Hands-On with the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70’

Hands-On with the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70’

Let’s shine a light on one of my favorite pieces from Baselworld 2018, this retro inspired Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe. Now with a Day-Date complication.

By Josh Shanks

While vintage re-issues are nothing new, they weren’t the sole focus for Blancpain at Baselworld 2018. This decidedly retro novelty is inspired by Blancpain’s 1970s divers and offers a modern re-imagination of what a vintage diver should be.

The first thing you’ll notice on this piece is the dial. A starburst dial that begins in the center with a light gray and expands to a rich brown towards the outer edges of the case. While the dial looks incredibly retro at first glance, the brand has notably shied away from using aged / fauxtina lume, which in this writer’s opinion was a good move. Sized at 43mm in stainless steel with super sharp lugs and a satin-finished case. The black ceramic bezel is unidirectional and features a sixty-minute counter for those long dives.

Water resistance is set at 300 meters or nearly 1,000 ft. Underwater readability is boosted by the use of SuperLuminova on the bezel, dial, and hands.

Understanding the Day-Date Decision

I’ll admit, with even a novice level understanding of the rigors of diving, I fully recognize that a man (or woman!) diver rarely needs functionality beyond time keeping and perhaps keeping track of their oxygen consumption while underwater. However, on the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70’, the brand has added a Day-Date complication to its caliber 1315 movement. In my opinion, they could’ve gone time only on this piece, but I’m not going to let this be a barrier of entry for admiring this watch. The day and date are tastefully displayed at 3 o’clock.

Hands-On and pricing details

The 43mm is albeit prominent on my small wrists, but this is a fact that I could easily overcome as this would be a perfect weekend watch. In our touch and feel session, this was the one watch from Blancpain that I had a hard time giving back. The sharp beveling on the lugs could easily help you cut through any obstacles you encounter undersees.

In today’s turbulent vintage market, this retro-inspired piece is sure to cause vintage collectors to take note and possibly shift their vintage dollar towards something modern – yet vintage.

Available in a limited edition of 500 pieces, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70’ is priced at CHF 11,900 on aged leather strap.

(Photography by Liam O’Donnell)

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