Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique: Time to Move on From the Rolex Submariner?

Raman Kalra is the founder of  The Watch Muse blog and has kindly agreed to share some of his articles with us here on Quill & Pad.


Most people have heard of Rolex, whether they are into watches or not. Dive watches are one of the most popular categories of watches, and many think that the Rolex Submariner is the first modern dive watch, especially because it is so iconic. However, this is not the case, that crown belongs to the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, which became the blueprint for all modern divers’ watches.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique Ref. 5015 12B40 98B

Today, Blancpain still uses the name Fifty Fathoms for a collection that includes various models with different complications. Here I’m focusing on the Fifty Fathoms Automatique and looking at why it might be time to move on from the Rolex Submariner, because, despite the popularity of the dive watch category, the Fifty Fathoms does not command the same attention as other watches. Is there anything Blancpain could do to increase the appeal of the Fifty Fathoms?

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique Ref. REF: 5015 12B30 B52B

Brief History

Blancpain, founded in 1735, is one of the oldest watch brands in the world and has continuously produced horological devices and watches for nearly 300 years. Throughout the 1900s, watches were tools and, as the wristwatch became more prevalent, they needed to be designed with specific purposes in mind.

Watches were required by the military, pilots and explorers for example, and alongside this, there was an increasing demand for water-resistant pieces. Several brands were pushing the development in this area, namely Rolex, Panerai, and Omega. Rolex released the Oyster case in 1926 – the first waterproof and dust-proof watch case. 

In 1936, Panerai followed with the Radiomir, combining water resistance and a luminous dial allowing the Italian Navy to use them on missions. Omega launched the Seamaster in 1948 and increased the depth rating beyond what had been achieved before. At the same time, recreational diving was increasing in popularity due to the invention of the Aqua-Lung in 1942-1943. This was the first self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (“SCUBA”), allowing people to easily remain underwater. This brought about an additional requirement from watches: timing how long a diver has been underwater in case decompression was necessary.

Despite the progress made on water-resistant watches, none of those mentioned so far were practical for diving and there was still no set formula for what a dive watch should be like. 

Until Blancpain produced the Fifty Fathoms. 

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

Jean-Jacques Fiechter was the CEO of Blancpain in 1950 and an avid amateur diver himself – this alone made him aware of the necessary features required by divers. It led him to pursue the creation of a watch that satisfied the needs of divers.

Around the same time, in 1952, the French Navy was assembling a team of elite combat divers that required a reliable timepiece. They had struggled to find a watch that satisfied their requirements and eventually reached out to Blancpain which provided the Fifty Fathoms for testing. It passed with flying colors and the Fifty Fathoms quickly became an essential piece of equipment for the Marine Nationale (French Navy).

The result is the basis of all dive watches as we know them today: good water resistance, legibility, luminescence, a non-magnetic case, and a unidirectional rotating bezel.

Original Blancpain Fifty Fathoms from 1953

The first Fifty Fathoms was 41 mm in diameter (this was very large this was for 1953) and had water resistance to the maximum depth recommended to scuba divers – 50 fathoms (91.45m). To achieve this depth rating, Blancpain created and patented a double-sealed crown which minimized the crown being accidentally pulled out while underwater and potentially allowing water into the case.

Advertisement for the original Blancpain Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC

Advertisement for the original Blancpain Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC

The Fifty Fathoms was the first divers’ watch with an automatic movement that prevented unnecessary wear on the rubber seals and possible water damage from winding the crown too often (or having to wind underwater). It was the first with a non-magnetic case, and it featured a high contrast/high legibility black dial with large luminous indices.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique Ref. 5015 3630 52A

It was the Fifty Fathoms’s bezel though that would set the dive watch landscape. Blancpain had created a unidirectional, rotating bezel allowing a diver to accurately know elapsed time underwater, with the security of rotating in one direction to prevent accidentally displaying a shorter time. This formula was used by many other brands in the years that followed, most notably, Rolex for the Submariner, which launched a year later in 1954. 

The Fifty Fathoms saw continued success from its release through to the 1980s as more militaries adopted the watch, including Spain, Germany, and the USA. It even entered pop culture as it was featured in popular TV series. In this period, many variations were produced, including the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe, but the watch was always known to be a tool as intended.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique Ref. 5015 12B30 98B

Fast forward to today, bypassing the quartz crisis that led to the production of the Fifty Fathoms stopping, and the ownership changes that led to it being a part of the Swatch Group since 1997, the Fifty Fathoms is once again a staple in the Blancpain collection. 

