As all good Hollywood films have a three-act structure, so do Blancpain with “Act 3” of their 70th anniversary celebration of the Fifty Fathoms dive watch. Act 1 was a 42.3mm Fifty Fathoms in steel limited to 210 pieces, while Act 2 was the 47mm Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa. This time around, Blancpain have dropped a nod to the original “Mil-Spec” Fifty Fathoms in bronze-gold.
Adorned in satin-brushed 9K Bronze Gold, the case measures in at 41.3mm wide and 13.3mm thick with a design that is completely faithful to earlier editions of the Fifty Fathoms. The dial is finished in black with a grey-white moisture indicator, encapsulated by a black ceramic bezel insert with Super-LumiNova all throughout. To keep everything as authentic as possible, even the vintage font for the Blancpain logo has been used.
Blancpain have reported that historical models were made in steel and later German silver to reduce the magnetic signature. It’s the German silver they are trying to evoke in this piece with their patented alloy that we saw Omega use. It incorporates 37.5% gold, 50% copper, and then added silver, palladium, and gallium. Unlike most bronze watches, the brand claims that this alloy is far more corrosion-resistant and has controlled patination.
It’s not a completely authentic vintage watch, there are still modern enhancements and updates like sapphire crystal, a screw down crown (that allows for an increased water resistance rated at 300m), and an exhibition caseback with a full view of the calibre 1154 P2.
This movement is derived from the Blancpain 1150, a thin automatic calibre running at 3Hz and a substantial 100-hour power reserve on two barrels. The 1154 has an increased resistance to magnetic fields thanks to a silicon balance spring and exclusive alloys for the escapement. It also features bridges that’ve been enlarged to the diameter of the movement. Lastly, the oscillating weight shape is inspired by the historical rotor, as appropriate, it also features the vintage logo.
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 is limited to 555 pieces with a CHF 30,000 price tag (~$51,500 AUD).