Going back to your past and revisiting it is sometimes the right thing to do as it brings you closer to your roots and what made you in the first place. Blancpain is turning back the pages in its history by making a modern-day reinterpretation of its Fifty Fathoms “no radiations” timepiece. It is a historical watch, and the German Navy’s Combat Swimmers used this mid-1960s diving instrument. The watch had a “no radiations” logo stamped onto it, and it meant that Blancpain was not using luminescent materials composed of radium. This was the crucial element in the success of this watch, and the subsequent iterations have formed the now-iconic Fifty Fathoms models.
From the early 1960s, radium was used in watchmaking, but with its harmful properties, the Fifty Fathoms watches were declared radium free. That is why professional divers preferred it. This soon became a famous symbol, and it consisted of three red segments on a yellow background with a black cross was accompanied by the words “no radiations.”
The new 500-piece limited edition watch series aims to honor the Fifty Fathoms No Rad collection, and design-wise it is a wonderful ode to its past. The talking point here is the matt deep black dial with geometrical hour-markers, additional round dots and rectangles, and a diamond-shaped mark at 12 o’clock. The vintage indicators wearing the orange hue also find a place on the new model with the chapter ring, the hands, and the time scale on the bezel featuring an “old radium” look.
Further details include a date aperture at the 3 o’clock position, which is highlighted by a white rim and seen on one of the 1960s models. The yellow and red “no radiations” logo remains the most distinctive part on the dial. It has a unidirectional rotating bezel and is fitted with a sapphire insert. This watch is always water-resistant at up-to 300 meters while it has a steel case that measures 40.3 mm. This diameter is exclusive to limited-edition Fifty Fathoms watches. It also houses Blancpain Calibre 1151, a self-winding movement equipped with a silicon balance spring, and is equipped with a four-day power reserve. Its two barrels are wound by a rotor with a cartouche-shaped aperture- again, a nod to the very first Fifty Fathoms collection. Like the earlier watch, the new one comes with a strap, a durable rubber material, something very popular with divers back in the day because of its durability and comfort.
Hence, with such history and a classic design that celebrates the past, the $14,100 seems quite reasonable for any collector, especially those with a penchant for dive watches! This watch is limited to 500-pieces only and will undoubtedly attain the same collector status as its predecessors.