INTRODUCING: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph
The refined dive watch is enriched with new colours and materials.
If you are in the market for a dive watch that doubles up as a daily beater for business and casual engagements, you will do well to keep Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe on your radar. Now, you have more reasons to take a gander at the Flyback Chronograph model with two new variants in grade 23 titanium and 18K red gold.
While we admire the original Fifty Fathom’s tool-watch machismo – it was, after all, a military-grade, combat-ready timekeeper made for the French frogmen unit in the 1950s – the Bathyscaphe’s pared-down design and smaller dimensions present an attractive proposition as a civilian ticker that works beautifully in and out of water. But, of course, it also doesn’t hurt that the latter retains much of the forbear’s features that are essential for modern dive watches, such as optimum underwater visibility with luminescent display, top-notch water resistance, and a rotating bezel for tracking dive times.
But one need not be a diving expert to appreciate the versatility of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe’s timeless design. Following its revival in 2013 as a simple time-and-date model, the Bathyscaphe has gone on to adopt complications, including annual calendar and complete calendar, without compromising its refined yet utilitarian aesthetic codes. The Flyback Chronograph version here is no exception.
Resplendent, whether in precious or robust alloys, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph is now also available in grade 23 titanium and 18K red gold. The former, also known as grade 5 ELI (extra low interstitials), is especially noteworthy as it is the purest type of titanium available. Containing less oxygen than conventional titanium used in watchmaking, it boasts greater resistance to breakage and corrosion.
Complementing this uncommon case metal are an anthracite dial with sunburst finishing and a unidirectional rotating bezel with a matching ceramic insert with Liquidmetal markers. On the other hand, the 18K red gold model contrasts the warmth of the precious metal with a cool blue dial and matching ceramic bezel with Ceragold markers. Both variants come with a choice of NATO or sailcloth strap; however, the grade 23 titanium version is also available with a titanium bracelet.
Water-resistant to 300m, the 43mm case of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph is fitted with the Calibre F385, which has a 50-hour power reserve. Beating at 5Hz (36,000vph), the automatic movement is capable of measuring elapsed times of up to 1/10th of a second, and its column wheel and vertical clutch design enable smooth operations of its chronograph mechanism. In addition, its inertia-regulated balance wheel with a silicon balance spring ensures optimal chronometric precision.
The practicality of the full grade 23 titanium Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph would make it a shoo-in for most. Still, we also reckon the regal combination of 18K red gold and royal blue is too good to pass up. Whatever your choice, this is a luxury sporty timepiece that suits any occasion.
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