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

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  • Manufacturer: Blancpain
    Year: 1968
    Case No: 2832
    Model Name: Fifty Fathoms Milspec 1 "Double Swiss"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. AS 1361, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Tropic Rubber
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 41mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Blancpain Fifty Fathoms exhibition certificate, original paper tag from the 275th anniversary exhibition and Kubik winding box with Fifty Fathoms Exhibition logo.

  • Exhibited

    Fifty Fathoms Collectors Exhibition, Exposition to celebrate the 275th Anniversary of the brand.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Since its launch in 1953, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is has remained one of the most iconic dive watches in history. Conceived by fulfilling a gap in the market for a reliable diver's watch, the Fifty Fathoms featured high water resistance, a robust protecting crown system, an automatic winding movement, legible luminescent markings and a rotating bezel with with timing markings.

    The present example is the very sought after Milspec 1 with a humidity tester at 6 o’clock. It displays other military specifications such as a three part body case, a diamond at 12 o'clock on the revolving bezel. The inside case back displays "Rayville S.A", denoting the watch was made for the American Market. While this watch does display military specifications, research shows that it was made for civilian use.

    An even more interesting feature is the "double Swiss" designation at 6 o'clock. Like Rolex's "Double Swiss Underline" reference 6239, we can surmise that the bezel had originally obscured the Swiss signature. As a result, Blancpain had to print it again, as to make it legible. This theory makes particular sense as the watch, was made for the American market, hence the importance of having a "Swiss" signature for importation reasons.

    Research shows that the present watch is the only Milspec 1 with this dial configuration to appear on the auction market.

    The present watch has furthermore been displayed at the Fifty Fathoms exhibition commemorating the 275th anniversary of the brand.

  • 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 highly rare and attractive stainless steel divers' wristwatch with "Double Swiss" dial, humidity indicator and exhibition certificate

41mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF35,000 - 70,000 

Sold for CHF53,750

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX

Geneva Auctions 11 - 12 November 2017