Blancpain - The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX Geneva Friday, November 10, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Blancpain
    Year: Circa 1970
    Movement No: 619'655
    Case No: 207'630
    Model Name: Fifty Fathoms "Barracuda"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Rubber
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 41mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed, outside case back engraved with military number MW 375

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Fifty Fathoms model is perhaps the most iconic dive watch in history. Developed in the beginning of the 1950s under the helm of Jean-Jacques Fiechter with the French Combat Diving School, its name derives from the watch's waterproof ability. It can be submerged up to Fifty Fathoms, or 91.45 meters underwater.

    Since the release of Fifty Fathoms, Blancpain has released a variety of versions. While some were made for civilian use, others were issued to the military. The Barracuda model is distinguished by its two-tone numerals, which this model is best known for. It was originally issued to the American, German and Polish military.

    The present watch, confirmed by Blancpain as being issued to the Polish military, is preserved in excellent condition. This is also apparent by the hand-engraved “MW”, which indicates the watch was delivered to the Polish navy. The dial is preserved in excellent condition, and the tritium still glows under a black light. The bezel is preserved in particularly good condition, and is free of visible cracks.

  • 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 wristwatch with revolving bezel, made for the Polish Military

Circa 1970
41mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed, outside case back engraved with military number MW 375

CHF10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for CHF30,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX

Geneva Auctions 11 - 12 November 2017