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3 weeks agoupdated Jul 02, 2024

Blancpain Goes Full Ceramic with New Bathyscaphe Watch

The deep dive watch comes with a hand-crafted ceramic strap as well as a moon phase complication.

By Alex Martin

Blancpain has hit on several firsts in its latest version of the legendary Fifty Fathoms watch, a Bathyscaphe with a hand-crafted ceramic strap and a complete calendar with moon phase indication.

The Fifty Fathoms watch was released in 1953 and is widely regarded as the first true professional diver’s watch. At the time, deep diving was an increasingly popular hobby and there was a serious need for timekeeping in the ocean depths. It quickly emerged that the appeal of dive watches extended to dry land as well, and the Bathyscaphe was launched three years later as a daily wearer, albeit with all the technology needed for a leisurely scuba.

Blancpain continues that legacy in the Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet Phases de Lune, offering the chance to check the moon’s phase at depths of up to 300m (984ft) on a watch that is also slim enough to fit under the sleeve of your office shirt.

[See also: Jacob & Co and Bugatti Launch $340K Tourbillon Watch]

The moon phase complication was originally reintroduced in 1983 / ©Blancpain

Its moon phase complication is likely to tug on the heartstrings of ardent Swiss watch collectors. It is the same complication that essentially turned the tide on the infamous Quartz Crisis of the 1980s when battery-powered watches threatened the existence of mechanical watchmaking (or so the Swiss say).

The caliber 6654.P. was said to demonstrate the elegant complexity that quartz watches could never replace and mechanical watch-making soon began to make a steady recovery.

The daily wearer tagline also gets a significant boost with an all-new ceramic strap to match the case. Ceramic is five times more scratch-resistant than stainless steel and four times stronger than titanium. That keeps the watch looking box-new for much longer, whether it’s been in the ocean or the office.

[See also: Light on Demand: Panerai Unveils Submersible Elux LAB-ID]

Blancpain watch
Blancpain developed the new ceramic strap in-house / ©Blancpain

Despite having the power of Swatch Group behind them, Blancpain’s technical team developed its ceramic bracelet entirely in-house, including every link and buckle, filing two patents in the process.

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One of those patents helps guard against ceramic’s inherent inflexibility, which leaves it prone to snapping. To avoid it, Blancpain developed a system that holds the bracelet’s links together on cam-shaped pins.

Both the black ceramic case and strap have been satin-brushed to give the watch a touch of reflectability. It works well with the dial’s sunray-brushed blue, which is designed to shimmer in different light levels. It’s also available in an equally alluring green and black.

Blancpain Quantième Complet Phases de Lune
The watch is also available with a green dial and bezel / ©Blancpain


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