Let’s be honest, dive watches are primarily used these days as de-facto sports tool watches and increasingly for all types of situations where a formal dressing attire is not required. However, when getting a dive watch, what if you could get one that not only looks great in casual and semi-formal settings but also had the tooling capability and pedigree that would allow it to stand toe-to-toe against any dive watch in the market? Well, wait no longer, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback should be your next diving watch.
Reintroduced last year as a modern incarnation of the famed Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe of the 50s, which was designed with the proportions and features to provide a tool watch that could also be used outside of diving activities, the Bathyscaphe model is a unique dive watch that looks modern and retro at the same time.
For this release, Blancpain Z4 continued where they left off from last year’s model and added what only can make this new version even more desirable to the public at large and to collectors alike. First, the Bathyscaphe now has an in-house manufacture movement, F385, that beats at 5Hz with a silicon balance spring which provides the watch with anti-magnetic capabilities while still allowing one to view the movement with a transparent case-back.
The new release also adds a 12 hours chronograph with flyback. The new Bathyscaphe’s dial does not suffer one bit from this new complication and on the contrary remains even more legible as the tri-compax subdials blend perfectly with the black dial with clear visible silver markers and a neat running seconds subdial with a lobe shaped lumed hand to indicate the current second placed at 6 o’clock.
In addition to creating ultra-slim movements for girls, the organization also makes a Quantième Retrograde with retrograde date and an entire Calendar with moon phase. The movements used for its Blancpain 1161 St. Valentine’s Day watches are all mechanical — Blancpain has never produced a quartz movement — most designed specifically for ladies’ watches. Considering that the Blancpain St. Valentine’s Day view was first introduced in 2001, it has been powered by a number of different movements, many with center seconds palms, which is rare on a ladies’ mechanical timepiece. The calibers used in the past Blancpain St. Valentine’s Day watches incorporate the ultra-thin automatic Caliber 1150 using 100-hour power reserve; Caliber 6763 automatic day-date, with pointer-type date screen; Caliber F185, a flyback chronograph, originally employed by the newest in 1998 to power the world’s first girls’ flyback chronograph; the “Lady Bird” Caliber 6150, which in the time it was introduced (in the 1950s) was the world’s smallest automatic motion (15.7mm diameter).The Blancpain St. Valentine’s Day watch was a tradition since 2001 and usually includes a heart motif set artfully somewhere on the watch. This year, it is formed by a bunch of 19 rubies set to the dial at 12 o’clock. The rubies are buff-top trimmed, a combined cut which typically has a smooth upper half and a faceted pavilion, a combination that makes light return even when a stone is set flush into metal — especially when it is set to a thin coating of metal, such as a watch dial, where no light penetrates the pavilion. The center has had several fascinating incarnations on the particular editions. In the 2007 part, the internal mother-of-pearl dial has been heart-shaped. In 2009 the tiny seconds subdial was outlined by rubies place to form a heart shape. On the 2011 version, a heart-shaped ruby was set discreetly at 12 o’clock flush with all the diamonds around the bezel. The dial of the 2013 version comprised five red-lacquered mother-of-pearl hearts, together with the hearts replicated on the rotor and the case side. A heart charm dangles from the strap of this 2016 edition.
Unlike most divers with chronographs requiring the chronograph pushers to to be screwed down or the user to not operate while submerged, this Blancpain 6106 comes ready to allow you to take as many measurements under water, up to 300 meters, without fear of causing any harm to the watch. The unidirectional diving bezel using the patented Liquidmetal technology is made from virtually unscrachable ceramic while the metallic markers perfectly match the rest of the dial.
Like the previous Bathyscaphe, the distinctive rectangular hands on this one are filled with SuperLuminova as are the hour markers and the pearl inside the diamond shaped 60 minutes marker on the bezel. Just a clean execution of a simple diving watch dial. The only colored accent on this watch is the red tip of the chronograph hand which help contrast it with the rest of the dial and index markers.
There are two primary versions for the new Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback. A brushed black ceramic-cased model (shown here) with black dial and with either a high-quality NATO fabric strap or sail canvas strap. Second, a brushed steel case with gray dial and the same strap options, though, as a first for this model, the option of a steel bracelet is also possible. No final words on pricing and exact availability, however, we’ll be sure to add more pics and details when provided. blancpain.com