Bucherer is an enormously important part of the watch industry, it plays the role of the middle-man between the manufacturer and the end customer, smoothing out the buying experience and processing payment. Having been going since 1888, I’d say they’re experts at it by now at least and have formed many strong brand relationships in part thanks to their long list of acquisitions including but not limited to Torneau and The Watch Gallery. Blue is the central theme of Bucherer and has been featured on many special edition watches made exclusively for the retailer. The latest in that long line of colourful editions is Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe watch, a watch which surprised me earlier this year with how comfy and practical it is. This new watch gets the full blue treatment and then some, with a blue dial, blue bezel, blue case and blue rotor as well. The solid 18k gold rotor is attractively finished and is sat on top of Blancpain’s calibre F385, a modern and interesting alternative with a high-speed 5Hz balance that provides a good alternative to Zenith’s El Primero movement. It’s also worth noting that this watch features a chronograph too, which is no ordinary chronograph, but one that sports a column wheel and vertical clutch. These make operating it smoother and less jerky, as well as allowing the chronograph to be left running all the time without any risk of damage. The power reserve on this movement is 50 hours.
However, Blancpain’s technical expertise isn’t limited to the high tech movement on the inside. The 43.6mm case is made of solid ceramic which is completely blue all over. Much like Swatch sister Omega’s Planet Ocean Deep Black watches, all parts including the lugs, crown and chronograph pushers are solid blue ceramic, no PVD coating here thankfully. To break up this blue theme, the grips on the unidirectional rotating diver’s bezel are left silver, this is the only part of the case which where we are not sure if it’s steel with a blue insert or blue ceramic with a coloured edge, either way, it provides a pleasing break from all the blueness.
Connected to the blue watch is a blue sailcloth strap, a material which is known for being hard wearing and very resistant to the elements, as it needs to be considering it’s potentially going out to sea, it fits well with this watch. When Blancpain brought out the Fifty Fathoms in 1953, it was a military issue watch, so in 1956 they brought out the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe which was intended for the civilian market. I’m glad to see this is still of real importance to the company, as it provides an entirely different look to the huge and rounded Fifty Fathoms we all know and love. Coupled with this blue, it looks sensational. The retail price of this watch is €17,620, only available through Bucherer, of course. Visit Blancpain & Bucherer.