In the late 1950s, Jean-jacques Fiechter, Blancpain's then-ceo and inventor of the Fifty Fathoms divers’ watch, introduced an innovation that would enable that timepiece to meet the strict standards for U.S. military use. at feature — a circular watertightness indicator on the dial — has been resurrected in the new Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MILSPEC, the latest vintage-inspired take on the Fifty Fathoms.
e indicator at 6 o’clock that changed its color from white to red if liquid leaked into the case was a follow-up invention to several others Blancpain had introduced in the Fifty Fathoms models — among them the first interior O-ring sealing system for casebacks and the now-ubiquitous unidirectional diving bezel.
e modern re-interpretation of the MIL-SPEC is powered by Blancpain's in-house, automatic movement, Caliber 1151, with two mainspring barrels. Visible through a sapphire window in the back of the 40-mm stainless-steel case, its other attributes include a four-day power reserve, a solid gold winding rotor, coated with the platinum alloy NAC and engraved with a Blancpain logo; and its balance spring made of low-density, shock-resistant, magnetismimpervious silicon.
e Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC comes on a NATO or sail cloth strap (price: $14,000) or on a steel bracelet ($16,200) and is limited to 500 pieces.
— Blancpain added a trio of new timepieces to its elegant, historically inspired Villeret collection at this year’s Baselworld, including a model that tracks not only the day and date, but the week of the year, along the outside edge of the dial, using a blued serpentine central hand that has a little crook at the end.
e Villeret Semainier Grande Date 8 Jours is powered by the automatic Caliber 3738G2 with a titanium variable-inertia balance with gold micrometric regulation screws. It has an eight-day power reserve thanks to three mainspring barrels.
e dial comes with Roman numerals on a grand feu enamel background and gold leafshaped hands. e chapter ring and Blancpain logo are enamel painted. e rose-gold case has a diameter of 42 mm; correctors at 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock adjust the day of the week and week of the year, respectively (the large date is set via the crown). Price: $36,300.
Blancpain Villeret Semainier Grande Date 8 Jours
Blancpain Caliber 1151
Blancpain “Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC”
Blancpain Caliber 3738G2