Blancpain - The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT Geneva Saturday, November 10, 2018 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Manufacturer: Blancpain
    Year: Circa 1967
    Movement No: 3'006'138
    Case No: 300'710
    Model Name: Fifty Fathoms Aqua Lung
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. R310, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Nato
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 41mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1953, the Fifty Fathoms was both a passion project led by Blancpain’s then CEO, and an extremely technical and ground-breaking diving tool, built to meet the French Navy’s requirements for a wristwatch. Named after its waterproofness capability, it fulfills the needs of the French Navy, and became one of the most widely used military watches.

    When the first military Fifty Fathoms came out, radium was the logical choice to insure the luminosity of the watch in the darkness of the sea. Later on, and with the rise of the public’s concern with the level of radioactivity of this material, Blancpain decided that civilian versions of the Fifty Fathoms should use tritium and would clearly indicate the harmlessness of their luminescent material. Civilian models therefore feature the universal symbol for radioactivity stroked through with the mention “No Radiations” at 6 o’clock on the dial.

    Since most models were made for professionals, the Fifty Fathoms was hardly ever sold by luxury boutiques but rather in diving outlets. This is the reason why some examples also feature the name of a diving brand or shop. Aqua Lung was the most famous of these as it was created by Jacques Cousteau.

    The present civilian version is part of these very exclusive models retailed by Aqua Lung. In excellent overall condition, this rare and historical Fifty Fathoms is the perfect addition to a 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. 

    View More Works


A large and attractive stainless steel diver's wristwatch with no radiation black glossy dial, retailed by Aqua Lung

Circa 1967
41mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF18,000 - 25,000 

Sold for CHF37,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Geneva Auction 10-11 November 2018