Blancpain - The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE Geneva Saturday, May 14, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Blancpain
    Year: Circa 1965
    Case No: 100'939
    Model Name: Fifty Fathoms
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. AS 1700, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Crocodile
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Blancpain pin buckle
    Dimensions: 37mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1953, the Fifty Fathoms was designed to meet the needs of French Navy “Frogmen” to support their underwater missions. Manufactured by Blancpain, the watches were distributed either through the French Navy supplier, Spirotechnique, or through LIP. Only the watches retailed by Blancpain sported the brand’s name, whilst the models sold through LIP were branded “Chronometre LIP, Brevets Blancpain”.

    The present watch, made for civilians, is housed in a large stainless steel case measuring 37mm in diameter. The gorgeous black lacquered dial features the colorful and desirable “No Radiations” symbol at 6 o’clock, as well as the rare “technisub” designation printed in white at 12 o’clock. Technisub was founded in 1963 by Luigi Ferraro former combat diver of the famous Gamma group of the Italian marine. Technisub was a distributor of Professional diving equipment including Spirotechnique, one of Blancpain's main clients. Thanks to this connection Blancpain agreed to make a very small series of Fifty Fathoms featuring Technisub on the dial.
    Its rotating Bakelite bezel has aged harmoniously, surviving the years with no cracks or restorations whatsoever. Exceptionally well preserved in virtually mint condition, it is a rare and attractive variant of the famous Fifty Fathoms that offers tremendous value for the collector.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1735

    As the watchmaking brand with the earliest founding date, Blancpain remains close to tradition, concentrating on classical mechanical watches. Established in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the Le Brassus manufacturer today continues to innovate with the development of high-quality calibres and is proud of their heritage, having never made quartz watches. One of the firm's greatest successes was the Fifty Fathom wristwatch introduced in 1953 — the vintage models of which are now highly coveted by collectors. The earliest dive watch available to the market, Fifty Fathom came out a year prior to Rolex's Submariner.  Another key model is the Air Command from the 1960s, considered one of the most mythical collector's watches due to their extreme rarity. Today, the firm specializes in creative innovated complicated timepieces. 

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An attractive and rare stainless steel diver's watch with "No Radiations" black dial, retailed by Technisub

Circa 1965
37mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for CHF20,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE

Geneva Auction 15 May 2016