Style / World of Watches (WOW)

New Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique and Fifty Fathoms Grande Date in Titanium

Blancpain was the first watchmaker to use titanium in a diver’s watch in the 1960s and their spirit of innovation permeates everything they do, even the ocean conservation efforts they choose to support

Jun 12, 2020 | By Jonathan Ho

As part of Blancpain Ocean Commitment, the Le Brassus manufacture and Fregate Island Private have joined forces to study, restore and preserve the marine environment around the island; and now you can dive into the cerulean blue waters with the new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique and Fifty Fathoms Grande Date with a titanium bracelet.

 

As part of its long-standing Ocean Commitment program, Blancpain initiated an experimental coral restoration project on Fregate Island in 2018 in collaboration with Fregate Island Private and coralive.org. Today, you can take a newlancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique to the exclusive Fregate Island Private luxury resort and its 17 secluded villas amidst three square kilometres of pristine nature.

New Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique and Fifty Fathoms Grande Date in Titanium reflects the brand’s Ocean Commitment

Known as a mini Galapagos in the Seychelles, the island has a long conservation history for its terrestrial environment with notable achievements such as saving the Magpie Robin from extinction, and contributing to the development of the Aldabra tortoise colony, which has increased in size from a few dozen to nearly 3,500 today.

The Fifty Fathoms collection is based on the Le Brassus brand’s watchmaking provenance dating back to 1953, when Blancpain presented the world’s first modern diver’s watch. Today, cased in titanium and with bracelet to match, the Fifty Fathoms Automatique and Fifty Fathoms Grande Date seems particularly analogous and congruous with its message of conservation: Titanium is one of the most beneficial metals, not just for its material attributes but also its infinite recyclability and its application in an almost equally infinite number of uses, it can be reused  and re-shaped again and again with virtually no loss of quality.

Historically speaking, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms stood out thanks to its avant garde technical and aesthetic features. Today, its large luminescent black-grounded hour-markers and its robustness, secure rotating bezel and now standard water-resistance, rapidly became benchmarks for the entire watchmaking industry. Now embodied in titanium, it calls to mind Blancpain’s pioneering role in the definition of diver’s watches and its early use of innovative materials.

Blancpain’s spirit of innovation exemplified

Indeed, Blancpain’s use of titanium dates as early as the1960s, when it produced a special series of MIL-SPEC II models for US Navy minesweeper teams; with a case of nickel silver – a non-magnetic copper, zinc and nickel alloy – the Blancpain diver’s watch with military specifications (hence,MIL-SPEC) was fitted with a titanium back, selected for its greater resistance to pressure. At that time, titanium was mainly reserved for the aerospace industry and rarely seen in watchmaking. Blancpain was probably the first Manufacture to use this material in producing its watches.

Mineral Accretion is still a relatively new technology (less than 10 years old), using low voltage direct current electricity to grow solid limestone rock structures in the sea and accelerate the growth of corals; in that perspective Blancpain’s sponsorship of this experimental coral restoration project, like their adoption of pioneering materials expresses innovative values for the watchmaker.

Transplanting eight hundred storm-derived coral fragments onto eight artificial structures situated at depths between 5 and 7m, Blancpain and its beneficiaries have not only provide homes for reef fish and protecting the shoreline but also offering a unique possibility for gathering invaluable research data thanks to the efficiency of mineral accretion tech compared to classical techniques.

Just last year, Blancpain, Coralive.org, and Fregate Island Private’s partners established a coral reef biodiversity baseline where over 700 Hectares of seabed were scanned using state-of-the-art technology to document and map the health, rigidity, and benthic assemblage of the reef. The gathered data will serve as the basis for a long-term monitoring program of the marine area around the island.

New Titanium Fifty Fathoms Automatique Price & Specs

Blancpain’s new titanium Fifty Fathoms Automatique and Grande Date models reflect the brand’s support of advanced conservation techniques. Through Blancpain’s penchant for innovation and tradition, the titanium Fifty Fathoms Automatique and Grande Date take typically heft chunks of metal – a signature of a diver’s watch – and turns them into remarkably light timekeeping instruments with hand satin-brushed links are joined together by means of transverse pins, endowing them with a fluidity and flexibility that ensure a perfect fit on the wrist. Demanding assembly and finishing processes highlight the brand’s deft watchmaking prowess and on the new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique and Fifty Fathoms Grande Date, the peerless attention to detail is exemplified in the patented system where screws are placed on the back of the links so as to preserve the smooth look and feel of the bracelet edges. Who says a diver’s watch can’t be equal parts robust and sophisticated?

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Movement Automatic Calibre 1315 with 48 hours power reserve
Case 45mm titanium with 300 metres water resistance
Strap Titanium bracelet
Price On Application

New Titanium Fifty Fathoms Grande Date Price & Specs

Movement Automatic Calibre 6918B with 48 hours power reserve
Case 45mm titanium with 300 metres water resistance
Strap Titanium bracelet
Price On Application


 
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