Blancpain - The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE Geneva Friday, May 12, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Blancpain
    Year: circa 1965
    Case No: 300'166
    Model Name: Fifty Fathoms
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. R310, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 41mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Back in the early 50s Blancpain launched the Fifty Fathoms as a military watch, upon the French army divers combat unit requirements. At that time, the use of radium was common for luminous material, and according to the needs of the army, the military issued models used a high level of radium, a radioactive substance, for greater legibility. When Blancpain decided to offer this divers watch to the public, the brand realized the need to easily differentiate the two versions. As the civilian version didn’t use any radioactive material, Blancpain decided to place a cross on the radioactivity symbol and place it prominently at 6 o’clock.
    The present Fifty Fathoms is an extremely attractive example of the civilian version of the model. The antimagnetic caliber bears N° R310 which is a Blancpain code to identify the caliber AS1700 produced for the American market. In extremely appealing original condition, the present tool watch will be a clever addition to any collection of iconic watches.

  • 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 very attractive and large stainless steel diver's wristwatch with "No Radiations" black glossy dial

circa 1965
41mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF15,000 - 25,000 

Sold for CHF31,250

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017