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

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  • Manufacturer: Blancpain
    Year: Circa 1965/1970
    Movement No: 617'923
    Case No: 300'344
    Model Name: Fifty Fathoms
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. AS 1701, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Nato strap
    Dimensions: 41mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Blancpain Fifty Fathoms exhibition certificate and fitted presentation case

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1950, when the French Army formed a new combat unit composed of professional divers, it could not find a watch that would meet its expectations for underwater combat. Consequently the two founders of this unit decided to design the perfect tool watch for their missions. Their requirements were submitted to different brands, but only Blancpain whose then-CEO was a passionate diver, accepted the challenge.

    The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms was launched in 1953 and rapidly met with strong success amongst military and civilian divers. The present watch produced in the second half of the 1960s, bears the coveted “No-Radiations” symbol on its glossy black dial, used to indicate that the watch was for civilian use. The present watch is noteworthy as it was selected by Blancpain to represent the “Fifty Fathoms No Radiation” theme in their 2010 exhibition that commemorated the brand’s 275th anniversary. It is a superb example of the Fifty Fathoms model from the late 1960s and is presented today in excellent, unrestored condition.

  • 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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A rare and attractive stainless steel diver's watch with "No Radiations" black dial, date, certificate and box

Circa 1965/1970
41mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF18,000 - 28,000 

Sold for CHF32,500

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE

Geneva Auction 15 May 2016