Expert opinions: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe

Questions for expert watchmakers

One brand, one icon and three questions for expert watchmakers: in-depth insights into the universe of the legendary model Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe.

Nicolas Debaud
Head of Product Development at Blancpain

Nicolas Debaud

Julia Timak
Watchmaker Les Ambassadeurs Zurich

Julia Timak

How do the external parts contribute to the reliability of the timepiece?

Nicolas Debaud: Since it was re-introduced into the Fifty Fathoms collection in 2013, the Bathyscaphe has featured a ceramic bezel insert bonded with Liquidmetal ®. This combination guarantees greater consistency in terms of the diving time scale. The case has also been completed redesigned in ceramic. One of the advantages of using ceramic in diving watches is its marvellous anti-corrosion properties. It also ensures greater reliability, even in the most extreme conditions.

Julia Timak: It is a truly impressive model not only because it is directly inspired by the design of the original 1950s diving watch but also thanks to its extreme comfort on the wrist, which is chiefly due to its ceramic case. Ceramic is almost as hard and resistant as diamond, as well as being incredibly light. The silicon balance-spring ensures that the movement is completely protected from the effects of magnetic fields.

In what way does this version follow on from the brand’s historic models?

Nicolas Debaud: This model is directly inspired by the codes of the iconic model from the 1950s. However, its components benefit from the very latest technological advances. It differs from the original Fifty Fathoms (the first ever modern professional diving watches) by having a smaller diameter, which is better suited to everyday wear and use.

Julia Timak: Because it features all the key characteristics necessary for a diving watch. It also incorporates highly innovative state-of-the-art materials. Compared to its previous incarnations, this model offers increased water-resistance i.e. to 30 bars. All these features make it a perfect timepiece for daily wear.

In your opinion, what are the movement’s key features?

Nicolas Debaud: Accuracy, reliability and beauty. The three barrels of the 1315 calibre, featuring high-end finishes, guarantee the most constant power source possible over its five-day power reserve. Its silicon spiral balance-spring ensures regularity in terms of the oscillation frequency. By using silicon Blancpain has been able to remove the Faraday cage that was used to protect the movement from the effect of magnetic fields. A sapphire crystal case-back reveals the solid gold oscillating weight coated in NAC, which matches the hue of the case.

Julia Timak: Without hesitation, its silicon balance-spring and its 5-day power reserve. Another advantage of this model is that the NATO bracelets are incredibly easy to change, although, unfortunately, there are not many colours to choose from.