Following the invention of the aqualung in 1942, sea diving saw a steep rise in popularity. Early dive watches featured an increase in water resistance and underwater visibility, but it wasn’t until 1953 that Blancpain debuted the Fifty Fathoms, a watch that set the blueprint for all divers from then on, continuing even today.
Designed by the leader of a French combat dive unit, the Fifty Fathoms featured a locking rotating bezel with a quarter-hour scale to time your dive duration, an automatic movement, and a new hour marker configuration. Today, the French watchmaker celebrates the 70th anniversary of the watch with its first in a yearlong series of Fifty Fathoms special editions.
Featuring plenty of inscriptions to mark the occasion, including on the black sunburst dial and the platinum rotor, the 70th Anniversary Series I timepiece features a 42.3mm case size — a first for the diver and right in between the 45mm of the standard Fifty Fathoms and the 40mm of the limited editions. Equipped with a black NATO strap, the stainless steel watch will run on the caliber 1315 automatic movement.
70 pieces of the watch will be made available for each of the three release regions (the U.S., Asia Pacific, and EMEA). No price has been given yet.