This 500-piece limited-edition model inspired by a Blancpain diver's watch from the 1970s is characterised by a gradient-coloured sandy beige dial featuring a sunburst pattern. This nuance evokes the desert, and more specifically Death Valley in the US, where Ernest H Brooks II, pioneer of underwater photography and contributor to the Edition Fifty Fathoms project, made a spectacular dive in 1962.
“It’s unbelievable how hot the sun blazes at seven o'clock in the morning in infamous Death Valley. We could already feel the hot sand under our feet as we set off to dive, says Brooks. The dive he is referring to is Devils Hole, an underwater chasm that plunges into the bowels of the earth at a depth of more than 120m before opening out into a gigantic underwater river. Devils Hole is also the exclusive home of a seriously endangered species of fish, Cyprinodon diabolis, of which Brooks took the first pictures.
The new desert-coloured Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date is for adventurers, enthusiasts and creative minds. In the 1970s, Blancpain's own innovative mindset led the brand to break with the traditional aesthetic codes of the Bathyscaphe models by producing a series of pieces featuring a cushion-shaped case, an inner rotating ring —replacing the conventional outer rotating bezel — a gradient-coloured grey dial and the day of the week and date indication.
The dial of the Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition adopts this style, which it combines for the first time with a subtle gradation of sandy beige, a hue that is new to the collection. Its shades and sunburst finish endow it with remarkable clarity, while its boldly sized rectangular hour-markers guarantee instant readability of the information displayed.
A chapter ring punctuated with Arabic numerals marks the five-minute intervals while evoking the inner rotating ring of the 1970s watch. Just as on the period timepiece, the date and day of the week windows are located at three o'clock. The hands are coated with Super-LumiNova and feature the same baton-shaped design as earlier Bathyscaphe models. The dial of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition is enhanced by a unidirectional rotating bezel with a brown ceramic insert and Liquidmetal hour-markers.
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Though this new model has a vintage look, its mechanism is resolutely modern. Housed in a 43mm satin-brushed steel case and water-resistant to 30 bar (about 300m), the manufacture-made 1315DD movement offers all the performance attributes essential to a diver's watch. It also features a five-day power reserve, which is particularly useful in daily life.
Another big asset is its balance fitted with a silicon balance-spring, a guarantee of accuracy and resistance to magnetic fields. The sapphire crystal caseback of the watch allows you to admire the finishes of this top-of-the-range movement, including its gold oscillating weight coated with an NAC treatment, giving it added character.
Issued in a 500-piece limited series, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition model comes with a sandy-coloured sail canvas strap matching the warm tones of the dial.
For more information, visit www.blancpain.com.
* This article was paid for by Blancpain.