The Swatch group was certainly missed at the recently concluded Baselworld event and since then people have been eagerly awaiting the giant watch conglomerates next move. The wait is finally over now as several Swatch group brands have taken the wraps off their new 2019 models and today we are taking a brief look at one of Blancpain’s stunning new release’s the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda. Featuring a bucket load of vintage charm in a good wearable size, this is perhaps as old school as a modern version of an iconic dive watch can look like.
The dial on the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda is a sea of faux patina and like it or not but it looks stunning (at least in pictures). Dominating the dial is a combination of rectangular and square shaped custard colored lume strips which are meant to evoke the radium look found on the 1960’s version of the same watch. The beige color provides a great contrast against the black background and to make things interesting Blancpain has also added a splash of red behind every hour marker. The minute track has been presented in the form of printed white hash marks and time can be read easily using the nicely proportioned handset. The hour and minute hands are sword-shaped which combined along with the arrow tipped seconds hand have been filled with aged superluminova to help with low light visibility. Completing the dial is a date window at 3.
Made from stainless steel the case on the Barakuda has a diameter of 40mm. This, in my opinion, is the perfect size for a vintage-inspired dive watch and should sit comfortably on a variety of wrist sizes. It has been nicely finished and features chunky lugs to give the watch added masculinity. The lugs have also been drilled to make life comfortable for those who want to switch straps. Sitting on top of the case is the domed sapphire bezel which emits a retro vibe and has been an integral part of the Fifty Fathoms design since its inception. There is also a domed sapphire crystal on the front which as the pictures show distorts a little towards the outside akin to plexiglass crystals from the past. The case is water resistant to 300 meters courtesy of the threaded crown at 3.
Powering this watch is the Frederic Piguet automatic Caliber 1151. This movement operates at a frequency of 4Hz and offers an impressive power reserve of 95 hours using two barrels. It has been nicely decorated with Geneva striping on the bridges and features an 18k gold rotor and can be admired through the sapphire exhibition case back.
In all the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda is a great looking watch that showcases how a vintage-inspired/reissue watch should be executed. The watch would come attached to a vintage style textured rubber strap and would retail at a price of CHF 13,200. It is also worth noting that production is limited to just 500 pieces so you better act fast as this is bound to sell like hotcakes.