Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC "Only Watch unique piece"

This year, the Manufacture is again presenting a one-of-a-kind model on the occasion of the Only Watch charity auction to be held in Geneva at 2.30 pm on November 11th 2017. A timepiece directly inspired by the new Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC model presented at Baselworld this year.

The Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC "Only Watch unique piece" is equipped with self-winding caliber 1151, comprising 210 components notably including two series-coupled mainspring barrels ensuring a four-day power reserve. Nestling in a 40 mm-diameter stainless steel case, the movement is visible through the transparent sapphire case back that also reveals the solid gold winding rotor with an NAC coating (a ruthenium-based alloy), bearing the Blancpain logo as well as the “Only Watch” logo marking this occasion.

This timepiece features the entire set of diving watch characteristics, as established by the original 1953 Fifty Fathoms and subsequently adopted by the entire watch industry. For this one-of-a-kind model, the black dial features indexes and hands in yellow Super-LumiNova®. These elements recall the designs of the 1950s MIL-SPEC 1. The date is also yellow and the water-resistance indicator once again appears at 6 o’clock. The black unidirectional rotating bezel, also bearing luminescent yellow markings, is topped by a scratch-resistant sapphire ring, an innovative feature serving to protect it from wear and introduced by Blancpain in 2003 with the 50th Anniversary Fifty Fathoms. This unique piece, water-resistant to 30 bar, which is equivalent to approximately 300 meters, will be auctioned with a NATO strap.

The original Fifty Fathoms model launched in 1953 by Jean-Jacques Fiechter, Blancpain’s CEO at the time, was the first modern diving watch. This timepiece was worn by the French Navy’s combat swimmers corps in the early 1950s. Keenly aware that a diver’s life directly depends upon the reliable operation of his watch, Jean-Jacques Fiechter decided to endow this model with an additional feature: a water-resistance indicator. If any liquid were by chance to seep into the watch case, a disk at 6 o’clock would signal the problem by changing from white to red. This timepiece, named the Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC 1, was adopted by the American Navy in 1957-58.


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