The Modern Fifty Fathoms Automatique 5015

Now we know the importance of its past, what can we expect from the modern Fifty Fathoms? First of all, Fifty Fathoms does not represent one watch but rather a whole range within the Blancpain collection. Here, we will focus on the Fifty Fathoms Automatique 5015 – this is the purest version that most closely resembles the original from 1953. The Automatique comes in a variety of case materials and dial options, but most of what I cover will apply to them all unless stated otherwise.

Starting with the design, here the 5015 stays relatively close to the model released back in 1953. It is clear to see that the same dive watch formula has been used here, although that is no surprise given this was the watch that created the whole category. Before looking closer, you will notice that, despite being a simple watch, it is quite complex to look at. There is a mixture of angular lines and curves, which helps to break up a large watch. You first notice the legible Arabic numerals on the dial and bezel.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique Ref. 5015 11C30 52A

The bezel numerals are somewhat oversized and, given the purpose of this watch – diving tool first, luxury watch second – it makes sense. Next, the indices are triangular and sharp compared to the relatively curved Roman numerals. This is counteracted by the equally angular hands, although instead of the hands having an opposing triangular tip to line up with the indices, they are curved, providing yet another unique shape to catch your eye. Finally, the text font further highlights this juxtaposition. It retains the original font, providing excessive curvature against everything else.

Looking closer, you find several further details adding to the brilliance of the Fifty Fathoms Automatique. First and foremost is the bezel. Unlike other watches, Blancpain uses a sapphire crystal over the bezel insert. This is notable for a few reasons. Sapphire crystal is virtually scratch-proof and very durable. It also provides a glossy, consistent look from the dial to the bezel, giving the watch a very rich aesthetic.

There is a deepness to the color of the bezel insert, and a sense of clarity, while being reminiscent of the Bakelite bezels of the past. Further, by covering a dial insert, it allows for the bezel to be fully lumed with no risk of the lume chipping – coming back to the idea of the Fifty Fathoms being a true tool watch. 

Why don’t we see this method used by other brands? It’s an expensive technique, especially as Blancpain uses a cambered crystal. Other watches, most notably the Rolex Submariner, use ceramic bezels, which have their own properties, but rarely do you see what Blancpain produces here.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique Ref. 5015 3603C 63B

Moving to the dial you find a stepped design on the Automatique. The center is slightly raised giving the dial some extra depth, although it is not hugely visible until you look at the watch at an angle. Interestingly, and to be expected from such a brand, the indices are perfectly sized to fit in the outer ring. The height of the indices is slightly taller than the raised center, again further adding to the complexity. Finally, the stepped center has a different sunburst pattern than the outer ring. 

These small details are a very intelligent way to make the watch feel more manageable than its size indicates. This leads nicely to the case. As mentioned, it is available in several metals, but regardless, the watch is large, to say the least. The case is 45 mm in diameter, 15.5mm thick and has a 300-meter water resistance. To put this lightly, this is not a subtle watch. The case is finished as expected from a brand of this caliber. It has an unusual case profile and along the side, you will find “Blancpain” engraved. Inside, you will find the in-house caliber 1315 movement.

Blancpain Caliber 1315 (without rotor)

Blancpain produces high-horology movements and, even though the 1315 is not necessarily complicated, you still experience the quality of the brand. The movement has a triple barrel setup offering a 5-day power reserve, while being finished to a high standard. The movement is visible through an exhibition case back. 

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms versus Rolex Submariner

So why is it worth considering a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms over a Rolex Submariner? The Fifty Fathoms is the definition of the dive watch category. It has a place in history. While you see the countless Submariners, Seamaster’s or Seiko Prospex’s on people’s wrists they all derive from the Fifty Fathoms. And Blancpain is a brand that is typically associated with high horology.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique Ref. 5015 11C30 52A

This is not to say the quality of other watches is not good, but rather Blancpain goes above and beyond. You buy this watch for yourself. It is the history that draws you in and the small details that keep you satisfied. This is not a watch everyone will know, but there is something that excites me about that.

