Blancpain - The Watch Auction: One Geneva Saturday, May 9, 2015 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Blancpain
    Year: 1958
    Movement No: 1361N
    Case No: 759
    Model Name: Fifty Fathoms
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel
    Dimensions: 41mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Debuted in 1953, Blancpain's celebrated "Fifty Fathoms" model was presented as the first true modern diving wristwatch. The idea for the model arose when two captains of the French navy, Commander Maloubier and Lieutenant Riffand, requested a practical solution for a watch to be used by a new unit of military combat swimmers.Upon finding no existing watch capable of withstanding the extreme conditions of underwater missions, the two officers approached Blancpain with a very specific set of technical specifications, including the revolutionary unidirectional bezel. The watch developed following these requests is considered the archetype of the diver's watch, its name derived from the water resistance guaranteed to a depth of 50 fathoms or 91.45 meters.

  • 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 rare, unusual and large anti-magnetic divers wristwatch with centre seconds

41mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF14,000 - 22,000 

Sold for CHF22,500

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Watch Auction: One

Geneva Auction 10 May 2015 6:30pm