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A world-first complication engineered for tech divers
Inspired by the invaluable heritage of the 1953 Fifty Fathoms — the world's first modern diving watch — and, above all, by the brand's own underwater experiences and legacy, Blancpain has embarked on the design of a new mechanical diving instrument with world-renowned diver and underwater researcher Laurent Ballesta, built around a newly engineered automatic calibre capable of measuring immersions of up to three hours — the very first of its kind. Some five years in the making, the end result is the Fifty Fathoms "Tech Gombessa," the second act in a trilogy of editions celebrating the 70th anniversary of the original dive watch.
While the 1953 Fifty Fathoms satisfied the most experienced divers at the time, today's divers can now spend several hours underwater on highly technical closed-circuit dives and thus have new timekeeping requirements. Most immediately apparent of this, is how the rotating bezel on the Tech Gombessa no longer displays the traditional 60 minute counter found on the Fifty Fathoms, but rather a three-hour scale linked to a special hand that completes one full rotation every three hours — a complication devised around Blancpain's newest mechanical Calibre 13P8.
Another first for Blancpain, the central lug design integrates the strap directly to the case middle, shortening the lug-to-lug distance across the wrist, and enabling the 47mm Grade 23 titanium case to wear comfortably, be it over a wetsuit or over a bare wrist. The buckle features an extremely wide and ergonomic titanium pin designed to guarantee a secure fit to the wrist and facilitate the fastening of the extension.
In keeping with the traditions of the highly legible Fifty Fathoms, the dial of the Tech Gombessa retains optimum legibility in the dark, with a special 'absolute black' finish that captures almost 97% of available light. Its applied hour markers are designed as large luminescent blocks to further enhance readability.
On its reverse, the Tech Gombessa is finished with an exhibition caseback, and an anthracite-grey oscillating weight stamped with the Gombessa Expeditions logo and featuring large cutouts for admiring the movement, which meets the same reliability and strength criteria that have made the Fifty Fathoms the ultimate diver's watch for the past 70 years.
- Case: Grade 23 Titanium
- Case Diameter: 47mm
- Bezel: Uni-directional rotating with luminous sapphire insert
- Caliber Blancpain 13P8
- Automatic with three-hour closed-circuit dive timer
- Power reserve: 120 hours
- Silicon balance spring (Anti-magnetic)
- Dial: Vertically brushed grey
- Exhibition sapphire case back
- Water Resistance: 30 bar (300 meters)
- Thickness: 14.8mm
- Strap: Integrated black rubber with titanium inserts & optional wetsuit extension. Titanium pin buckle
Toppers is excited to offer a free extended warranty on the purchase of new watches. This warranty begins when the manufacturer's warranty runs out. As such, Topper Fine Jewelers will provide an additional non-transferable warranty for a period of one year.*
*Restrictions Apply. Service provided anywhere other than at Topper Fine Jewelers or a service center of the original manufacturer is not covered and shall void the warranty. Topper Fine Jewelers will have sole discretion to determine whether the work for the warranty will be performed "in house" by Topper Fine Jewelers or at a repair facility of our choice. The limited warranty does not cover bracelets, crystals, batteries, or any damage to the case or movement caused by moisture that might have entered the watch as a result of improper handling, nor does it apply, on a more general basis, if there is evidence of misuse or abuse. Only Topper Fine Jewelers will determine at its sole discretion to repair any watch under this warranty.