The price of the Fifty Fathoms Automatique is 15,600 euros for the stainless steel variant on a canvas strap, and goes up depending on case material, complication and strap options. This price brings it in higher than its Rolex and Omega counterparts, but you must remember that Blancpain as a brand sits a tier above these two.

What Needs To Be Improved? 

Given the heritage, quality and brand image, why then is this watch not as coveted as the Rolex Submariner? Surely, for those looking at legendary dive watches, the Blancpain should be towards the top of the list. The reality is that it isn’t.

I know the first thing you might say is that it comes down to price, which is a fair observation, but getting a Submariner at retail price is a challenge. This means most end up paying a premium and the price difference is reduced. This is even before you consider all the extra benefits of the Fifty Fathoms in terms of quality and rarity that Blancpain provide. Therefore, I am excluding price as a consideration here. So how can the Fifty Fathoms Automatique be improved?


As mentioned when discussing the Automatique, this is not a small watch. It might be compared with the Rolex Sea-Dweller or Deep-Sea when it comes to size, even though they achieve a much higher water resistance (1,220m/3,900m respectively). This just makes me question why the Blancpain needs to be the size it is. Understandably, the modern iteration was released when larger watches were popular, but times are changing.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique Ref. 5015 12B40 NAOA

With the broader interest in watches picking up, tastes are now moving towards smaller watches. More people are in the market for luxury watches which equates to more varying wrist sizes and the Fifty Fathoms Automatique alienates a wide group of people due to its size.

Today, there is one extra ingredient to the dive watch formula and that is versatility. Most dive watches never make it to the ocean, their appeal comes down to their wearability in all situations. Rolex has nailed the Submariner because of how it is sized and how good their Oyster bracelet is. The Oyster bracelet is the industry standard when it comes to bracelets (at this price point at least). Blancpain does offer a bracelet option, but it is not the default when it comes to the Fifty Fathoms.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique on X71 steel bracelet

The bracelet is known as the X71 and has the same high build quality as the rest of the watch. There are polished accents, very little spacing between links and a double-folding clasp. The end links are integrated into the case and do add to the size as the watch sits firmly across the top of your wrist. The bracelet has a strong look. However, the key here is that it further adds to the heft of the Fifty Fathoms and doesn’t help with making the watch any more wearable.

On top of this, the bracelet option comes with a jump in price. The quality might be top-notch, but for a stainless steel bracelet option, there’s quite a price increase. 

We know that Blancpain is capable of producing smaller watches. The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe is a model in the range that is produced in 38mm and 43mm, although the aesthetic is different and is based on the Bathyscaphe released in the late 1950s. Furthermore, Blancpain produces Limited Edition models of the Fifty Fathoms, and the majority of these are smaller in size. The 2020 Hodinkee Fifty Fathoms Mil-SPEC is 40.3mm in diameter with the same depth rating, and the 2023 70th-anniversary edition is 42.3mm in diameter.

It can be done so why is there not an option in the regular lineup? 

At the same time, Blancpain could develop a new bracelet complementing the watch more. A large part of what makes the Rolex Submariner so successful is its versatility of it and universal demand. The size of it is a huge factor here, and by Blancpain keeping the Fifty Fathoms as an extra-large watch, they are restricting its popularity from growing. My view is they should follow what Tudor recently did with the Pelagos and make a smaller version on offer. Only then it will start to get the attention of the Rolex Submariner customers.

If you have read some of my other posts, this has come up before. Buying a luxury watch has a social status angle attached in most cases, regardless of how we feel individually. A part of the reason behind the success of the Rolex Submariner is what it represents. It is an aspirational product and buying one usually is symbolic for the consumer to mark a specific occasion or event. Blancpain does not have this same broad appeal when it comes to the Fifty Fathoms. Outside of the watch world, does Blancpain evoke any emotion in the average consumer just looking for a luxury watch? Probably not.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique Ref. 5015 12B30 NABA

At the same time as engineering a new watch to be smaller with a better bracelet, Blancpain need to consider how they can convey the excellence of their product and brand more broadly. This could be through more visible commercial sponsorships such as their partnership with Oceana demonstrating their commitment to ocean exploration and conservation. How is it we know Oris is the brand that stands for sustainability, or Omega is the brand associated with Space and James Bond? Because they never let us forget it. 

