Following the success of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Limited Edition made for Hodinkee, Blancpain revisits its rich history with the U.S Navy in another collaboration by reimagining the Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC model.
Inspired by the original Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC timepieces produced in the 1950s, this re-edition stands out for its pure, authentic, and minimalist design. The 40.3mm satin-brushed steel case is distinguished by the absence of the traditional Blancpain signature that’s usually engraved on the case middle at 9 o’clock. The notching that generally adorns the bezel is more discreet on this version, and the matte black dial is also devoid of the date display usually found between 4 and 5 o’clock.
The design pays tribute to the vintage look of this watch, which features the emblematic attributes of the first Fifty Fathoms models. Visibility, safety, watertightness, and robustness were the fundamental specifications established by the first Fifty Fathoms that was created in 1953, which became the benchmark for diver’s watches in the modern era.
This new MIL-SPEC model faithfully reflects these characteristics, which is particularly evident on its dial, where the hours, minutes, and seconds indications stand out clearly thanks to luminescent hands and hour-markers. Its unidirectional rotating bezel also features a SuperLumiNova-enhanced graduated scale protected by a rounded sapphire insert.
Equipped with the self-winding in-house calibre 1154, the Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC offers all the technical guarantees of a diving instrument – boasting water resistance of up to 300 metres and insensitivity to magnetic fields thanks to its silicon balance-spring. It also feature an impressive four-day power reserve, with its components visible through a sapphire crystal case back.
Another key feature in this limited edition timepiece is the typical MIL-SPEC moisture indicator that appears at 6 o’clock. Its function was made to alert the wearer of any humidity seeping into the case by switching from white to red. A Blancpain invention, it was developed in the 1950s to complement the specifications already defined by the 1953 Fifty Fathoms, which was tested and adopted that same year by the French Army Combat Diving corps.
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC Limited Edition for Hodinkee retails at US$14,400 (approximately RM58,155) and can be purchased from Blancpain Boutiques in the United States, as it is currently sold out on the Hodinkee online shop.