Introducing The New Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Titanium 43mm Watch

Blancpain adds a super lightweight diver to the Fifty-Fathoms Bathyscaphe range.


Blancpain’s Fifty-Fathoms Bathyscaphe is an excellent tool watch, although the folks at Blancpain probably wouldn’t describe it like that. Where the regular Fifty-Fathoms is a big and chunky watch with a polished case and domed sapphire bezel, the Fifty-Fathoms Bathyscaphe is a more down-to-earth watch with a flat and narrow bezel and clean dial.

It’s also been host to a myriad of intriguing complications, although we’re keeping things simple for this watch in particular.

This watch’s main draw is its case material. It measures 43mm in diameter and is made of titanium with an optional matching stainless steel multi-link bracelet, and it has a 300m water resistance rating. The titanium used is not the standard grade 5 titanium we see in other watches. The watch is made of grade 23 titanium which, slightly bizarrely, is not 18 grades above grade 5, but instead, it’s the next level up. It’s purer than grade 5 titanium, used in aircraft components and marine parts. Grade 23 titanium has a higher resistance to damage which is why it’s often used in medical applications such as orthopaedic devices and surgical staples. I couldn’t say precisely how much better than grade 5 titanium it is, however.

The dial is coloured anthracite grey and has a vertical brushed finish with applied markers and plenty of SuperLumiNova. Said lume appears to be coloured like it’s patinated. Whether you think fauxtina is a good thing or not is up to you. A date window has been fitted at 4.30, I’m not sure what’s stopping Blancpain from putting it at 6 O’clock, but it’s not offputting where it is. Wrapped around the dial and crystal is a unidirectional rotating bezel suitable for diving. It’s a Liquidmetal bezel, which means it’s a ceramic base with the numbers cut out and melted metal forced in, bonding the two materials to become one bezel. It was developed by Blancpain’s Swatch Group cousin Omega for their Seamaster Planet Ocean, but it’s not a detriment to this watch in the slightest.

Inside the Bathyscaphe is calibre 1315, an in-house made self-winding movement. Blancpain’s movements for its watches are remarkably well specced for the watches they’re put in. The folks in Le Brassus go to town on them. This one’s been endowed with three barrels and a 120-hour power reserve, a 4Hz beat rate and a Glucydur free-sprung balance wheel with excellent resistance to shocks as well as fluctuations in temperature and magnetic fields.

They also have a very high grade of finishing, much higher than some other watches in its price range, which starts at CHF10,800 for the watch on a sailcloth or Nato strap, or CHF13,200 with a titanium bracelet.

Find out more about the grades of titanium here.

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