Even if a potential partnership is just through a celebrity endorsement or product placement in a popular movie, it would still help boost their image among those who aren’t familiar with Blancpain. Panerai successfully achieved this with Sylvester Stallone in the 1990s and this was a contributing factor to their growth in popularity.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique Ref. 5015 1130 52A

Beyond this, Blancpain could also improve its visibility in watch retailers. They could find clearer messaging on why their product is so good and worth the asking price (which it is!). There are many ways out there they could push their watches and this needs to be done. Not everyone out there is dreaming of owning a Fifty Fathoms one day as they do with a Submariner. The brand deserves it, the watch deserves it, and the consumer deserves to know of a great alternative. 


The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 5015 is special. It descends from the first modern dive watch and created the formula for some of the most popular watches in history. As it is a Blancpain, the quality is exceptional, while also managing to retain the charm of the original. Not many stainless steel divers come close to what Blancpain achieves. 

Despite this, the popularity of the watch does not come close to others such as the Rolex Submariner and Omega Seamaster. This boils down to the wearability and marketing of the watch. Wearability is arguably the new ingredient to the formula for a modern diver and Blancpain need to now factor this in. Blancpain has demonstrated this to themselves already with popular Limited Editions that are smaller in size.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique Ref. 5015 1130 71S

In my opinion, it is now time they offered the Fifty Fathoms Automatique in a smaller package and Blancpain improves their messaging to get it on more wrists. However, if you have wrists that can pull off the size (unfortunately, I can’t) and don’t care that only a select few will know what is on your wrist, then the Fifty Fathoms Automatique is a great option right now! It should be high up your list if you are looking for a modern dive watch. 

For more information, please visit

Quick Facts: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 1515
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case: available in steel, titanium, or red gold; silicon balance spring; unidirectional bezel

Dimensions: 45 mm x 15.4 mm
Power reserve: 120 hours
Water resistance: 300 meters
Bracelet: integrated design in stainless steel with micro-adjusting clasp and rapid-removal links
Movement: Caliber 1315, automatic winding
Price: from 15,600 euros

You can read more articles by Raman Kalra at

You might also enjoy:

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms: Story Of The World’s First Diving Watch (Video)

The Diving Bezel: The Most Versatile Watch ‘Complication,’ Even If You’re Not A Diver

Real-World Diving With The Seiko Prospex The 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation Limited Edition SLA055

Panerai: It’s Not Broken, But Here’s How to Fix It

18 replies
  1. Christopher Dean
    Christopher Dean says:

    Great diver and you hit the nail on the head as to why the Fitly Fathoms haven’t caught on and having owned one for a few years we parted company due its size. It seems the 40mm limited editions will not be released as non limited perhaps because Blancpain don’t wish too. After all as you said the first FF was 41mm. They easily could if they wished and whilst visiting there London flagship boutique I posed the question. The three staff simply replied we get asked that question all the time. I
    I now wear a Glashaute Original Sea Q at 39.5 mm. Ok the water the resistantd is 200m and classified as a skin divers watch which is more than adequate for most activities.

  2. Yachtmaster 2021
    Yachtmaster 2021 says:

    I do wonder if it is the Swatch Group that insists on keeping the Fifty Fathoms at 45mm as a large lux diver to protect Omega’s Seamaster and Planet Ocean lines. Or they could be simply be incompetent when it comes to developing a strategy to increase both Blancpain and Breguet’s market share.
    Clearly Cartier has figured out how to promote dress watch lines with some adjacent sports models.

    • Raman
      Raman says:

      Obviously we can never know, but could be on to something here…still confusing though as Blancpain I would see aimed towards a different client group. Those looking to buy a 300M are looking at a different price bracket compared to the FF.

      • Yachtmaster 201
        Yachtmaster 201 says:

        Agreed, Though I imagine a fair number of 300m buyers would readily stretch for a Sub IF they were readily available, But to your point would they stretch the same way for a $10K ish $40MM FF?

  3. David
    David says:

    The date window is a dealbreaker. It’s like they know it too and photograph it from the left in many press images to make it less obvious. Why not just offer it without a date window? I don’t often check the date at 70 feet below.

  4. Fredrick Werstein
    Fredrick Werstein says:

    You must remember, these are “tool watches” sand as such size is large for underwater viewing!

