When talking divers’ watches the Fifty Fathoms usually ranks up quite prominent in the discussion, probably right after the Submariner. And deservedly so, as the launch of Blancpain’s icon in 1953 marked the start of the modern divers’ watch. While the model was successful and adopted by many professional (military) divers, the quartz crisis caused Blancpain to cease production in the early 1980’s, only to be reintroduced in 2003 when Blancpain was successful again in the hands of the Swatch Group.
So 2023 marks two important anniversaries: the 70th birthday of the historical Fifty Fathoms and 20 years of the modern interpretation that we know today. Time to dive into this versatile watch from an illustrious brand. Today we highlight a recent model, the Bathyscape Quantieme Complet.
Launched in 2022, the Quantieme Complet is a great example of the versatility of the model. The Bathyscape is historically the smaller, more contemporary and less “toolish” line of the Fifty Fathoms. Probably less attractive for diver purists, but more diverse in variation and complication. Over the years Blancpain has also used the Bathyscape line to introduce different materials and colours, and the Quantieme Complet is a good example.
The reference 5054 is cased in a 43mm brushed titanium case and the 5054-3642 is red gold. Both have the 6654.P caliber, involving a complete calendar and displaying weekday, date, month and a moon phase. The titanium version has a sunburst antracite dial and a brushed ceramic bezel. All combined it gives a monochromatic presence that is very specific and makes the Bathyscape stand out from its competitors. The watch comes on a titanium bracelet, a NATO-strap or a sailcloth strap.
The rose gold Quantieme Complet treats us with a more flashy presence. The combination of the case, the rose gold bezel with blue ceramic inlay and the sunburst blue gradient dial makes the watch more extravert and luxurious, but also even more distanced from the original diving concept. Not wrong per se, as the main audience of Blancpain won’t be hardcore divers and appreciate the status and looks as such.
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms turns 70 this year, and 20 if we consider the modern, 21st century era. A milestone for an important, versatile and very contemporary model line for the brand from Le Brassus. In several acts celebrations will take place and new watches will be launched throughout the year. We will follow it closely and report.