Div­ing into the past

Business Traveller - - WATCHES -

Watch brands have been sub­merged in their archives for a while now, but when the re­sults are this smart, we won’t com­plain

Blanc­pain Trib­ute to Fifty Fathom MIL-SPEC

Such is its ubiq­uity, it is easy to as­sume that the Rolex Sub­mariner was the orig­i­nal diver’s watch. But, no, in fact ri­val Blanc­pain got there a year ear­lier, in 1953, with its Fifty Fath­oms. Like the Sub­mariner, it re­mains in pro­duc­tion and en­joys a pas­sion­ate cult fol­low­ing. Un­like the Sub, how­ever, it has spawned a num­ber of dis­tinc­tive vari­ants over the years, and it is one of these that Blanc­pain is hark­ing back to with the new Trib­ute to Fifty Fath­oms MIL-SPEC.

When first launched in 1957, it in­tro­duced a small or­ange and white cir­cu­lar patch at six o’clock that would turn red if water pen­e­trated the watch’s case. The modern-day ver­sion – mea­sur­ing 40mm and rated to 300 me­tres of water pressure – is faith­ful to the orig­i­nal, al­though Blanc­pain as­sures us there is zero chance of mois­ture creep­ing in. Just in case, though, eh? £10,310; blanc­pain.com

Rado Hyper­chrome Cap­tain Cook

Typ­i­cally given more to de­signer-chic ce­ramic cre­ations, this year Rado has dipped into the archives and recre­ated a 1960s piece, the Cap­tain Cook, with spot-on sizing (37mm) and 100-me­tre water re­sis­tance. £1,430; rado.com

Oris Divers 65

The Divers 65 took Oris from clue­less to cool in two short years with a win­ning com­bi­na­tion of retro looks, bold colours and agree­able prices. Now it’s avail­able in a slightly more so­phis­ti­cated sil­ver-di­alled it­er­a­tion. £1,450; oris.ch

Pan­erai Lu­mi­nor Sub­mersible 1950 Rosso

Hugely re­spon­si­ble for the pop­u­lar­ity of over­sized watches in the 1990s and 2000s (via one S Stallone), Pan­erai is now mak­ing smaller ver­sions (42mm) for mere mor­tals. The Sub­mersible is the lat­est to get the scaled-down treat­ment. £21,500; pan­erai.com

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