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Many look to Rolex when it comes to timepieces for diving, especially the famous Rolex Submariner, considered by many as the “modern dive watch”. Countless hobbyists fancied modern dive watches after they’ve surfaced in the 1950s, with the thrill of using watches that are the real deal, professionally speaking. Yet the real piece that should be proudly wearing the title proud is Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms—the true and OG modern dive watch. The Submariner was actually a year behind Blancpain’s specialty watch, something timepiece experts and hardcore enthusiasts would know.
Compare Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Watch Prices Online
Release date: 1953 (updated in 2003, 2007, & 2018)
The timeless design of the Fifty Fathoms Automatique traces its roots back to the early years of modern dive watches, yet the connection in has made in the present makes it still very much significant in the watch industry. It has served as a cornerstone for diving watch collections, and it will remain as such, even after many iterations of the original design.
- Functions: Minutes, hours, central seconds and date
- Movement: Blancpain manufacture Caliber 1315
- Case: Three-part steel case; soft-iron inner case
- Strap and clasp: Kevlar strap with stainless-steel pronged buckle
- Dimensions: Height = 15.5 mm and diameter = 45 mm
Aside from the classic beauty of the piece that represents the best of modern dive watches, Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms Automatique boasts of its durability and strength. Even deep divers will be confident to wear this even way beyond the standard recreational diving depth of 40 meters—this bad boy can go farther, up to 300 meters. With a timepiece that can withstand that much pressure, you just know it’s gonna last a lifetime, even after going through the roughest of environments. It helps that its bezel is made of sapphire crystal, keeping the Fifty Fathoms scratch-proof, but more than that, it’s a watch that you would enjoy wearing all your life, too, because of its timeless design and appeal.
Recent updates to the Fifty Fathoms introduced more details to the watch, and while these additions are aimed to improve the wearer’s experience, the more crowded and busy look can be a bit of a turn-off for some. Likewise, with the watch already sitting at a high price point, additional price can’t be justified by such trivial improvements, such as sapphire case back or bigger aperture for date.
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Image credit: Time and Tide Watches (featured image), Hodinkee, Watches Report (article images)