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  • Condition Report

  • Description

    View our Conditions of Sale.

  • Manufacturer: Blancpain
    Year: 1965
    Case No: 301’598
    Model Name: Fifty Fathoms
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. AS 1700, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel buckle
    Dimensions: 41mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms dive watch was first released in 1953 as a tool watch for professional divers from a newly formed French Army combat unit. The founders wanted to design a watch that fit their specific needs, and while they submitted their specs to various brands, only Blancpain, whose then CEO was an avid diver, accepted the challenge, and the watch soon became a favorite with both professional, and civilian divers.

    The present example from the second half of the 1960s is a wonderful example of the civilian use dive watch, which featured the now coveted “No Radiations” black glossy dial. Until the early 1960s, watch dials featured radium, a radioactive material allowing the dials to illuminate in the dark for greater visibility. Once common on all watch dials, it was determined radium had adverse health’s affects, and therefore was banned from use in 1963. Blancpain added the “No Radiation” signature and cross marks to their civilian dial so buyers were aware of this designation.

  • Artist Biography

    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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59

A rare and attractive stainless steel diver’s watch with “No Radiations” black dial and date

1965
41mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
$12,000 - 24,000 
CHF11,200-22,400
€10,700-21,400
HK$93,600-187,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293

[email protected]

 

The 2021 New York Watch Auction

New York Auction 11 - 12 December 2021