    • Raman
      Raman says:

      Completely agree! I would never suggest they remove the 45mm option, but rather add to the collection something more wearable for desk divers like myself 🙂

  5. ERR19
    ERR19 says:

    How can a dive watch have a dress double folding clasp on a steel bracelet? They may have been the first but they clearly don’t know crap now.

  6. Ben B
    Ben B says:

    Make a faithful reissue, 41mm, no date, non limited, about 10k (a few thousand more than a sub). There, I just made blancpain a billion dollars.

  7. James H
    James H says:

    An interesting discussion on the mighty Fifty Fathoms, but one that boils down to the well-worn “why isn’t it more like a Rolex Submariner. Because I can’t buy a Rolex Submariner and want more prestige than an Omega” The answer is fairly simple: because it isn’t one, it isn’t that and diversity is something we celebrate.

    Blancpain is a small maison, FFs not produced in high numbers (less made in total than Subs in a year? A month?) and they are authentic to the skills of the manufacture, the watch’s illustrious heritage and the actual needs of a diver. An absolute passion project of the brand’s diver CEO. It’s development drew on the input and experience of professionals at the absolute cutting edge of modern diving. And drew on the brand’s savour faire, as the only high horology dive watch on the market, (aside from JLC’s Polaris Memovox). None of which would have prompted Blancpain to produce a 40mm cookie cutter desk diver.

    The modern FF was designed from the movement up to be the ultimate dive watch, that promoted both legibility and wearability. Having used it as intended, they succeeded. No ‘big it and bling it’ exercise, this. Its purpose-built movement is at its heart and the 1315 is exceptional; but large – there’s no way it would fit in a watch under 42mm (incidentally the figure normally quoted for the 1953 original, though sometimes listed as 43mm). The 40mm limited additions don’t use that movement, utilising the legacy Frederique Piguet 1150 instead (also used for the 38mm Bathyscaph). The FP1150 is a lovely general purpose movement (used by Breguet too), but not a movement specifically designed for hard working dive watches. And that’s not good enough; Blancpain is rather particular, you see. Authenticity.

    Only Seiko’s 50mm+ Tuna and 44mm Marinemaster have equalled the FF’s ability to wear so well and justify size. My advice to anyone is to try it on and embrace the different. Or question why you want a purpose built dive watch that isn’t the size of a purpose built dive watch. Any change in size from an arbitrarily perceived norm (currently imagined as 40mm for any watch, from field, to track, to sea)) will seem unusual and take adaptation. Be it a 36mm Rolex Explorer (“a lady’s size,” real men bluster) or a 47mm Panerai (“only fit for Stallone, cognoscenti opine). If you still think the FF is too big, Blancpain have you covered: consider the FF Bathyscaph – at 38 or 43mm, still true to its heritage of being an all around casual dive watch. Or Omega’s 41mm Seamaster 300 – truer to the Submariner’s casual-lux heritage than the current Submariner.

    • Cuentatiempos
      Cuentatiempos says:

      I appreciate your wide and definitely enlightening comment regarding the topic discussed here. (Without belittling friend Raman, I think I deserved an answer from him)

    • Yachtmaster 2021
      Yachtmaster 2021 says:

      I am curious how on the one hand the FF is clearly a dive watch, though the original high polish finish says something else, at least to me. And on the other hand you have an admittedly beautifully crafted bracelet that is a low profile double deployant with no on fly adjustment. But more critically no dive extension. To me the polished finish and bracelet design sends a mixed message that conflicts with the supposedly functional large size. Yes, I realize it now comes in different finishes and materials with a sailcloth strap for diving. Yet, I had one on my Bathy 38mm and it started to fray after a month of decidedly no diving activity. so I don’t see that as a long term proposition for a $10K plus watch.

      • Raman
        Raman says:

        Hi James – thank you for your comment. I really appreciate your input and it’s always good getting different views. After all, a lot of what we discuss is subjective 🙂

        I think Blancpain as a brand is great. I like the fact they are a smaller house and make watches that are slightly different. I also agree that to some degree, not being able to get a Submariner is a big reason you see people looking elsewhere which, in my eyes, is only a positive as brands like Blancpain could/should benefit.

