Fiechter, Blancpain’s CEO at the time, was the first modern dive watch. This diver was worn by the French Navy’s combat swimmers corps in the early 1950s. Aware that a scuba diver’s life directly depends upon the reliable operation of his watch –

Jean-Jacques Fiechter decided to equip this model with an additional special feature: a water-resistance indicator. The thing that looks like an egg!
If any water were was per chance to seep into the watch case, the disk at 6 o’clock would signal the problem by changing from white to red. This timepiece, named the Fifty Fathoms MILSPEC 1, was adopted by the American Navy in 1957-58.



For reference, Blancpain was the first watch brand to support the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy (AMM) in 2001. This year, the Manufacture is again presenting a one-of-a-kind model on the occasion of the Only Watch charity auction to be held in Geneva at 2.30 pm on November 11th 2017. A dive watch directly inspired by the new Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC model presented at Baselworld this year.

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