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Blancpain - The New Fifty Fathoms

Blancpain The New Fifty Fathoms

At the Cannes International Boatshow, the Manufacture unveiled the first ten watches of a brand-new Fifty Fathoms model.

Press release


Blancpain is proud to be taking part for the 6th year in the Cannes International Boatshow. On this auspicious occasion, the Manufacture in Le Brassus is launching the first ten watches of a brand-new Fifty Fathoms model – a Flyback Chronograph with Complete Calendar and Moon Phases. With this exceptional new timepiece, Blancpain is not only broadening the range of its daring sporty creations, but also underscoring its attachment to the maritime world.


The latest newcomer to the Fifty Fathoms line is driven by a complex 448-part movement featuring a series of innovations developed by Blancpain. The complete calendar and the moon phase are associated with Calibre F185 which gives users exceptional freedom to modify each indication at any time of the day or night. Generally speaking, complete calendar and moon phase mechanisms prohibit any adjustment of the displays during certain periods of time, since such corrections might damage the delicate calendar components. Blancpain has provided an innovative response to this issue in the form of a unique construction that means the owner of the watch no longer needs to worry about finding the right time to adjust the calendar indications. Better still, the operation itself is facilitated by the under-lug correctors, another Blancpain patented innovation. This device makes it possible to perform the corrections with a fingertip, rather than needing to resort to a pointed instrument specifically designed for this purpose.

The mechanical heart of this Blancpain chronograph consists of a classic flyback movement controlled by a column wheel and a vertical coupling-clutch. The 45mm-diameter stainless steel case is fitted with a unidirectional blue sapphire crystal bezel and a matching dial.

The Fifty Fathoms was born in 1953 from the encounter between Blancpain and two officers – Captain Robert “Bob” Maloubier and Lieutenant Claude Riffaud – who were entrusted by the French Ministry of Defence with creating an elite “Combat Divers” unit. The model proved its worth by successfully facing up to the extreme conditions characteristic of underwater missions. The water resistance of the original model, guaranteed to a depth of 50 fathoms (equivalent to 91.45 metres) and equipped with a unique one-way rotating bezel system, gave its name to this mechanical masterpiece that rapidly asserted itself as the archetypal modern, reliable and sturdy diver's watch.

Blancpain has consistently paid tribute to its historical ties with the maritime world. In 2007, the Manufacture in Le Brassus chose the setting of the Cannes International Boatshow to launch its “new wave” Fifty Fathoms. Last year, Blancpain created a series dedicated to sea-lovers: the now famous 500 Fathoms. And now in 2010, with the introduction of its new Fifty Fathoms Flyback Chronograph with Complete Calendar and Moon Phases, Blancpain's history is once again being written in… navy blue!



Blancpain and the maritime wolrd, a multi-facetted association

The creation in 1953 of the Fifty Fathoms, the first modern diver's watch, marked the start of the special relationship that Blancpain enjoys with the maritime world. Over the years, several partnerships of various types have strengthened the ties uniting the brand from Le Brassus with the countless worldwide devotees of the aquatic universe.

Blancpain's immersion into the maritime world dates back to 1952, when it was commissioned to create a reliable and rugged diver's watch for the French Navy. It immediately rose to the challenge, as the watch manufacturer's watchmakers and engineers pulled out all the stops in order to produce by 1953 a mechanical masterpiece that was to assert itself as the archetypal modern diver's watch.
Water-resistant to a depth 50 fathoms (91.45 metres), the Fifty Fathoms was rapidly adopted by professionals involved in underwater expeditions. Ever since, Blancpain has regularly improved the performances of this iconic model within its range. In 2003, the water resistance of the watch was guaranteed to 300 metres, and then all the way down to 1,000 metres in 2009 with the launch of the 500 Fathoms.



The reliability and the quality of Blancpain diver's watches are regularly put to the test by the Italian freediving champion and multiple record-holder Gianluca Genoni. Blancpain's ongoing partnership with this brilliant athlete dates back to 2007, when he took part in the launch of a new Fifty Fathoms in the company of Marc A. Hayek, President and CEO of the watch manufacturer and himself a dedicated diving enthusiast. In early October 2010, Gianluca Genoni will once again push back his own limits in order to set a new record, when he attempts an apnea dive to below 200 metres, equipped with his Bancpain 500 Fathoms.

Since 2008, Blancpain has also been associated with the various programmes of the Ecole Bleue diving academy in Monaco. Blancpain's support enables this association to educate public opinion and raise awareness of the importance of preserving coastal areas and sea-beds. Among other activities, the Ecole Bleue organises diving courses for the up-and-coming generation, thus enabling them to discover the richness and beauty of the Mediterranean and to become aware of the sea's vital role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem.

Blancpain's enduring interest in the underwater world is coupled with an authentic passion for the sailing universe, materialized since 2000 through its association with the Monaco Yacht Show, and then in 2005 with the Cannes International Boat and Yacht Show – two of the world's major events in this domain. Blancpain shares with prestigious boat-builders and yachting devotees a number of core values – including precision, keen aesthetic tastes and an art of living – that are admirably embodied and celebrated through these two partnerships.

The 2010 Cannes International Boat and Yacht Show is also to serve as the setting for the launch of the third volume of the Fifty Fathoms Edition. Initiated by Blancpain in 2008, this project spanning 12 years and 12 books provides a magnificent field of expression for both professional and amateur underwater photographers. These editions issued in limited print runs feature extraordinarily high-quality visual representations of the underwater world. Enthusiasts can purchase them via the www.edition-fifty-fathoms.com website.

FIFTY FATHOMS, Complete Calendar Flyback Chronograph, moon phases, under-lug correctors, blue dial, one-way rotating bezel, self-winding

Caliber: 66BF8
Thickness: 7,50 mm
Diameter: 32,00 mm
Power-reserve in hours: 40
Jewels: 37
Components: 448
Limited edition of: -

Thickness: 17,40mm
Diameter: 45,00mm
Water-resistance: 30 bars
Sapphire crystal back: yes
Interhorn space: 23,00 mm
Carat weight: -


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