Blancpain: Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad15 March 2021
Blancpain reinterprets one of its emblematic historical timepieces, the Fifty Fathoms “no radiations”. This mid-1960s diving instrument, of which one version was used by the German Navy’s Combat Swimmers, had the characteristic feature of being stamped with a “no radiations” logo indicating that Blancpain was not using luminescent materials composed of radium.
This distinctive symbol on the watch dial has forged its success; the timepiece and its variants are now among the most iconic Fifty Fathoms models, which the new Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad intends to honour.
The Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad watch revisits the historical model that inspired it. Its matt deep black dial is punctuated by geometrical hour-markers, combining traditional round dots as well as rectangles and a diamond-shaped mark at 12 o’clock. The chapter ring, the hands and the time scale on the bezel all feature “old radium”-coloured Super-LumiNova reprising the beige-orange hue of vintage indicators bearing the patina of time. At 3 o’clock sits a date aperture highlighted by a white rim, as seen on one of the 1960s models. The yellow and red “no radiations” logo remains the dominant element on the dial.
The unidirectional rotating bezel, featuring a graduation typical of the initial Fifty Fathoms models, is fitted with a sapphire insert, a distinctive feature of the contemporary collection. Its domed profile contributes to the depth effect of the watch face, already enhanced by the use of a glassbox-type sapphire crystal. Water-resistant to 300 metres, the steel case measures 40.3 mm, a diameter exclusive to limited-edition Fifty Fathoms watches.
It houses Blancpain Calibre 1151, a self-winding movement equipped with a silicon balance spring and endowed with a four-day power reserve. Its two barrels are wound by means of a rotor with a cartouche-shaped aperture, a nod to some of the historic timepieces in the collection, including the very first Fifty Fathoms. This now atypical detail was formerly used to increase the suppleness of the oscillating weight in order to safeguard the movement in the event of impacts.
Combined with a strap in “Tropic”-type rubber, the new Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad is limited to 500 pieces and available at the price of € 13.400.