Ocean watch


The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe model.

The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe model.

Creator of the first modern diving watch, Blancpain is a staunch protector of the oceans through its Ocean Commitment program.

In June, to mark World Oceans Day, the Swiss watchmaker reaffirmed its commitment to marine conservation. A UN partner, Blancpain is supporting National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project, as well as the expeditions of marine biologist and underwater photographer Laurent Ballesta. A pioneer in the world of deep diving, he recently returned from the South Pole, where he was the first to photograph certain specimens. Through partnerships such as these, Blancpain is reinforcing its connection with the sea, which goes back to 1953. That year, the brand’s CEO, Jean-Jacques Fiechter, himself a seasoned diver, launched a revolutionary diving watch following a commission from Captain Robert Maloubier, co-founder of the French navy’s “combat swimmers” unit. Featuring a rotating bezel with a patented locking mechanism, the Fifty Fathoms offered optimum legibility, with white indices and luminescent hands on a black dial. Waterproof to 50 fathoms, it was adopted by the Israeli, American and German military, and was worn by ocean explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Sixty years later, Laurent Ballesta is diving to a depth of up to 200 meters to bring us pictures of the coelacanth, one of the oldest types of fish. On his wrist he wears the Blancpain X-Fathoms, housed in its 55-mm titanium case. With its separate display for the 0-15 m zone, maximum depth memory and retrograde counter for decompression stops, this is a diving watch for the third millennium.

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