Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback: Singapore Price And ReviewWritten by Alvin Wong
Big dive cred in a captivating shade of marine green.
Whatever your tastes and style preferences in dive watches – retro, contemporary, utilitarian, casual… the list goes on for the mind-boggling variety available to watch lovers today – all roads lead back to the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. After all, it IS the mother of all contemporary dive watches.
Launched in 1953, the first Fifty Fathoms addressed the call of the French frogmen unit for military-grade, underwater-ready wristwatches. And the watch’s specs certainly lived up to the billing. The original sported a highly legible dial with luminescent hands and markers that were readable even deep underwater, an outer rotating bezel to measure remaining dive times and, most importantly, water resistance of up to 91.45m (or a depth of 50 fathoms, a unit of measurement used by marine professionals to measure water depth). These high-performance features that emphasised safety, functionality and water resistance were even later mirrored by the ISO 6425 standard for dive watches that was established decades later in 1996.
Naturally, the evolution of the Fifty Fathoms over the decades has resulted in consistently improved functionality and sophistication. The new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback, for one, demonstrates how far the collection has come in both areas of substance and style.
The ‘Bathyscaphe’ descriptor refers to a line of Fifty Fathoms introduced in 2013 that features retro design-inspired elements, distinguished by a slimmer unidirectional bezel, thick oblong hands with a fine tip, and tapered quarter indicators and dot-style markers – a look that lends well to its small repertoire of three-hand models for both gents and ladies, as well as chronographs.
This year’s green-hued Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback is actually an update of a model issued back in 2014 with black ceramic case, bezel and dial.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback
And like before, this year’s version is clad in a ceramic case and bezel with liquid metal inserts and markers. On the inside is the automatic Calibre F385, flyback chronograph movement that was built by Blancpain from the ground-up and debuted in the original Fifty Fathoms Bathyscape Chronographe Flyback. Beating at a high frequency of 36,000 vph for greater timekeeping precision, the movement comes with silicon hairspring for magnetic resistance, column wheel control for smooth chronograph activation, and offers up to 50 hours of power reserve on a full wind. Paired with the watch’s dive-ready features like 300m water resistance, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback guarantees technical muscle.
Spiked with generous shots of green on the ceramic bezel and accompanied by a gradated sunburst treatment on the dial, the 2020 Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback is certainly a more flamboyant cousin compared to its predecessor, not to mention very on-trend with its emerald hues that are seen on many watches this year.
But lest you think that Blancpain is jumping on some style bandwagon, the brand explains that the green tone is inspired by the natural colours of the sea, which, contrary to what many believe, is more green than blue. The perception of blue seas, it says, comes from the clear water reflecting the colours of the sky. Marine waters actually contain algae and plankton, which result in swathes of translucent green when captured on camera. Regardless, the watch’s nod to its marine spirit, while meaningful, also does the job of eliciting second glances very well.
|43.60 mm satin-brushed black ceramic|
Self-winding Calibre F385
NATO or sail canvas strap.
|Hours, minutes, seconds, date, flyback chronograph|
Alvin promises not to be a douche when talking about watches. He may have scoured the Basel and Geneva watch fairs for the past 15 years, and played an instrumental role to the growth of Singapore's pioneering horological and men's lifestyle publications, but the intrepid scribe seeks to learn something new with each story he writes.