Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Blancpain Female Fifty Fathoms Award 2022

Australian photographer Brooke Pyke won the Female Fifty Fathoms awards while the 2022 Ocean Photographer of the Year’s grand prix went to Ben Thouard.

Oct 08, 2022 | By Ashok Soman

Famed for its efforts in marine conservation, Blancpain reveals the winners of the 2022 Ocean Photographer of the Year (OPY), including the Female Fifty Fathoms prize. The winning photographs are on show from now until 27 October along the banks of the Thames in London. Australian photographer Brooke Pyke won the Female Fifty Fathoms award. Now in just its second year, this special award saw submissions more than double since its introduction. The OPY’s grand prix was awarded to Frenchman Ben Thouard, whose image of a surfer riding one of the world’s largest and most famous waves, Teahupo’o, was unanimously selected.

The overall competition was judged by the usual panel of distinguished photographers and videographers, which should go without saying given the calibre of the organiser, Oceanographic Magazine. More than 5,000 people submitted entries (up from 3,000 last year) across all categories, according to the OPY. You might have learned the names of the winners in the Wildlife, Fine Art, Conservation Hope and Conservation Impact. Adventure, Portfolio, Young and Human Connection categories from social media since OPY has been making the names public since 28 September. The winning photographers were, in order, Rafael Fernandez Caballero (Spain), Mike Spencer (UK), Nicolas Remy (France/Australia), Simon Lorenz (Germany), Tom St George (UK/Mexico), Matty Smith (UK/Australia), Ryuta Ogawa (Japan/UK) and Steve Woods (UK/Canada).

As a distinct category, the Female Fifty Fathoms prize is judged not only by the OPY panel but also by a Blancpain delegation led by President and CEO Marc A. Hayek. As we have previously reported, Hayek is quite the diver himself, and has personally led many missions in Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment efforts over the years. While you can see Brooke Pyke’s shot here, here is more of an introduction to her, from Blancpain: “A dedicated diver and photographer, Brooke Pyke misses no opportunity to document the beauty to be found under the waves through her photographs. A fervent defender of the seas, she uses her photographic talent to raise awareness of the need to preserve the treasures of the ocean depths.”

Pyke’s physical prize is a marvellous 38mm Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe with blue sunburst dial. Note the traditional unidirectional bezel here comes with a ceramic insert, and the movement is automatic calibre 1150; for this particular unique reference, the rotor is decorated with the inscription “Female Fifty Fathoms 2022”. We have seen the standard watch in the metal and it is a beauty.

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