Blancpain and Swatch have collaborated to create “playful” and “unexpected” versions of the Fifty Fathoms to mark the 70th anniversary of what Blancpain bills as the first true diver’s watch.
The non-limited (yay!) Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms collection comprises five pieces, faithfully reproduced to incorporate all the characteristics of the Swiss luxury watchmaker’s Fifty Fathoms range and Swatch’s Scuba watch line-up. Drawing inspiration from the deep seas, each model celebrates one of the five oceans and the magnificent, colourful animals that dwell their depths.
Celebrating the icy waters of the smallest ocean on Earth, a special symbol has been applied to the Arctic Ocean derivative’s contrasting beige-coloured dial. The symbol? A red trefoil on a yellow background, replete with a white cross cutting through it. The words “No radiations” have been placed boldy below the yellow logo as a nod to the legendary Fifty Fathoms heritage and the rich history of diver’s watches from the 1960s. A coveted detail among watch collectors, the symbol was used by Blancpain when the Le Brassus-based brand launched the world’s first-ever diver’s watch without radium.
Measuring 42.3 mm in diameter, this reference’s Bioceramic case — coupled with a NATO strap fashioned from recycled fishing nets — houses a SISTEM51 mechanical movement with a 90-hour autonomy. Water resistance is rated at 300 ft (91 metres).
Inspired by the vibrant colours of the Chromodoris Kuiteri, a species of colourful sea slug found in the Pacific, the largest and deepest of the five oceans, this variant features a 42.3 mm, bright yellow-orange Bioceramic case, coupled with a NATO strap. The black-and-white-gradient dial features a date window between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers. A SISTEM51 movement is present.
ATLANTIC OCEAN Paying tribute to the stormy seas and raging waves of the Atlantic, the Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Atlantic Ocean features deep shades of blue. The same hue — inspired by Glaucus Atlanticus, a species of small, blue sea slug — has been applied to this piece’s Bioceramic case and gradient dial, the latter of which features a date indicator between 4 and 5 o’clock.
Sporting an energetic green Bioceramic case and dial, replete with date window, this model — inspired by the Indian Ocean — evokes images of lush, dazzling water. According to the brands, the constrasting hues give rise to images of the coral reefs’ abundant marine life, including the Nembrotha Kubaryana. Like the sea creatures serving inspiration for this piece’s stablemates, an image of the variable neon slug can be found on the transparent case back.
This piece celebrates what’s arguably one of the most extreme environments on planet Earth, the Antarctic Ocean. This Blancpain-Swatch model features a dual-colour water-contact indicator, which detects the presence of water (or in the case of the ocean it takes inspiration from — icy water). The latter is positioned at the 6 o’clock marker of the cool grey dial. Like its siblings, this timepiece features a sea creature on its transparent case back. Here, it is the Tritoniella Belli, who’s “mysterious” shape resembles an iceberg battered by storm waves.