Why did I choose a BLANCPAIN Fifty Fathoms

Why did I choose a BLANCPAIN Fifty Fathoms

The BLANCPAIN Fifty Fathoms

04 February 2014 | Blancpain , Watch Reviews

Why did I choose a BLANCPAIN Fifty Fathoms

I’ve always thought that buying a luxury timepiece is a somewhat impulsive experience, as we are driven by a magazine ad, the internet or simply for we have been attracted by a brand with an awareness as strong as our personality. Most people seldom go more in depth in technical and historical details before buying a high end wristwatch. I believe I have today a good knowledge of fine watchmaking, much more have I indeed to learn yet.

My personal knowledge was sure less than enough when i attended Baselworld for the 1st time back in the years and where, walking through the fair, i stopped by the BLANCPAIN’s booth. Since then, I went to Baselworld each year and as the years were passing by, I was more than curious to understand why BLANCPAIN’s watches were never that advertised. My understanding of the brand history was growing alongside my curiosity. Ten days ago I stopped by in my hometown, Naples, for a weekend and stepped in the BRINKMANN shop, a watches and jewelry boutique founded in 1900 by Theo Brinkmann, a german sir who decided to settle in a town which once was a cultural benchmark in Europe:

Brinkmann for Horbiter

I left the boutique with a BLANCPAIN Fifty Fathoms on my left wrist. You might be frightened at first sight by a BLANCPAIN’s price tag, which is usually far higher than any other high end timepiece in the benchmark, but there’s a reason: BLANCPAIN is a watch for the few. Annual production is extremely limited, it is all about exclusivity. Moreover, few people know it, BLANCPAIN leads, since 1735, the way in creating smallest highly-complicated calibers. But let’s move on to the BLANCPAIN Fifty Fathoms:

It was launched in 1953 upon request by the French Navy and it is regarded to as the very first diver wristwatch to be unveiled. Its original name, the “Fifty Fathoms”, drew inspiration from the unit then adopted by professional divers and it is equal to 91,45m. Having in one’s hands an original BLANCPAIN Fifty Fathoms today is as possessing the diving watchmaking “Holy Graal”. Today’s BLANCPAIN Fifty Fathoms is widely available to the masses, but nevertheless it is mostly hand made. You can clearly see it by the mirror polishing and the engraved lettering “BLANCPAIN” on the carrure:

On the right hand side at 3 there is placed the winding crown with the “BLANCPAIN” logo embossed on it, and two small lugs to protect it. The most attractive view of the BLANCPAIN Fifty Fathoms is anyway the bezel side, which represents its Landmark, as the bezel itself is made out of a curved sapphire crystal which covers a highly luminescent graduated inlay and couples with a “glass box” form crystal.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms for Horbiter 5

Since such timepieces deserve more than a surprise, let’s have a look inside, where caliber 1315, an automatic movement with an astounding 5 days power reserve ensured by 3 barrels, beats. A solution made possible by using a unidirectional winding rotor, which leaves room to the movements gearings if compared to a bidirectional rotor unit. If you prefer a view on the movement I suggest you to go for the limited edition “Aqua LungFifty Fathoms, whose transparent case-back gives a superb view of the high end finishing of caliber 1315.

(Photo credit: BLANCPAIN & BRINKMANN press clippings; Horbiter's proprietary photo shooting)

Gaetano C. @Horbiter - Watches & Luxury

TWITTER @Gaetano Cimmino

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