Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Grande Date Review
Let’s take a good look at one of the most archetypal modern dive watches in the last century.
The fifty fathoms made its name as the first modern dive watch and made its debut in the year 1953. Since then, it has become an archetype in the minds of watch designers throughout Switzerland and the world of high-end watchmaking. While many variations have stemmed from the original design, all have kept characteristics that stay true to the original.
The new model we are looking at today has a sizeable yet lightweight 45mm titanium case with a 16.2mm case thickness and 23mm width between the case lugs. Like all Fifty Fathoms watches, you should expect the case to have great water resistance with a 30 bar/300m/1000ft water resistance rating.
The Fifty-Fathoms Grande Date watch has a unidirectional rotating sapphire diving bezel with a notched edge to give it some added grip. The sapphire bezel also features a highly luminous glow-in-the-dark divers scale and minute markers using numerals for the 15, 30, and 45-minute markers with a diamond shape at the 12 o’clock or “start” position.
The black step-down dial has a fine sunray finish and features applied inward-facing arrowhead-shaped hour markers filled with luminescent material called SuperLuminova that glows bright green in low-light conditions. The dial uses lume-filled, polished tie-style hands for the hour and minute hands and a slender arrow-shaped seconds hand with a red painted tip.
The feature of this series that stands out the most from other series within the fifty-fathoms collection is the Grande Date that is found at the 6 o’clock position of the dial. It uses large numerals that are seen through a two-window display. The date and time are set using the winding crown.
The case has a fine brushed finish that is found on the titanium parts of the case back, bezel, lugs, crown horns, crown, and the branded pin buckle. The strap is crafted of a heavy-duty, black sailcloth canvas with a rubber backing that should give it the strength needed to persevere, even under duress and strenuous conditions.
The left side of the case has an engraving of the Blancpain in their logo’s distinctive serif typeface. The right side of the case has a branded screw-down winding crown with the ‘B’ icon from Blancpain’s logo.
Through the transparent sapphire case back, this watch reveals its beating heart. The automatic caliber that powers this watch is an in-house Blancpain caliber 6918B self-winding movement that has a weighted 18kt gold rotor that is responsible for the automatic winding. As you move your wrist, it spins and keeps topping up the impressive 5-day/120-hour power reserve. The 6918B caliber is a 35-jewel movement that uses a magnetic resistant silicon balance spring and resonates at a steady oscillation rate of 4Hz/28,800 vibrations per hour.
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Grande Date 45mm is a watch that deserves some special presentation. Therefore, this watch comes in a genuine Peli case measuring 9” x 7” x 4”. The water-resistant case has a heavy-duty build and is sized to be used as a portable carrying case or a protective storage case.
If you would like to get more information about this watch or are considering purchasing one from this collection, you can either search for any of the following model numbers on our website: 5050-12b30-b52a (on a sailcloth canvas strap), 5050-12b30-naba (on a NATO fabric strap), or if you are looking for one on a metal bracelet, look up model # 5050-12b30-98. Otherwise, click on the link below to browse the collection and get a discounted price on any of the models previously mentioned.