And there’s the new Blancpain x Swatch just released, with all the predictions, or the leaks for the more sceptical, confirming that the new watches arrive inspired by the legendary Blancpain Fifty Fathoms dive watch, with a mechanical movement faithful to its history, with a water resistance much higher than the Swatch standard of 30m, and in the form of five variants.
But before we talk about each of the variants let’s address the points common to all of them, on the outside they wear a robust Bioceramic case measuring 42.3mm in diameter by 14.4mm thick and a lug-to-lug distance of 48mm, unidirectional bezel on the same case material with domed insert and 60m scale filled with Super-LumiNova, glass made of biological material with anti-scratch coating, crown at 3 o’clock with crown guards, open case back and 91m water resistance. The rear sapphire crystal, in addition to revealing the movement, is painted with each of the oceans and different nudibranchs that inhabit them, whose tone served as inspiration for each of the variants.
The dials feature a gradient effect whose tones intensify from the centre to the periphery.
Inside operates the 51-component SISTEM51 mechanical movement that reaches 21,600 Vph and offers up to 90 hours of power reserve.
The watches are attached to a NATO-type nylon strap made from recycled fishing nets collected from the sea.
Having made the introductions, let’s now talk about each of the five variants.
Arctic Ocean S035N100
The watch wears a beige case that also extends to the nylon strap hardware, featuring an orange bezel insert that matches the tone of the strap that is only interrupted by three thin beige stripes. The beige dial features applied hour markers and orange hands filled with Super-LumiNova, a round orange radiation symbol with two crossed lines that symbolizes the end of the radium material that is still possible to find today on many old diving watches at 6 o’clock and white inscriptions at noon with four lines of text with the name of the two brands of this collaboration and the model that inspired the watch.
Pacific Ocean S035P100
It features a yellow case and a black bezel insert with the same characteristics as the Arctic Ocean. A white dial with a grey gradient effect presents applied indexes and Arabic numerals at 3-6-9-12 o’clock, blacked hands all filled with the same luminescent material, a date window at 4:30 and the inscriptions of the brands at 12 o’clock and the inscriptions “Scuba” and “Fifty Fathoms” at 6 o’clock followed by “91m / 300ft” in yellow. The watch is attached to a black NATO strap with a central yellow stripe and two adjacent white lines.
Atlantic Ocean S035A100
The blue-toned case comes with a dark blue bezel insert, the same goes for the dial whose layout repeats the Pacific Ocean formula. The strap in shades of blue comes with a central white stripe flanked by two others in light blue.
Indian Ocean S035I100
And as there are no two without three, the same formula of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans dials is repeated, with the difference that here the case wears a green coat whose tone extends to the dial and a black bezel. On the outside, the black strap features a centre orange stripe that is accompanied by two others in a green tone matching the case.
Antarctic Ocean S035S100
As is easy to guess, the case features an ice-white colour whose tone extends to the gradient dial and whose layout here is similar to the Arctic Ocean with the difference that the radioactive symbol at 6 o’clock here is replaced by a bicolour moister indicator widely used on military dive watches, and a grey bezel insert matching the tone of the painted strap with a dark grey central stripe and a couple of white stripes.
We liked that the design was faithful to the original, opting for the more classic and therefore more iconic version of the famous Fifty Fathoms dive watch that gives it its name, the mechanical movement whose illustration is visible on the case back, the 91m water resistance which although they are short for its nature is perhaps more than one would expect, and finally, the price, €390 for a Swatch sounds too much but if to the other positive points we add a higher quality than that displayed on the Moonswatch, that we want to believe, can be justified.
What we liked less, was the colours, between the classic and contemporary, it is clear that the choice fell on the second, we believe that the classic would be more appropriate to the history of the watch.
The real verdict will have to wait until the 9th of September 2023, after we see each of them live, a task that is not easy to predict.
Read more here.
Model: Scuba Fifty Fathoms – Blancpain x Swatch
Reference: S035N100 (Arctic Ocean), S035P100 (Pacific Ocean), S035A100 (Atlantic Ocean), S035I100 (Indian Ocean), S035S100 (Antarctic Ocean)
Dial: Beige, white, blue, green
Case Material: Bioceramic
Case Dimensions: 42.30 mm Diameter, 14.40 mm thickness, 48mm lug-to-lug
Crystal: Glass made of biological material
Case Back: Sapphire Glass
Water Resistance: 91 Meters
Strap: Matching NATO-type nylon strap made from recycled fishing nets
Functions: Hours, minutes, date, moisture indicator (Antarctic Ocean)
Frequency: 21,600 Vph
Power Reserve: 90 Hours
Price: In selected Swatch boutiques, one per person (at least at a time)
Price: € 390
Limited Edition: No