        I don’t disagree with your argument. The FF is a true tool watch, and the heritage is there behind it. I would never want them to stop providing that and the original 45mm FF should be a staple in their collection. My view though, as you saw above, is that for the purposes of making the brand more successful whether by sales or financial or even by recognition, they need to capitalise on their iconic design. A smaller version is the only way to go as that is how tastes are trending and not everyone can pull off such a true diver. Yes, the movement would have to change and for those who use their watch professionally, it might not be the best option, but it would definitely help them commercially. Thanks again!

  8. Jon Messer
    Jon Messer says:

    Excellent article Raman. I need to disagree on one key point – the S/S bracelet. You say it affects wearability in a negative way? I strongly believe the opposite. Yes, the bracelet is expensive. It’s also the absolute finest steel sport bracelet available anywhere for: finish, contour, fit, look, balance, displacement & overall image.

    As you well put, the ROLEX Oyster seems to be the basis standard by which most others are measured. I’ve owned ROLEX Subs, GMT’s, etc. I currently own 2 Yacht-Master I’s, one with original style Oyster & one with the newer, smoother, more refined Oyster bracelet. They fit & work well. They’re hardly ever annoying or, hanging up on my rather small wrist. BUT, they in no way, shape or, form compare to the quality, fit, finish & balance of Blancpain’s magnificent bracelet. I’ve owned & worn the 22mm BP since June 2009 = 14 years now on my Flyback Chrono. In terms of quality, almost nothing compares or exists.

    Albeit entirely different design, my V-C Overseas (II) Chrono sits + fits perfectly on their very comfortable, hefty bracelet that begins at about 24 or, 25mm at lugs. Here you truly find another incredibly crafted bracelet that measures way beyond to simplicity of the ROLEX Oyster.

    So, in sum & substance, I must emphasize the Blancpain S/S bracelet enhances any Blancpain sport/tool watch for the better without question.

    Respectfully submitted, Jon Messer

    • Raman
      Raman says:

      Hi Jon – I really appreciate your input and thoughts! You make a compelling case. I should probably get some more long-term time with one to really give it a go. I must also say, I could be biased because my wrists are not very big so for me the bracelet adds a lot of heft that doesn’t work for me 🙂 I do agree with you, bracelets are the way to go and enhance the sports watch experience!

      • Jon Messer
        Jon Messer says:

        Agreed Raman, I too have a slender 7″ (18 cm) wrist. AND that’s precisely why fotterr both balance & contour there’s no better bracelet made anywhere than the Blancpain referenced here. Sure, there can be some terrific others, just not of this design. You’ll note, most serious and excellent watch manufacturers each take careful note of every aspect in producing or, commissioning their bracelets. This almost always (95%) applies to what we commonly refer to the “A-tier” or, TOP Brands.

  9. Ago
    Ago says:

    Granted, the size counters the prevailing trends, yet the size is an essential feature adding up to what the Automatiques are about. It´s about diving first and second. Many wants the downsizing which arrived by the new 42.3 mm iterations, and preferably even smaller in the classic configuration.

    That is not really what FF is about. Their similarity with the vintage versions is there, presented by their mutual objectives. Being the best divers watches there is. They were, and they are. The FF FF´s are the best regular production divers watches money can buy. The bezel comes through as somewhat flamboyant when separated from it´s natural environment, subsurface. Where it is unparallelled by any typical “competitior”. In combination with the titanium cases, they most certainly are luxurious, but they certainly are great divers tools too.

    Specwise there are no show off ratings for the FF´s. There are no helium valves on the Automatiques, and the depth rating is generous yet restrained. Going back to the vintage/neo vintage competition in terms of practical usage, both the Tuna and the Ploprof have depth ratings that developed with diving history and they resemble the development of the established maximum depths human physiology can handle plus safety margins. No divers watch makes sense beyond that. Which is why Blancpain have the 500 fathoms iterations. Well beyond the capacity of human physiology, and just about right when safety margins are applied.

    They followed that principle when they designed the Tech Gombessa too. They kept it at 300m, AND it is in fact slimmer than the Automatique, a whopping 0.59 mm ;o) True to diving. Which is what the 45 Automatiques and the 47 Tech are all about.

    The movements speaks for themselves. Sure, you can purchase the Automatiques with bracelets, but again, that´s not really what these watches are ment for. They are made to be worn with the straps. Quite often, the Automatiques are compared with Rolex Submariner, but they are not made to match those in any way. Blancpain has Bathyscapes for that. Be it 38 with 1150 or 43 with 1315.


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