Blancpain Fifty Fathoms at Baselworld 2017
With the limited-edition "Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC", Blancpain lays claim to having released one of the most buzz-worthy watches of Baselworld (covered here by our friends at aBlogtoWatch), but there were also other noteworthy Fifty Fathom offerings on display at the show. These included a pair of 38mm Bathyscaphes, and an all-new 5015 Fifty Fathoms in a 45mm titanium case with blue dial and a display caseback.
New Titanium 5015 Fifty Fathoms
As a reminder, the current 45mm Fifty Fathoms in steel comes with a solid caseback with variations on case finish and dial color. The black dial variant features a polished case, and the blue dial options comes with a brushed case finish and an elaborate blue flinqué dial. The new blue titanium reference carries the same 300m water resistance, 45mm case, and 23mm lug width, yet weighs around 30-40% less than the steel variant, and increases slightly in thickness from 15.4mm thick to 15.5mm.
The new blue titanium model is also different from the blue steel model in that it has doesn't feature the flinqué dial, but as mentioned, gains an exhibition caseback through which the 1315 calibre is visible. This three-barrel movement uses a silicon hairspring, delivers a five-day power reserve, and is easily recognizable with Blancpain's unique platinum alloy-coated gold rotor. The new titanium 5015 Fifty Fathoms will be available on both a NATO-style and sail cloth strap options, each for $15,700.
The new 45mm titanium with blue dial variant, and the steel 45mm option in the background.
Visible through the clear sapphire case back of new titanium model is the solid gold and platinum alloy coated rotor.
Here's a friendly reminder with the steel variant (note the more elaborate blue flinqué dial) on how that 45mm case looks on the wrist
The 38mm Bathyscaphe
The 38mm Bathyscaphe is proof that Blancpain has been listening to its fans who crave smaller offerings. Many people who come in the store love the 43mm Bathyscaphe models but felt they looked a little too large. The new 38mm dial options are blue and meteor grey. As a more trim diver at 10.77mm thick with 20mm lugs, this Bathyscaphe uses the same 1150 calibre as the new Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC, which is designed to fit smaller cases. It features a 4-day rather than the 5-day reserve of the 1315, but it does have the same silicon hairspring and aforementioned gold rotor.. The 38mm Bathyscaphe is available on either NATO-style or sailcloth straps, each for $9,500.
Limited Edition Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC
Though it's already had a tremendous amount of coverage (aBlogtoWatch, Hodinkee, etc.), my favorite watch of all from Baselworld 2017 is Blancpain's limited edition Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC. It is an homage the original UDT-issued Fifty Fathoms of the late 1950's. A then unique feature, that originated on that watch, was the moisture indicator at 6:00 on the dial. It has now been reproduced in working form for the modern version. Basically, if the water tightness of the case is compromised, the white portion of the indicator changes to red to alert of an ingress. Here's a video we shot at Baselworld showing how the indicator works. At 40mm in width and 13.23mm thick, the high polish case features a display case back and is significantly smaller than other Fifty Fathoms models.
This watch is limited to 500 pieces and is priced at $14,100 on either the NATO or the sail cloth, and $16,200 on the bracelet.
Below are some wrist shots with the two strap and one bracelet options. I have a seven inch wrist, and while the standard Fifty Fathoms looks great on my larger brother, this is the first piece in the line that I can really pull off.
A close-up view of the water-tightness indicator at 6:00 on the dial.
The smaller sized Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC wears comfortably on a 7 inch wrist.
The Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC on the stainless steel bracelet option.The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.