The Swiss watchmaking house of Blancpain has been committed to the oceans of the world ever since it bought out it first diver’s watch in the 1950s. Today we see another World Ocean Day go by, a day that raises awareness about the world’s oceans, an awareness which should exist throughout the year. The house’s precious diving watches have been involved in major underwater discoveries of water worlds and wonders since its Fifty Fathoms collection was introduced in the 1950s. Since then the house has been committed to the exploration and protection of the oceans through its Blancpain Ocean Commitment Program.
The house this year has reinterpreted one of its historic timepieces, the Fifty Fathoms No-Rad, bringing the watch out in a limited edition of just 500 pieces. This diving instrument which emerged in the mid 1960s, had the characteristic feature of being stamped with a no radiations logo indicating that Blancpain was not using luminescent materials composed of radium, which in the 1960s was declared harmful to health. This Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad watch has a deep matt black dial that is punctuated with geometrical hour-markers, combining traditional round dots with rectangles and a diamond-shaped mark at 12 o’clock.
The watch is water-resistant to 300 meters and has a steel case measuring 40.3 mm, a diameter exclusive to limited edition Fifty Fathoms watches, Within is a self-winding Blancpain 1151 caliber movement and the watch has a potent power reserve of four days. The house is bringing to life a cult instrument from its past as a supplier to the navies of armed forces around the world. In 1953, French Combat Swimmers were the first to use the Fifty Fathoms for their underwater missions.
Last year the house of Blancpain brought out its Bathyscaphe Mokarran Limited Edition, a special watch dedicated to protecting the great hammerhead shark, Sphyrna mokarran. Brought out in a limited numbered edition of only fifty pieces it was sold exclusively in Blancpain boutiques in New York and Las Vegas, Each watch sold contributed 1,000 dollars to support the Mokarran Protection Society. The three-hand version of the Bathyscaphe Model Mokarran Limited Edition marked the introduction of a new color into the Fifty Fathoms watch collection. The watch is outfitted with a tropical green dial and is water-resistant to 300 meters.
In January of 2020, Blancpain President and CEO Marc A. Hayek traveled to French Polynesia to take part as a volunteer underwater videographer in a scientific expedition dedicated to the study of the seabed and the great hammerhead shark.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette