Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms watches now come in fetching new materials

Whether in red gold or titanium, the new Fifty Fathoms watches maintain their performance virtues

Lovers of dive watches who are keen to know about their origins need look no further than the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. Any hulking timepiece that professes to be able to withstand the treacherous challenges of underwater exploration owes it to the Fifty Fathoms, the watch who wrote the rule book on how modern dive watches ought to look and perform.

The collection celebrated its 70th anniversary last year—justifiably, with oft-reminisced memories and accounts of how the watch came to be—and a trio of limited editions that made collectors go weak in the knees. Among the coveted collectibles was the 70th Anniversary Act 1, a steel cased model that replicated the look of the original Fifty Fathoms from 1953, which is reprised this year in red gold and titanium.

Like its Act 1 limited edition, the new Fifty Fathoms Automatique comes in a 42mm case. The size allows for a versatile fit, given that other Fifty Fathom models come in 45mm and 40mm cases, which can be a tad over- or undersized for some. Of course, the new materials take the spotlight for the latest additions: red gold for those who want a touch of luxe, and grade 23 titanium for those who prefer a sportier look and lightweight feel.

While the watches retain aesthetic signatures of 1953 original, such as the high-contrast dial with extra-large numerals and a domed bezel, each case material and dial colour combination makes a huge difference to augment their style and personality.

The red gold models with black or royal blue dial, for instance, will not look out of place with a dressier getup. The titanium models with the same dial options, emanate a more casual disposition. Each model comes with a choice of straps in matching colours ranging from sail-canvas to NATO and a Tropic textured rubber iteration inspired by the 1953 model. The titanium version also comes with a bracelet option.

Most importantly, rest assured that you are getting a bona fide underwater tool watch. Like the original Fifty Fathoms that set the bar on water resistance, underwater legibility, and robustness back in the day, the modern versions are packed with top-notch performance attributes. These include 300m water resistance and a workhorse automatic movement with three barrels that stores up to five days of power reserve—making the new members true Fifty Fathoms thoroughbreds that do their lineage proud.