The Revamped Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet: Is It The Ultimate Tool Watch?
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The Revamped Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet: Is It The Ultimate Tool Watch?

The Revamped Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet: Is It The Ultimate Tool Watch?


Blancpain certainly know their way around top notch tool timepieces, especially the legendary Fifty Fathoms collection, which has been a playground for new sizes, materials and technical features. Safe to say that they have every right to boast such an eclectic collection! The 2022 Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet was therefore brought in with the same vigour of support by fans and horophiles alike, especially since its predecessors were praised highly upon their release in 2018. Without dancing around the nitty gritty of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet for too long, join us as we delve into why this may just be the ultimate tool watch!


Background Of The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet


The Fifty Fathoms collection is as revered as Lionel Messi’s left foot.

Complet Phases de Lune - Source - Blancpain

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And they have scored both on and off the pitch with watch fans. Seeing its original entrance to the horological scene in 1953, The Fifty Fathoms could comfortably be given the title of the first modern dive model. It all started from a diving expedition by Jean-Jacques Fiechter, who is the CEO of the brand, undertaken in 1950. Upon his last minute realisation that he needed to measure decompression phases due to air running out, he found the necessary inspiration to create a model that could measure time and be waterproof enough to cope with diving. Talk about making a splash! 

The basic design consisted of a double sealed crown which ensured no water would enter, even with the crown out, a rotating bezel which could be turned by applying pressure down onto the bezel itself and a seal on the caseback. This would reduce the chance of the caseback not being secured properly when attaching it onto the model. The model would be brought into action when Fiechter came across Bob Maloubier and Claude Riffaud, who were in charge of setting up the French Combat Swimmers Corps. Their duties consisted of finding the relevant equipment for the taskforce, one of which would be timepieces. 

This rendez-vous would prove useful to both parties as the models both gentlemen had encountered were poorly executed and would regularly leak. Fiechter would see his timepieces put to the ultimate test by established divers. Models were given to the Corps and later issued as official diving equipment by the French. The models were so technically brilliant that Riffaud waxed lyrical to their own distributor, stating that the model was effective at 100 metres and was highly legible. Legend has it that a timepiece was lost at 53 metres and found 24 hours later in perfect working condition. If this knowledge does not influence you to buy a Blancpain, we don't know what will!


MilSpec - Source - Blancpain

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The Fifty Fathoms was also granted to the US Navy through a Jeweller who operated in the USA. Due to there being restrictions in place regarding other countries supplying goods to the United States, the jeweller proved to be invaluable in keeping the goods flowing between the countries. 

These Fifty Fathoms would be known as the Milspec 1 and became qualified as their model of choice. Outside of the Armed Forces, the model was adopted by Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s diving team which appears in their documentary ‘The Silent World’. After a period of silence for the collection between 1980 and 2000, The Fifty Fathoms was brought back to life through new CEO Marc A.Hayek - another avid diver like Fiechter. 

He released the Fifty Fathoms 50th Anniversary (Now 70th Anniversary!) which gave a nod to the same design codes as the 1953 models such as the highly legible numerals. But it came with a brand spanking new water resistance of 300 metres, or almost 1000 feet to the horological nerds looking to buy a watch.  The list of new releases for the brand continued, resulting in models like the Fathoms X Fathoms in 2022, focused solely on the dive community with its 55.6mm size and 24mm thickness. There are also the more old school editions such as the No Rad. Limited to just 500 pieces it pays homage to the brand's past design spec.

And now the tide has turned again in your favour, watch peeps. In 2022, they released the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet. It may just be the best edition yet!


Technical Elements Of The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet


The movement in this tidy mechanical dive watch is the in-house calibre 6654.P.


Complet Phases de Lune - Source - Blancpain

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This is an underrated move as it means they can craft their timepieces to the highest level without relying on outside suppliers. It's not often done in the horological world, meaning you can buy a Blancpain like the Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet with the knowledge it's completely Blancpain inside and out. This mechanical dive watch is self winding and through the exhibition back on the timepiece, we can see small aesthetic changes like snailed bridges and polished bevels which accentuate the beauty of the movement. Sparkling through is the 18K gold decorated rotor which is given a blackened effect to suit the understated design aesthetic of the model. 

But Is the movement competent though? Absolutely, Timelords! The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet beats at a steady 4Hz, or 28,800VpH and has a strong power reserve of 72 hours meaning you can take it off for the boozy weekend and get it back on for the professional office zone. We reckon that it looks good on most outfits due to its subtle elegance and focus on quality rather than being overly ostentatious. The movement boasts a few complications which we love from the triple calendar moonphase with the day and week to a date indication and visible moon phase situated at 6 o'clock. 


Personality Of The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet


There are a few variations of this model, all of which are worth considering in terms of their visuals. 


Complet Phases de Lune - Source - Blancpain

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The timepieces receive a brushed finish which is typical of the tool timepiece design as it gives the model a rugged yet professional allure which is only really attainable through such a finish. Anything else may come across as too much for a mechanical dive watch which is designed to take a few bumps and scrapes. You're spoilt for choice with this model as it is available in either 18K red gold or the new material, titanium grade 23. Titanium on its own is deemed to be extremely effective, not just for models but in the aerospace and automotive industries too. This is due to the lightweight properties of the material and their inherent durability.

Blancpain took it up a notch by upgrading The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet to a purer version of the commonly used ‘grade 5’ titanium seen in medical industries and recognised for its durability, high corrosion and abrasion resistance. Measuring 43mm which for us is fairly sizable it has a solid physical prowess on the wrist. Unlike previous editions of the Bathyscaphe models, there are corrector pushers which can be found at 2 and 4 o'clock. Not to worry…the water resistance of this marvellous mechanical dive watch won't be jeopardized by these little amendments. But we do like those tiny details.



