Blancpain Takes To The Ocean With The Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph
Some of the guests milling about the gorgeously styled grounds included famous divers, ocean explorers, a world-record holder, and various personalities from the world of watches.
The view out over the deep blue Mediterranean sparkling in the late afternoon sunlight was complemented by interesting conversation. That and a vague sense of honor and awe at being invited to celebrate something that so obviously moved Blancpain CEO Marc Hayek that he and his family decided to hold its announcement at their family’s summer residence on the Côte d’Azur.
The topic so special to the Hayek family was Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment. And as I watched Marc Hayek describe his feelings for the ocean, beginning with a love of diving and snorkeling that developed during his childhood as he spent summers at this very house, my own sense of why the brand entered into this multi-year project aimed at aiding in keeping the oceans as nature intended, kicked in.
As various Ocean Commitment ambassadors chatted about their adventures, I, for example, was able to feel the same thrill of excitement that Gianluca Genoni, world-record holder in apnea diving, probably does on his dives as he described them for me.
But, above all, I could understand the reason for Hayek involving Blancpain and its iconic diving line Fifty Fathoms in what the brand now calls its Ocean Commitment.
Committing to the ocean
These types of corporate support systems are important if we are to continue to understand our blue planet. In fact, according to an article on a science blog I recently read, there are more detailed maps of Mars’ surface than of the ocean floor. The extent of human influence on nature, and even nature itself, must be studied if it is to be known. Therefore, it is important that initiatives like this exist.
In order to bring attention to the Ocean Commitment – and, naturally, its own line of Fifty Fathoms timepieces – Blancpain has released a collectible, coffee table-quality book entitled Fifty Fathoms The Dive and Watch History 1953-2013.
The 475-page tome, in addition to being incredibly beautiful with more than 600 glossy photographs and representing an indispensable reference for both dive and watch historians, is also limited to just 3,000 copies, with one reserved for each owner of one of the limited-edition wristwatches I will get to in a second. It recounts the six decades of Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms diving watches as well as the intertwined history of diving as a sport.
This book is limited to just 3,000 copies and can be purchased for 280 Swiss francs.
Blancpain donates 1,000 euros for each of the watches in the limited edition Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback (making for a total of 250,000 euros) to the various organizations that are part of its Ocean Commitment group.
Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback
There’s no doubt about it: the name of this watch is a mouthful. Though because of it, you already know mostly everything you need to know about the watch by reading it.
First off, you know that it’s a Bathyscaphe edition. The original Bathyscaphe was introduced in 1956, just three years after the original Fifty Fathoms dive watch. This model’s intent was to be a bit smaller than the professional diver so that it could also be worn regularly throughout a normal day. It has evolved alongside the Fifty Fathoms as part of Blancpain’s standing collection.
Today, it too remains smaller than its sibling Fifty Fathoms versions at 43.6 mm (versus 45 and even 55 mm).
There is one major detail missing from the title that you may want to know, though. This stylish timepiece is housed in a gray ceramic case that looks so much like stainless steel that if you didn’t know better – or didn’t lift it up yourself – you would never know that it wasn’t.
It so perfectly emulates the visuals of stainless steel that upon taking it into your hand, you are almost shocked at the lightweight feel. As if something were missing.
If you are a dive enthusiast or just love the look of this ocean-inspired model, trying it on will definitively seal the deal for you.
For information on all the activities and watches surrounding Blancpain’s commitment to the ocean, please visit the dedicated website www.blancpain-ocean-commitment.com, which offers the unique opportunity for Blancpain’s ocean-going partners to share news and information. Here you can find photo galleries, reports on scientific expeditions, and news on initiatives and environmental issues.
For more about this fabulous event, setting, and direct words from Marc Hayek, please watch this original Watches TV video: www.thewatches.tv/en/editorial/blancpains-under-water-commitment-and-a-limited-batyscaphe.
Case: 43.6 mm, gray ceramic with blue ceramic bezel/Liquidmetal markers, sealed ceramic chronograph pushers, transparent case back; water-resistant to 30 bar
Movement: automatic Caliber F385 with column wheel, vertical clutch flyback chronograph running at 5 Hz (36,000 vph) and silicon balance spring
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date, flyback chronograph
Limitation: 250 pieces
Remarks: each watch purchase comes with a copy of the limited-edition book Fifty Fathoms The Dive and Watch History 1953-2013; both the watch and book have corresponding numbers of limitation