Immerse in nostalgia with Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3

The third—and final—Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 70th anniversary commemorative limited edition watch

Following a roots-reckoning, retro-inspired model and a game-changing dive complication, Blancpain revisits its past military association for its third Fifty Fathoms commemorative edition to mark the collection’s 70th anniversary.

Where the Act 1 channeled the look and the spirit of the original model from 1953, and the Act 2 broke new technical ground with its ability to time three-hour dives (as opposed to one hour on regular diver watches), the Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 exudes throwback allure with a touch of material experimentation.

The Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 is inspired by the Mil-Spec models from the 1950s bearing moisture indicators. Photo by Blancpain

A watch borne of military ties, the Fifty Fathoms was conceived after Blancpain was commissioned to produce military-grade underwater tool watches for French naval frogmen. When it debuted in 1953, the Fifty Fathoms introduced several groundbreaking features that are now de rigueur for modern dive watches. These include a unidirectional rotating bezel to measure remaining dive times, antimagnetic protection, as well as extreme water resistance.

Oozing both athleticism and luxury, the Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 takes its cue from the Mil-Spec (‘Military Specification’) models from 1957. Vintage Mil-Spec Fifty Fathom models are highly sought after by collectors today, and the Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 serves to shine bigger spotlight on the watches’ charms.

The Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 is encased in 9k bronze gold, a patented alloy comprising gold, copper, silver, palladium and gallium. Photo by Blancpain

Vintage Mil-Spec models were recognised by a moisture indicator on the dial, which alerted the diver to damages in the watch during previous dives. On the Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3, the display features prominently at six o’clock, set against nostalgia-inducing aesthetics.

At first glance, the Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3’s case appears to be crafted in rose gold. In fact, it is made of 9k bronze gold, a propriety alloy comprising mostly gold and copper with traces of silver, palladium and gallium. Emanating a deeper pink sheen compared to rose gold, the bronze gold case is also said to be hypoallergenic and less susceptible to rapid oxidisation, unlike most bronze watches.

Echoing the case’s unique hue are the hour markers, hands and stripped Nato strap, which have been stylised to recall 1950s-era dive watches. Even the Blancpain logo on the dial harks back to one found on old Mil-Spec models.

The 1154.P2 automatic movement features a twin-barrel that stores 100 hours of power reserve. Photo by Blancpain

Away from charming aesthetics, the Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 performs as any standard-bearing dive watch should—with precision, reliability and robustness. Waterproof to 300m, the watch boasts impressive stamina; its automatic movement is fitted twin barrels that store up to 100 hours of power reserve. Timekeeping accuracy is ensured with a silicon balance spring. A key component in a mechanical watch’s regulating mechanism, the silicon balance spring is impervious to interference from magnetic fields that impact accuracy.

The Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 continues to write the history of the world’s first true diver’s watch. Photo by Blancpain

Limited to 555 pieces, the Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 comes in a special presentation box that is designed to look like a vintage camera case, a nod to the development of underwater photography that also emerged in the 1950s. Collectors who have a thing for historically significant, vintage-inspired dive watches will do well to delve deeper into the Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3.