Fingers-on – Blancpain Fifty Fathoms “Nageurs de Fight” Restricted Version

Nice designs don’t age and this Blancpain Fifty Fathoms “Nageurs de Fight” resides proof of this reality. You’d assume that a watch that has been revisited so many instances since its first dive in 1953 would have misplaced its magic by now. Removed from it. Within the case of this Blancpain Fifty Fathoms “Nageurs de Fight” the magic is alive and kicking as a result of we’re a watch that goes proper again to the roots of the dive watch icon. Devoted readers of MONOCHROME might keep in mind when, again in 2014, the historical past of the Fifty Fathoms was revealed at size. However no higher event than this to refresh it.

TWO VISIONS, SAME NEEDS

Jean-Jacques Fiechter, Blancpain’s CEO on the time and a diving fanatic, acknowledged the necessity for a watch to assist divers, much more so after he practically drowned due to miscalculating the remaining oxygen in his tank. On the similar time Robert Maloubier, commanding officer of the French Nageurs de Fight (or Fight Divers) of the French Navy, additionally wanted a dive look ahead to his frogmen. After unsuccessful makes an attempt with a number of corporations, he bought wind that Blancpain was doing one thing comparable and approached the corporate along with his thought.

The unique Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, circa 1953

Collectively they outlined what options ought to seem on what is going to turn out to be the right look ahead to Maloubier’s underwater fight unit: the watch needed to glow at the hours of darkness (together with the seconds hand) and needed to be water resistant as much as a minimum of 50 fathoms (91 metres). The depth ranking they established would additionally turn out to be the identify of a watch that will pave the bottom for all different dive watches constructed from that second on.

Robert Maloubier, commanding officer of the French Nageurs de Fight, his Fifty Fathoms on the wrist.

The Fifty Fathoms was powered with an computerized motion and featured the all-important rotating bezel to time immersions. The Navy was joyful and so was Blancpain, and through the years they noticed the watch turn out to be a legend. This Blancpain Fifty Fathoms “Nageurs de Fight” is a manner of thanking these underwater commandos.

A FITTING HOMAGE

The Fifty Fathoms “Nageurs de Fight” pays tribute to the lads whose wants result in the creation of this watch.

The metal case of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Nageurs de Fight Restricted Version is the bigger model of this watch, at 45mm in diameter and 15.70mm in peak. It comes with a brushed end all through. It’s huge, however not rather more than the unique, which hit the 42mm diameter mark. Because of the curved sapphire bezel and the dominant presence of black, I’ve to confess that, on the wrist, it doesn’t look as huge as what’s claimed on paper. Immediately the watch is able to fathoming higher depths and may attain 164 fathoms, or 300 metres.

The bezel of this contemporary Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is a node to the unique, with a sapphire crystal that protects it in opposition to put on and tear – major distinction is that, on the unique mannequin, this bezel was bakelite. It consolidates the gorgeous retro look that we’ve additionally seen on one other vintage-inspired Fifty Fathoms this yr; the great-looking Barakuda (which you’ll be able to see with stay photos right here) and likewise on certainly one of my private favourites; the 2017 Mil-Spec (right here on stay pics).

On the dial of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms “Nageurs de Fight”, there’s a refined element that reveals its origin; an enormous 7 beneath the identify of the watch that may solely be seen when the sunshine hits it on the proper angle. It refers back to the most depth (7 metres) divers can face up to respiration pure oxygen. Oxygen is likely to be an important element of life, however it is usually a robust oxidant that turns into extraordinarily poisonous after the 7-metre mark. That’s the reason why divers use a combination of various gasses.

The indexes and fingers, distinctive to this Fifty Fathoms “Nageurs de Fight” (and tremendously taking part to the navy design of this watch), are handled with Tremendous-LumiNova, as are the markings on the bezel. This ensures flawless legibility underwater or once we get up in the course of the evening – sure, this watch will more than likely be used as a desk-diver greater than a real diving instrument.

EXCELLENT CALIBRE

Powering the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms “Nageurs de Fight” is calibre 1315, a far cry from the unique. It’s, actually, a state-of-the-art motion oscillating at 4Hz and outfitted with no fewer than three barrels coupled in sequence, to maintain the watch ticking throughout 120 hours (5 days). The hairspring inside is manufactured from non-magnetic, shock-resistant silicon and it additionally includes a free-sprung stability wheel.

The calibre, nonetheless, can’t be seen as it’s coated by a plain metal case again with a stamped aid that depicts the official French Fight Diver Qualification Badge with two winged seahorses over an anchor, together with the particular version quantity, x/300.

ON THE WRIST

I stated earlier than that the watch feels smaller; nearer to 42mm than 45mm. I can’t recall a diver from Blancpain that doesn’t match nicely on a wrist (besides the behemoth X Fathoms you could see right here), and the current “Nageurs de Fight” is not any exception. It additionally has fairly a sober presence, which extends the wearability of the watch – aside from the Blancpain engraving on the case-band.

Value and availability

In case you are on this Blancpain Fifty Fathoms “Nageurs de Fight” (reference 5015E-1130-B52A), I recommend you strategy your boutique quick as a result of it isn’t going to be round for lengthy – the watch is restricted to 300 items. Its worth is EUR 14,710.

Extra data at Blancpain.com.

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