Blancpain Tribute To Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC: Malaysia Price And Review

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Blancpain pays tribute to an all-time classic.

For the unfamiliar, Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms was a pretty big deal back in the day. Introduced over 50 years ago, it was the first automatic dive watch to feature a rotating bezel. Developed for combat swimmers, the watch was designed by Captain Robert Maloubier and Lieutenant Claude Riffaud from the French Ministry of Defence after failing to find a watch capable of the extreme conditions of underwater missions.

After approaching Blancpain with a set of highly specific requirements, the Fifty Fathoms was born. Deriving its name from the water resistance guaranteed to a depth of 50 fathoms or 91.45 metres, the watch became famous for its MIL-SPEC 1 feature. If water made its way into the watch, a circular indicator on the dial at six o’clock would change colour. Another important feature includes its use of white luminescent indexes and hands on a contrasting black dial to increase its underwater visibility.

Blancpain Tribute To Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC
Fast-forward to 2017, the watch celebrates its 60th anniversary with the Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC that features a stainless steel 40mm case and convex uni-directional bezel coated in sapphire for scratch-resistance. Its matte black dial paired with the SuperLuminova indexes and hands offer a classic take, but the polished case and sapphire coated bezel adds a slightly modern appeal.

The all-important MIL-SPEC water indicator is half orange and half white, placed at six o’clock just like its predecessors. If even just the slightest amount of water seeps in, you’ll see the white turn reddish-orange. But with a water resistance of up to 300 metres, you’re unlikely to ever see that happen.

Blancpain Tribute To Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC

Powering this timepiece is the Calibre 1151, a 210-part in-house automatic movement that offers up to four days of power reserve. With its silicon balance spring, the movement is much lighter due to its lower density. The shock-resistance of silicon also makes it tougher. Featuring a solid gold winding rotor with a NAC coating (a platinum alloy), the movement is visible through the clear sapphire caseback (above).

We think the Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC is a tribute watch done right. Limited to 500 pieces, the watch looks good with either a NATO strap, sailcloth strap or even a steel bracelet (all of which are offered upon purchase). Its lovely detailing, friendly size and historical value make it a handsome watch that’s versatile enough for anyone.

Case

40mm steel

Dial

Matte black

Movement

Self-winding in-house Calibre 1151

Bracelet/Strap

NATO, sailcloth or steel bracelet

Functions

Hours, minutes, seconds, date, water resistance indicator

Power Reserve

96 hours

Price

Approximately RM83,600

Sim Wie Boon

Sim Wie Boon loves classy dress watches from timeless Swiss and Japanese marques. Wrist affections aside, he finds comfort in quiet rainy evenings with a hot cup of coffee and a stable internet connection.



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