Blancpain is collaborating with Swatch to create a playful and unexpected version of its iconic Fifty Fathoms scuba diving watch. Five Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms models celebrate the oceans that Blancpain is so deeply committed to preserving and safeguarding.
Blancpain and Swatch are teaming up for a non-limited collection of five models full of joie de vivre, colour and technology. Together, the two Swatch Group brands are diving into the five oceans of the blue planet, combining the best of both brands with innovative, bioceramic, water-resistant timepieces and a mechanical movement with a 90-hour power reserve. The two brands have joined forces to create a collection of five watches called the Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Collection. Each model celebrates one of the five oceans, the conservation of which is so dear to Blancpain’s heart. The obvious choice for this project was the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, a watch born exactly 70 years ago and that revolutionised watchmaking by becoming the first true diver’s watch.
These five Blancpain X Swatch models are made from bioceramic, a unique and patented blend of twothirds ceramic and one-third biomaterials derived from castor oil.
While the colours chosen for this collaboration clearly indicate that this is not a traditional Blancpain watch, all fans and enthusiasts will recognise at first glance many of the features and characteristics of the iconic Fifty Fathoms, as well as nods to the Swatch Scuba collection. The main features of the Fifty Fathoms are all present in the Swatch version: the typical case, its unidirectional rotating bezel to measure the duration of the dive as well as its self-winding movement protected from magnetic fields – in this instance the SISTEM51 equipped with the Nivachron™ antimagnetic balance spring. For Blancpain President and CEO Marc A. Hayek, this collaboration is highly symbolic: “Without Swatch, the Swiss watch industry would simply not have survived and enjoyed such a wonderful destiny.
This collection is a source of pride for me. We owed it to ourselves to work with this brand that is as much a pioneer as we are – a reality vividly proven with this collection. Swatch has brilliantly reinterpreted our iconic model, in its own way, with its own vision. As a keen diver myself, I really appreciate the attention to detail in this collection and the many references to the Fifty Fathoms. The fact that it is water-resistant to a depth of 91 metres – corresponding to exactly 50 fathoms, a nautical unit of depth – is a fantastic nod.” Blancpain President and CEO Marc A. Hayek, who himself relaunched the Fifty Fathoms in 2003, was also won over by the tribute paid to nudibranchs on the rotor of the SISTEM51 mechanical movement: “These sea animals are pure marvels of nature. With their unlikely shapes and often shimmering colours, they are an immense pleasure to observe in their element during a dive. They create a serene and calming effect. Through its Blancpain Ocean Commitment programme, Blancpain has to date co-financed more than 20 major scientific expeditions and helped to double the surface area of protected marine areas around the world.” The new collection of five watches, featuring colours never yet seen on the original Fifty Fathoms, lends a strong playful touch to Blancpain’s iconic diver’s watch.
Each model features the shared Blancpain X Swatch logos on the dial and crown. The straps are made from recycled fishing nets removed from the ocean floor. For all those who want to immerse themselves in the discovery of this collection, underwater or otherwise, the watches are available from September 9 and only at selected Swatch stores worldwide. Presented in a special diving case, the watches will also be on display for a few weeks in a selection of Blancpain boutiques, but not for sale.