A very fine and rare stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with “gilt” dial and “bakelite” bezel insert

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  • Condition Report

  • Manufacturer: Blancpain
    Year: Circa 1950’s
    Case No: 3718
    Model Name: Fifty Fathoms
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1361, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 42mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement

  • Catalogue Essay

    First introduced in 1953, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms was the manufacturer’s famed dive watch. Admired by many in the past and today, the functionality and reliability of the watch was most impressive. Whilst its form follows its function, the Fifty Fathoms featured a large bezel fitted with a luminous bakelite bezel, large luminous hour markers and a two-piece screw down caseback for enhanced waterproof capabilities.
    The present example from the late 1950’s, features a “non-Milspec” dial with “Rotomatic Incabloc” present. The bakelite bezel and dial remains pungently reactive when tested with the Geiger counter. The present watch was delivered to the American market confirmed by the “Rayville” stamp inside the caseback.

  • Maker Bio

    Blancpain

    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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Blancpain

A very fine and rare stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with “gilt” dial and “bakelite” bezel insert

寶珀,「Fifty Fathoms」型號五十噚,精細罕有,古董精鋼自動上弦腕錶,備塑膠錶圈、金字亮漆面錶盤,約1950年代製

Circa 1950’s
42mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement

Estimate
HK$155,000 - 240,000 
€17,800-27,500
$19,900-30,800

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
thomasperazzi@phillips.com
+852 2318 2030

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE

Hong Kong Auction 25-26 November 2019