Regardless of their pretenses, dive watches are seldom used for actual diving. And while professional and recreational divers will definitely equip themselves with a top-tier dive watch, these timepieces serve as more of a capable and stylish choice for everyday wear or perhaps a dip in the ocean for most.
Last month, Blancpain kicked off the 70th-anniversary celebration of its Fifty Fathoms dive watch, which established the blueprint in 1953 to inform the industry from then onward. Now, the French watchmaker has unveiled “Act 2,” the Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa. Where bezels on most divers will sport a one-hour scale to measure (ostensibly or actually) a person’s time underwater, the bezel on the Tech Gombessa goes up to 3 hours — the first of its kind.
Times have changed. A modern rebreather apparatus allows technical divers to maximize their time underwater and also happens to have a three-hour maximum recommended usage limit. To make the bezel more practical, Blancpain has assigned it a fourth hand that makes one revolution in three hours. Likewise, the indices on the bezel have a different lume color to help differentiate them from the ones on the dial.
Given a grade 23 titanium case with a 47mm diameter, the Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa dive watch is available from Blancpain’s website for $28,000.