Complet Phases de Lune - Source - The Watch Observer

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The dial is a tad busy which could be argued poses a threat to the readability of the model. After all, it's a tool timepiece so legibility is incredibly important. Luckily for us, they are one step ahead at all times and have designed the compilations to suit the mechanical dive watch perfectly. For example, you could have either the grey sunbrushed dial, ceramic insert bezel and rhodium plated indices on the titanium editions or venture towards the sunray brushed blue dial. This comes complete with matching bezel and gold indices on the red gold editions. Either way, it allows light to accentuate certain elements of the model, depending on where the light is streaming from. 

As for the moonphase complication design, this follows the traditional pattern of the day and week based at 12 o'clock. There’s a pointer date circling the centre of the dial and the moon phase itself, taking a fair amount of space up to 6 o'clock. By having the pointer date circle around the centre of the dial instead of impeding with the minute track on the periphery, the mechanical dive watch can fulfil its time measurement function potential without the user not knowing where to look. 

Therefore, while the complication set up does follow the traditional style of placement as seen in collections like the Villeret, amendments are made in the Bathyscaphe to ensure the models ultimate time keeping purpose is centre stage. This superlative act of ingenuity by them is what allows the model to be considered the ultimate tool timepiece due to it harbouring complications but also making first class timekeeping the primary feature. 

The strap options on The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet are available in blue NATO or sailcloth for the red gold editions or a titanium bracelet, grey NATO or sailcloth for the titanium version. The red gold and blue design gives a regal aesthetic which is perfect for the gentleman who likes his wrist wear to be noticed. We think the titanium timepiece matches the bracelet best as it can be worn both formally in an office situation or when kicking back and catching a few rays by the beach. 


Comparison - Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet v Tudor Pelagos 39 


While it's easy to say that the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet is the best tool timepiece, it's only fair that we pit it against the rising, and already critically acclaimed star, the new Tudor Pelagos 39. 


Tudor Pelagos 39


The new Tudor Pelagos 39 is a model that has taken the dive watch world by storm over the last twelve months.


Tudor Pelagos 39 - Source - Tudor

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Primarily due to its sleek new size of 39mm and consumer tastes veering towards slimmer models, the watch has a comfortable 200 metres of water resistance. It negates diving features like the helium escape valve for design aesthetics such as a black ceramic insert bezel and a grade 2 titanium case. Yet, the Blancpain Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet has the best of both worlds in this regard. 

While the model is bigger at 42mm, it happens to have a better water resistance of 300 metres while also leaving out the prominent helium valve. The timepiece utilizes far superior materials too, upgrading the Pelagos grade 2 titanium to the highly sought after grade 23 titanium which is rarely used in models. It also has the option of red gold if you decide to dress up the model for a swanky event or dinner. This  shows the consumer intelligence in appealing to those looking to buy a Blancpain timepiece for more formal affairs. 

The Tudor Pelagos 39 has a speedy movement, which destroys the COSC certification requirements of -4 to +6 seconds per day with a -2 to +4 second variation. The movement does not power any complications, instead keeping the standard hours and minutes running superbly. Meanwhile, the Blancpain Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet isn't COSC certified but the movement is still highly competent, reaching a higher power reserve of 72 hours. This is in contrast to the 70 hours of the Tudor Pelagos. 

Although the calibres are the same, pulsating at 4Hz, The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet calibre powers a few complications such as the pointer date and moonphase complication. It really goes to show that Blancpain takes the traditional timepiece and elevates it to be a dressy companion which has the cajones to deal with the outside world. There isn't much between the two models truth be told. It’s not quite first past the post but it’s almost a photo finish. Both have revolutionized the horological industries with either size changes or via modernizing the standard construction of the case and dial. Whether you buy a Tudor or buy a Blancpain, you’ll be hard pressed to find fault with either piece.


What’s Our View?


Suffice it to say, we’ve been bowled over by the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet and its value is no doubt unprecedented due to its rich history and the updated use of precious metals or upgraded titanium. The watch has the capability of holding its value as it utilises the latest materials in the form of titanium, has the option for luxury with precious metals and has a variety of straps which allows for the watch to be worn in a variety of situations.  You can buy a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet in each variation at retail for:


  • £17,000 - Titanium Edition with Titanium Bracelet
  • £14,700 - Titanium with Sail Canvas/NATO Strap
  • £13,600 - Steel with Sail Canvas strap/NATO 
  • £16,100 - Steel with Steel Bracelet
  • £27,600 - Red Gold with Sail Canvas/NATO Strap




Well, Timelords. We’ve reached the final stop of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet tour and we’ve certainly reached our verdict. We believe that this model is certainly the quintessential tool timepiece for all you timekeeping enthusiasts. While The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet may not have the increasingly popular smaller sizing of the Pelagos 39, it offers more than the standard model thanks to its moon phase complication, upgraded durability aspect and grade 23 titanium. The option of red gold shows how they realized that people wanted the option to enhance the elegant dial face with a precious metal casing. Though we still feel titanium is a superb option for dressing up!


Can't wait to buy a Blancpain watch? Feeling the itch to wear the ultimate tool watch? Truth be told, we wouldn't blame you if you wanted to sell a Blancpain and upgrade to the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet. If so, why not discuss your specific requirements with Chrono Hunter here. Check out our phenomenal reviews on Trustpilot to find out why we really are your essential source to buy a watch or sell a watch.


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Further Reading: 

Brand Page - Blancpain

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Special Edition - Is It Worth The Hype?


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