By Isaac Wingold
Since the 1953 introduction of the now legendary Blancpain Fifty Fathoms watch, the brand has become somewhat synonymous with the ocean. Now, with its alignment with, and sponsorship of, the World Ocean Summit, Blancpain unveils an all-new, limited edition piece to gain awareness of ocean exploration and preservation efforts. Known as the Ocean Commitment Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback, the bold dive watch underscores Blancpain’s watchmaking prowess and its dedication to conservation. Blancpain’s involvement in ocean exploration and preservation goes back more than 60 years. Over recent years, the brand has supported and sponsored expeditions like National Geographic’s Pristine Sea’s Expeditions, and Laurent Ballesta’s Projet Gombessa. The brand hopes to gain knowledge of and protect the great sea creatures that our inhabit our world’s oceans. The outlying goal is to spread consumer awareness of ocean conservation.
Aesthetically, this new piece is identical to the previously unveiled Bathyscaphe Chronographe, with one exception: the color scheme. Both the dial and ceramic bezel have been redesigned in a beautiful hue of sea blue that is mesmerizing, and the case is created in a highly unusual dark matt grey ceramic that mimics the look of brushed titanium.
Inside this sophisticated tool beats Blancpain’s new F385 flyback chronograph movement — equipped with a column wheel controlled flyback chronograph and a free sprung balance wheel spiral in anti-magnetic silicon. The watch beats at 36,000 vph and the chronograph is equipped with sealed pushers to allow use of the timer function during dives. The watch is water resistant to 300 meters. The 43.6mm watch is finished with a blue Sail canvas strap.
Just 250 pieces will be made, and each is accompanied by a stunning newly released 475-page book, “Fifty Fathoms.” The book takes an in depth look at the history of the brand’s now-iconic dive watch, including detailed photos from every stage of the collection. The book will be limited to 3000 copies. With the sale of each Ocean Commitment Bathyscaphe Chronographe, Blancpain will be making a generous contribution of approximately $1200 to charities devoted to exploring and preserving the oceans of the world.